Fans of hockey are well-acclimated to the sport’s fast-paced, adrenaline fueled play. Whether it’s a well-timed pass, a rocket shot, scintillating saves, dropping the gloves for some fisticuffs, or a ferocious hit that crushes the opponent’s will, hockey really has it all. But let’s focus on hits for this feature, because who doesn’t love to witness a perfectly timed, crushing body check that obliterates another player? It’s vicious, it’s raw, it’s hockey personified. It can be used as a defensive tactic to separate the player from the puck or simply as a tool for revenge. No matter why or how a player decides to unload a hit, they’re rarely devoid of excitement, lifting the crowd to their feet or generating a chorus of boos. Some hits are clean while others are dirty, such is the nature of the game, but that aside, try not to let that alter your judgement on how punishing these hits are…morals and team allegiances be damned.
Some players are notorious around the league for delivering risky and subsequently dangerous hits, not taking into account the opposition player’s well-being. Most of the players who made this list fit that description and it’s probably why they’ve delivered such punishing hits worthy of the top 10 in NHL history. So without further ado, it’s with great pleasure that we present the 10 most devastating hits in NHL history. Keep your head up and enjoy the read. If you disagree with the list and have other hits in mind that you think should have made the list, feel free to drop a reply below.
10 Dion Phaneuf on Mike Sauer
9 Chris Neil on Johnny Boychuk
8 Scott Stevens on Viktor Kozlov
7 Niklas Kronwall on Martin Havlat
6 Darcy Tucker on Sami Kapanen
5 Andy Sutton on Jordan Leopold
4 Aaron Rome on Nathan Horton
3 Brian Campbell on R.J. Umberger
2 Scott Stevens on Paul Kariya
1 Scott Stevens on Eric Lindros
Eric Lindros battled concussions throughout his career, but no hit set him off rails quite like that of Scott Stevens. Much like the Kariya hit, Lindros was skating through the neutral zone before deciding to cut through the offensive zone to create some space. Stevens didn’t hesitate a second as he ripped across the ice and exploded his shoulder into Lindros’ jaw, sending the power forward flailing to the ice. Following the hit, Lindros put up one more 70-point season before suffering a steady decline in production. The moral of the story here is that Stevens is one bad mother effer.
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