There are many different roles on an NHL team. You have your scorers, passers, speedsters, fighters and hitters. These players all have their different duties expected of them throughout the game and for many fans, hitters are their favorite. These guys can provide a spark for their team and the fans unlike almost anyone else. Here are four of the hardest hitters in league history.
1. Dion Phaneuf
While some may disagree with this pick, there is no arguing that Phaneuf has probably laid the biggest and hardest hits we have seen in the NHL over the past decade or so. For years, forwards feared going down the ice with him in their path as they knew the kind of damage he could dole out. He flattened guys in ways that we hadn’t seen in a while and there was just something about the way he leveled guys that stuck in your mind.
2. Rob Blake
Through his long and illustrious career, Rob Blake was one of the biggest hitters around. He was without a doubt one of the grittiest and toughest players in the league and that, paired with his huge stature, made him a nightmare for opposing players. His opponents also said that his “big butt” helped him when slamming players into the boards and was one of the best at rubbing players off of the boards with thundering body checks.
3. Eric Lindros
Lindros is the only non-defensemen on this list, but he absolutely deserves a spot here. If you could genetically engineer a human being to be a good hockey player, it would basically be Eric Lindros. He was 6’4, almost 250 pounds who could also skate and had a scoring touch as well. However, all of these skills didn’t mean he wasn’t a hitter; he was definitely one of those. Any defenseman who saw this man coming on the forecheck was absolutely hoping they wouldn’t fall victim to one of his many thunderous hits.
4. Scott Stevens
And we’ve finally come to the king of the body check. He may just be the most feared NHL player in history and for good reason. This is a guy that could change the momentum in a game with a single check and few hit harder than this guy, if anyone. The way he would level unsuspecting players crossing the middle of the ice was truly a thing of beauty. And even better, the hits were clean and he was respected (and feared) by all.