Niklas Kronwall of the Detroit Red Wings has been given a seven-year contract extension worth $33.25 million according to several sources. While his positional play continues to improve, we all love Kronwall for his hits.
So what better way to celebrate a seven-year extension than by taking a look at No. 55's biggest, most bonecrushing hits?
Quite frankly, there isn't one.
Kronwall has evolved from a one-trick pony to a dependable blue-line presence in Detroit. With the impending (doom) departure of Nicklas Lidstrom, Kronwall has seemingly realized his top-end potential.
He no longer pinches just to make the big hit—but he has still flattened plenty of foes while patrolling the defensive zone for the Red Wings.
There is still debate as to the cleanness of this hit. Regardless of which Original Six jersey you were wearing when this happened, this is probably the bone-jarring collision most think of when they hear they name Niklas Kronwall.
A Brad Stuart shot goes wide—go figure—and careens towards Martin Havlat. Havlat then gets lit up by the big Swede.
I believe he is still shaking this hit off several years later.
Niklas Kronwall gives Dan Heatley a free ticket to the quiet room. If Heater would have been given the opportunity to turn the invite down I am sure he would have.
Like the Martin Havlat hit, this one is just crushing. The slow-mo starting around :46 seconds really shows the impact here.
You may notice I keep using the word "crushes" in the headlines. That's because there are simply no other words for what Niklas Kronwall does to opposing players.
In this video you'll notice the announcers talking about how well Kronwall tracks Ryan Clowe as he moves up ice. This is the key to the Kronwall-type hits. Hockey IQ and anticipation.
Clowe may have lost a few points of IQ after this jarring hit. Yowza.
Niklas Kronwall hits Tomas Fleischmann so hard in this video that the latter ends up in Florida, where he coincidentally is playing hockey these days.
Vaclav Prospal has a classic "did you get the license plate number off of that semi that just hit me?" look on his face once he finally gets back to his skates on this play.
After surveying the ice, surely there was little doubt in his mind who the Mack Truck was—No. 55, Niklas Kronwall.
Some people think that Alexander Radulov fled to Russia for more money. After seeing this hit I think it is clear why he really bailed on the NHL.
Running smack into a Niklas Kronwall body check can sap the will out of even the mightiest men.
Nikolai Kulemin gets a one-way ticket into next week courtesy of Niklas Kronwall.
After getting smoked at center ice by Niklas Kronwall, Anthony Stewart gets back on his skates thinking that he is actually his brother Chris.
What's better than being cranked by Niklas Kronwall one time? Why, getting cranked twice apparently.
Antti Miettinen didn't get the Kronwaller memo the first time, so Nik gives him another chance to acknowledge.
You'd figure somewhere in the scouting report for the Detroit Red Wings it would mention something about keeping your head up as you cross your own blue line on the right side.
If Ryan Malone and his Pittsburgh Penguins didn't know before this hit, they did afterwards.
This is a massive "kollision" between two very big hockey players.
Patrick Kaleta has been known to make an impact or two, but he's on the receiving end here. Niklas Kronwall puts him down.