Blood, sweat, and tears.
That's what it takes to succeed in the NHL if you want to go all the way. Players must give everything they've got out on the ice with a win at all costs attitude.
But there are some players who only exude two of the three. When it comes to the toughest players in the NHL, there are no tears involved. Sweat, of course. Blood, almost every game.
But when it comes to these guys, there is no crying in hockey.
There is only giving every ounce of their body up in order for their team to win. And the Toronto Maple Leafs have been fortunate enough to have men like this on their team throughout their long history.
These are the guys that go into a game fully expecting to either be limping off the ice at the end or making a quick run to the trainer's room to get stitched up before coming right back out. Shifts are rarely missed because of injury. Ice packs are always needed after the game. Black eyes are the norm.
And there is always an overflowing amount of love from the fans for these men who are willing to risk their lives every night to give their team a chance.
They players are rare and are often imitated, but to be a true tough guy in the NHL, you have to earn your respect; it doesn't simply come with the job title.
So let's take a look back at some of the Leafs' toughest players who did more than just get in the odd fight. They truly did what most humans could not even fathom doing on a nightly basis. Their jerseys were blue and white, but by the end of the game it was not strange if there was a little red mixed in as well.
That's why these guys are loved the way they are. And that's why they're the toughest Maple Leafs of all time.