NHL Power Rankings: the 20 Toughest Players to Ever Play the Game

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NHL Power Rankings:  the 20 Toughest Players to Ever Play the Game
Rick Stewart/Getty Images
Cam Neely of the Boston Bruins had a thsound mile stare, and was one of the tougest guys to play the game.

This is not a list of the top 20 fighters of all time.

While there will be fighters on this list, this is more of an examination of guys who embodied toughness and determination in their own ways.

Is Mike Modano as tough as, say, Stu Grimson, because he played through a severe injury en route to a Stanley Cup Championship?  Some would argue that, while he doesn't take punches for a living, Modano was every bit as tough as Grimson—just in a different way.

He embodied toughness and determination.

When you look down a team's bench, who has the fire burning in their eyes when it matters most?  When there is a call to be answered?

For this list I am going to do my best to consider everything.  But what counts the most here is the guts to take hit after hit and keep coming back.  To constructively play a tough, hard edged game and find an important place on your team.

Fighters have found their way here.  Tough Captains who never said die are on the list as well.  Road block type defensemen, and impossible-to-slow-down power forwards are here as well.

Creating a list with some many variables has been daunting, but fun.  I'm sure every person's list would be a bit different, and feel free to let me know why you think I am spot on or way off base in the comments.

Without further delay, I present to you the 20 toughest players in NHL history.

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