Hockey is first and foremost a physical game.
No matter how many rules, regulations and other stipulations are put on hitting, it will forever be the cornerstone of the game.
Whether it be with a thunderous hip check or a shattering body check, certain players know how to put skaters on the ice.
Here's a power ranking of the 10 best hitters in the NHL.
Steve Ott has a reputation for laying a big hit, then turning around and turtling whenever a fight arises from it.
In this video, however, Ott decides to not only lay the hit, but also to defend himself in a fight with the late Ruslan Salei.
Ott still lays too many cheap shot hits to be put any higher than 10th.
Dustin Brown is a fantastic power forward for the Los Angles Kings. He's wrapped up over 100 hits this season and doesn't appear to be slowing down any time soon.
For everyone who isn't a fan of Matt Cooke (and who is honestly?), listen to :15-:21 seconds with the volume turned up for a laugh.
Alex Ovechkin may be having a down year this year offensively but he's still on pace for over 200 hits this season.
When Ovechkin gets in the corners, he lays out skaters with thundering body checks.
Brooks Orpik is an extremely physical defenseman for the Pittsburgh Penguins and is on pace for over 230 hits this season.
This clip is absolutely spectacular as Orpik lays four different hits within a 15 second window.
The best part about this video is that LaPointe is going for the hit on Murray and ends up on the ice.
Murray has a huge knack for the hip and full body check. A true stay-at-home defenseman with a ton of physical upside is hard to come by in this age of hockey.
Now this hit may have been a little bit over the line by Sutton, as his elbow does make contact with Leopold's head.
However, Andy Sutton is known for cranking players like this on a regular basis.
Milan Lucic hits Mike Van Ryn so hard in this video that an overwhelming "thump" emanates from this hit through the glass.
Lucic is known as a power forward because of his uncanny nose for the net and obvious talent for the big hit.
Cal Clutterbuck is very often the league leader in hits per season and will most definitely be in the top five every year.
Clutterbuck is feared on the ice for body checks like this one.
Niklas Kronwall has the rare composition of physicality, defensive awareness and offensive potential that makes him an asset to any team's blueline.
He lays a thunderous hip check that usually occurs about once a game on unassuming opponents.
Dion Phaneuf is one of the cleaner hitters on this list. Phaneuf almost always contacts the body first with his hits.
This is just one example of why he deserves to be at the very top of this list.