Donald Brashear: One of the NHL's Dirtiest Players

Nick PucciContributor IApril 27, 2009

Many people, when contemplating the NHL's dirtiest players, think of the pesky Sean Avery or Chris Pronger.

Well, the first player that comes to my mind is Donald Brashear. He's known as an enforcer, it's his job to antagonize and stick up for his own teammates.

But sometimes, his hits are just unwarranted.

The most recent example came during Game Six of the 2009 NHL Playoffs first-round matchup between the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers.

While standing in the neutral zone, Rangers main penalty killer Blair Betts was blindsided with a nasty Brashear elbow, knocking him to the ice.

Betts left with a concussion and a broken orbital bone (facial region). Brashear was consequently given a six-game suspension which will include the final game in the Rangers-Capitals series.

Now, I know this series has not been clean, what with Dubinsky getting bitten, Ovechkin making plently of comments, Rangers coach John Tortorella launching a water bottle, and some pregame scuffles occurring.

But, as quoted from the NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations, Colin Cambell, “Brashear delivered a shoulder hit to an unsuspecting player.”

“It is also my opinion that the hit was delivered late and targeted the head of his opponent, causing significant injury,” Campbell went on to say.

It is one thing to be a team pest and constantly agitate other players, but to intentionally hurt other guys is just flat-out wrong.

Brashear has fought over 230 times in his NHL career. In 2004, he was the instigator in the most-penalized game in history (419 total minutes).

Just take a wild guess who obtained the most individual minutes in that Senators-Flyers contest.

That's right; ole Donald got 34 total penalty minutes with tags of instigator, game misconduct, misconduct, two major fights, and roughing.

Brashear may be an asset to the team he is playing for but is nothing but a cancer for the league. It is players like him that have the league wanting to ban fighting outright.