The Boston Bruins have a knack for hard nosed hockey. Some of the biggest and baddest Bruins were among the most agitating players the league has ever known.
The Big Bad Bruins of the 1970s won the Stanley Cup because of their gritty play, and the 2011 Bruins achieved success with a similar style of play. It's tough to limit a list of Bruins pests to 13, but here goes nothing.
It may be a bit early to put Brad Marchand on this list, but he is quickly becoming one of the biggest agitators in the NHL. His energetic style of play and big mouth have made him a fan favorite in Boston. Marchand could easily move up this list sooner rather than later.
Shawn Thornton is another current Bruin who really embodies the playing style the franchise has historically stressed. He works hard, brings a ton of energy and is not afraid to chirp any opponent. Thornton will need a few more hard nosed seasons with the club before he slides ahead of some of the greats to follow.
Derek Sanderson was one of the most competitive players to pull on a Bruins sweater. Never the flashiest defender, Sanderson always made life difficult on opposing forwards with his grueling physical play and hard work.
Dallas Smith was a 15 year contributor to the Boston Bruins who had nearly 600 more penalty minutes than he did points. That ought to give you some kind of idea as to what kind of player he was. Smith was a typical Bruin.
It is astounding that a man could put up just over 70 points in his NHL career, yet stay in the league long enough to collect over 1,000 penalty minutes. Lyndon Byers did just that.
Fern Flaman played in 15 NHL seasons and managed only 34 goals. Lucky for him, he did three things well that the Bruins absolutely loved. He worked hard, crushed people and blocked a ton of shots.
Cam Neely was a pest in many ways. The Bruins power forward could beat you on the scoreboard or just physically beat you. His career was cut short by injuries, but Neely still spent more than 1,200 minutes in the sin bin.
Ted Green made a living off of his determined style of play. He was an intimidator, a physical player and always the hardest worker on the ice. Ted Green was born to be a Boston Bruin.
Keith Crowder was just another in a long line of hardworking grinders for the Boston Bruins. Crowder did have some offensive ability, but most of his production was a testament to his willingness to go into the corners and come away with the puck. Crowder's 494 points in 10 NHL seasons is nothing to scoff at.
Wayne Cashman was a crucial component to one of the greatest lines in Boston Bruins history. Ken Hodge and Phil Esposito may have headlined the crew, but Cashman was the one grinding it out in the corners and winning the one on one battles for the puck. There is a reason he stuck for 18 seasons with the Boston Bruins.
P.J. Stock was a bottle rocket of aggravation for opposing teams. He really did not bring a ton to the table besides his ability to drop the mitts with just about any player in the league. Stock got the crowd going with his fistacuffs, and really got under the skin of everyone in his path.
Before Mike Milbury was annoying viewers everywhere with his coverage on television, he was getting the entire NHL riled up as a member of the Boston Bruins.
Milbury had an insane amount of penalty minutes and not a whole lot of points. To put into perspective the kind of player he was, Milbury once went into the stands and beat a fan with his own shoe.
Terry O'Reilly will always be remembered as the grittiest player in Boston Bruins history. He spent every moment of his NHL career with the Bruins, and in those 13 seasons amassed a career total of 2,095 penalty minutes.
O'Reilly is the model for which every Big Bad Bruin of today and the future should look to for inspiration.