Now that we are into the second season, where the stakes are raised, playing the game brings out the best in some players and the worst in others.
Those others are the NHL's cheap shot artists, the players who snap in a stressful situation, taking out their anger on another player, sometimes with the intent to injure.
This list features the best (or worst) of those players who are currently in the NHL. Each player's name provides a link to a Youtube video showing them in action.
1. Chris Simon, Minnesota Wild
Simon is an obvious choice for number one, given his unprecedented amount of time spent away from the game due to suspensions.
He has several well-known cheap shots, the most famous of which is the two-handed slash to Ryan Hollweg's face. Simon got hit pretty hard right before that but the hit in no way warranted a slash to the face.
With his history of cheap shots, its amazing Simon is still allowed to play the game.
2. Todd Bertuzzi, Anaheim Ducks
It only takes the mention of one name to know why Bertuzzi belongs on this list.
Bertuzzi's sucker punch from behind ruined Steve Moore's career in the NHL, landing him a suspension of record length at the time.
Besides that punch, Bertuzzi is an enforcer who isn't afraid of dishing out dirty hits.
3. Chris Pronger, Anaheim Ducks
Based on length of suspensions, Pronger looks like an amateur when compared to Simon. His number of suspensions, though, gives him the number three spot on this list.
Over the last two years, Pronger has had several small suspensions for dirty hits he has given out, most notably are the elbows he put to the heads of Tomas Holmstrom and Dean McAmmond during last year’s playoff run.
This year he added an eight game suspension to his resume after stomping on Vancouver's Ryan Kessler. This kind of incident shows Pronger's lack of self control.
4. Jordin Tootoo, Nashville Predators
Though Tootoo is known across the league for his fighting and hitting abilities, he often takes things too far.
One instance of this was his sucker punch to the face of Stephane Robidas. Tootoo had just cleanly hit Madano, but when he turned around and saw Robidas coming to Madano's aid, he punched Robidas in the face with his glove on.
Though Robidas initiated the scuffle by going toward Tootoo, there is no reason for anyone to get punched in the face in that manner.
5. Jarkko Ruuto, Pittsburgh Penguins
Ruuto's dirty hits put him in the running for this list, but his run at Atlanta Thrasher star Ilya Kovalchuk away from the play secured his position.
The play had stopped, but Ruuto took a run at Kovalchuk leading with his knee. This knee-on-knee contact forced Kovalchuk out of the game.
Though this list features the best of the worst, there are plenty of other players in the league also deserving mention. I look forward to seeing your comments about these players, other players, and your opinions on my rankings.