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Best "tough guy" hockey team of all time.

JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 11,210 ✭✭✭✭✭

The Jeremy Roenick thread got me thinking about players who were tough and also could score.
I picked guys who played at least 1,000 games, you can't be considered "tough" if you can't make it to 1,000, so a guy like Lindros is out. I also looked for guys who took, (at least) a penalty a game or 150 PIM a season.
Center; Dale Hunter 1020 points in 1407 games. Had 12 seasons of over 150 penalty minutes, 2 of those were over 250. Wasn't tall but at 5' 10" and 198 pounds must have been rock solid. Never even an all star?
RW; Rick Tocchet, 962 points in 1144 games, 11 years with over 150 PIM, 4 over 250. 6' 210 lbs.
LW; Keith Tkachuk, 1065 points in 1201 games, 6 times over 150 PIM, once over 250. 6'2" 235 lbs, a beast!
D1; Scott Stevens, 808 points in 1635 games, 9 times over 150 PIM and once over 250. 6'2" 215 lbs.
D2; Chris Chelios, 948 points in 1651 games, 7 times over 150 PIM and once over 250. 6'0" and 191.
G; Ron Hextall, most penalized goalie of all time and at 6'3" a big guy as well.
Some honorable mentions; Pat Verbeek, Theo Fleury, Brendan Shanahan, Gary Roberts and a surprise (to me anyway) on defense Rob Ramage.
Of the great defenders missing here, Coffey and Brad Park are the only ones that were penalized much, but they fell a little short. Coffey with 1 year over 150 and Park with a year of 148.
Any and all thoughts are welcome.

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    PillarDollarCollectorPillarDollarCollector Posts: 4,746 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 15, 2023 3:18PM

    Can't get much tougher than Mr Hockey aka Gordie Howe and still score. All hockey players in the original 6 period were tough as nails (you had to be back then) and some like say Maurice Richard were both tough and great.

    The Philadelphia Flyers back in the 1970's were a mean and nasty team.

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    PillarDollarCollectorPillarDollarCollector Posts: 4,746 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 15, 2023 3:18PM

    Same goes for all early hockey 1910's up to say the 1970's. The earlier the tougher these ice gladiators were. You were risking your life back in those early days and medical treatment was next to non existent for many things such as brain damage. But they still played and were ready for the worst. Today's hockey is no were near that level of violence not even close. Probably for the better I would think.

    Eddie Shore had like 1000 injuries during his all-star career. He was a warrior on ice and as I said most were. Just look at old hockey photos of goalies with their faces all smashed up.

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    JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 11,210 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @PillarDollarCollector said:
    Can't get much tougher than Mr Hockey aka Gordie Howe and still score. All hockey players in the original 6 period were tough as nails (you had to be back then) and some like say Maurice Richard were both tough and great.

    >
    Howe is my choice for GOAT. He was certainly as tough, or tougher than anyone. I was looking for guys who spent a lot of time in the "sin bin" and still scored a lot of points. Gordie just didn't get called for a lot of infractions.

    The Philadelphia Flyers back in the 1970's were a mean and nasty team.

    >
    They certainly were, Bobby Clarke was the main scorer and he stayed out of the box. Their tough guys weren't the best at scoring though.

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    dallasactuarydallasactuary Posts: 4,115 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JoeBanzai said:
    LW; Keith Tkachuk, 1065 points in 1201 games, 6 times over 150 PIM, once over 250. 6'2" 235 lbs, a beast!

    The numbers today are just lower than back in the day, but the two current players who are closest to meeting the spirit of the conditions you're looking for are the Tkachuk boys, Matthew and Brady. Don't mess with the Tkachuk family.

    This is for you @thisistheshow - Jim Rice was actually a pretty good player.
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    georgebailey2georgebailey2 Posts: 1,045 ✭✭✭
    edited April 16, 2023 7:00AM

    On the ice, Dale Hunter was the anti-christ. The cheapest shots I have ever seen were delivered by him, with the one on Turgeon being the most infamous. When he cheap-shotted Gord Murphy, Bill Clement, as the color guy, was incensed to the point of exclaiming that someone should go after him and that "spearing him in the face would be too good for him."

    Referees should have called match penalties more often. Too often, "legal" hits have been delivered with the intent to separate a player's body from their head.

    Scott Stevens delivered, at least, two such hits. Neither was the continuation of a hockey play. Both players had already passed the puck such that neither should have expected to get hit regardless of whether they had their heads up. The hits were delivered with the intent to knock them out. I have seen and played enough hockey to know that to claim otherwise is a crock of crap.

    Not that Stevens is alone, just that those two stood out as they were both deep in the play-offs.

    Tom Wilson is probably the current king of the cheap shot.

    Also, there are plenty of games from the 50s, 60s and 70s on YouTube to watch to get a sense of the way the game was played during those eras.

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    JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 11,210 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'm not saying any of the guys I listed were clean players, no doubt some (most) of them were cheap shots artists.
    I am only contrasting the posts on some of the scorers who shy away from physical play with some guys who weren't just goons, but could score as well.
    The NHL has done little or nothing over the years to guys who seem to intentionally try to injure others. I'll never forget seeing Bobby Orr's knee get destroyed by a knee on knee hit that sure looked intentional.

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    The top 3 defenders for your team would be
    1) Chara
    2) Robinson
    3) Stevens

    Top forwards would be
    1)Howe
    2)Roberts
    3)Neely

    Don’t mess with any of them….

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    georgebailey2georgebailey2 Posts: 1,045 ✭✭✭

    Edit - Just my personal opinion on those two players in general. Not intended to knock them off your team.

    With regard to the question at hand, I would go with a slightly adjusted Legion of Doom (Sorry Mikael) of LeClair - Lindros - Tocchet with Chara and Pronger.

    Regarding the LOD, I don't recall seeing anything like them, particularly in that first strike-shortened season. I am fairly certain that had the fancy stats existed then, they would have set all-time puck possession and scoring chance differential records. Before them, in the 23 years I had already been watching games, I had not heard announcers use the term "cycling the puck" in any consistent basis.

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    JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 11,210 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Raptormaniacs said:
    The top 3 defenders for your team would be
    1) Chara
    2) Robinson
    3) Stevens

    Top forwards would be
    1)Howe
    2)Roberts
    3)Neely

    Don’t mess with any of them….

    All great choices!
    Chara was a giant, but he only had 2 years with over 150 PIM.
    Robinson is one of the best defenders of all time, but he never even had a season over 100 PIM.
    I really wanted Howe on the team, but he also comes up short in the PIM equation with his highest year at 109 PIM.
    Neely is a guy I thought of right away.
    Not enough games played (726) to make "my" team. Then I looked at his numbers and began to wonder how he even gets in the HOF.
    His first 3 seasons weren't special. Overall he has 8 great years, with 3 of them being somewhat short. 2 seasons missed with injury.
    Seems like there's some guys who played a LOT longer who aren't in.
    If I lowered my games played to 700, Cam and Eric might be on my top line.
    I really wanted to slant my selections to guys that were tough, mean and durable, yet could score points. Not looking for the most talented, but my top 3 forwards averaged at least .72 points a game for a LONG time. Tocchet played in 1144 games, scored .83 PPG while missing almost 3,000 minutes of ice time in the penalty box. Yet he only makes the AS team 3 times.
    You can hate every guy on "my" team, (I sure hated Chelios) but they could beat you AND beat you up.

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    JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 11,210 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @georgebailey2 said:
    Edit - Just my personal opinion on those two players in general. Not intended to knock them off your team.

    With regard to the question at hand, I would go with a slightly adjusted Legion of Doom (Sorry Mikael) of LeClair - Lindros - Tocchet with Chara and Pronger.

    Regarding the LOD, I don't recall seeing anything like them, particularly in that first strike-shortened season. I am fairly certain that had the fancy stats existed then, they would have set all-time puck possession and scoring chance differential records. Before them, in the 23 years I had already been watching games, I had not heard announcers use the term "cycling the puck" in any consistent basis.

    Your guys are all big and tough and skilled. Going with defense first; my two each played over 1,600 games and scored over .55 PPG while spending a lot of time in the box. To me that is going to be impossible to overcome in my scenario.
    Pronger was a monster, but I was surprised at how much he stayed on the ice. A top 2 of Robinson and Pronger would be devastating. Chara is a giant, but I'm not quite ready to put him on my top 6.
    Already gave my reasons for excluding Lindros, LeClair was a skilled giant, but he didn't spend much time in the box.
    Someone else could come up with a team of big, tough, skilled players who stayed OUT of the box, but that's not what I did.

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    @JoeBanzai said:

    @Raptormaniacs said:
    The top 3 defenders for your team would be
    1) Chara
    2) Robinson
    3) Stevens

    Top forwards would be
    1)Howe
    2)Roberts
    3)Neely

    Don’t mess with any of them….

    All great choices!
    Chara was a giant, but he only had 2 years with over 150 PIM.
    Robinson is one of the best defenders of all time, but he never even had a season over 100 PIM.
    I really wanted Howe on the team, but he also comes up short in the PIM equation with his highest year at 109 PIM.
    Neely is a guy I thought of right away.
    Not enough games played (726) to make "my" team. Then I looked at his numbers and began to wonder how he even gets in the HOF.
    His first 3 seasons weren't special. Overall he has 8 great years, with 3 of them being somewhat short. 2 seasons missed with injury.
    Seems like there's some guys who played a LOT longer who aren't in.
    If I lowered my games played to 700, Cam and Eric might be on my top line.
    I really wanted to slant my selections to guys that were tough, mean and durable, yet could score points. Not looking for the most talented, but my top 3 forwards averaged at least .72 points a game for a LONG time. Tocchet played in 1144 games, scored .83 PPG while missing almost 3,000 minutes of ice time in the penalty box. Yet he only makes the AS team 3 times.
    You can hate every guy on "my" team, (I sure hated Chelios) but they could beat you AND beat you up.

    Sorry about the criteria.

    Getting ‘“rag dolled” by one of these guys would have been embarrassing. That’s why teams avoided the “dirty” stuff when they were on the ice….inside information…..

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    Alfonz24Alfonz24 Posts: 3,048 ✭✭✭✭✭

    #LetsGoSwitzerlandThe Man Who Does Not Read Has No Advantage Over the Man Who Cannot Read. The biggest obstacle to progress is a habit of “buying what we want and begging for what we need.”You get the Freedom you fight for and get the Oppression you deserve.
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    JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 11,210 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Old time hockey......

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    georgebailey2georgebailey2 Posts: 1,045 ✭✭✭

    P!ss on old time hockey. You're blowing it!

    Scouts?

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    lanemyer85lanemyer85 Posts: 1,316 ✭✭✭
    edited April 18, 2023 11:16PM

    @georgebailey2 said:
    On the ice, Dale Hunter was the anti-christ. The cheapest shots I have ever seen were delivered by him, with the one on Turgeon being the most infamous. When he cheap-shotted Gord Murphy, Bill Clement, as the color guy, was incensed to the point of exclaiming that someone should go after him and that "spearing him in the face would be too good for him."

    Referees should have called match penalties more often. Too often, "legal" hits have been delivered with the intent to separate a player's body from their head.

    Scott Stevens delivered, at least, two such hits. Neither was the continuation of a hockey play. Both players had already passed the puck such that neither should have expected to get hit regardless of whether they had their heads up. The hits were delivered with the intent to knock them out. I have seen and played enough hockey to know that to claim otherwise is a crock of crap.

    Not that Stevens is alone, just that those two stood out as they were both deep in the play-offs.

    Tom Wilson is probably the current king of the cheap shot.

    Also, there are plenty of games from the 50s, 60s and 70s on YouTube to watch to get a sense of the way the game was played during those eras.

    all good calls, and I can't stand Tom Wilson, he was certainly the predatory hit king of this era

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teAwMut1y2Y

    that one ended Visnovsky's career. But I guess at least over the last couple years, mostly because he's been hurt all the time now, and he's on a repeat offender blacklist, he hasn't committed much goonery.

    Scott Stevens was a piece of garbage too, much like Derian Hatcher, but at least Stevens didn't duck the heavyweights when it came time answer for his crap. While Hatcher would go after the 6 foot Kelly Chase types, or Roenick ie selective toughness.

    Wendel Clark has to be on any of these lists. That guy fought everyone at 5'11. Probert at least 4 or 5 times.

    Keep Chara off any of these lists. Yeah he has some level of toughness, but he also ducked everyone. It was smart of him to do so, to avoid injury, but he never fought the guys of his era who he physically matched up with, namely John Scott, Boogaard, McGrattan. And when he actually did drop the mittens with someone who posed a threat (even if Laraque was still 6 inches shorter), this is what he did all the time.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0gXGyrpPHc

    throw a wild haymaker and then wrestle to end it. Again, probably smart, but also fake-tough when there were guys like Derek Dorsett and Cam Janssen in that era who both fought Scott multiple times while being 5'11/6 feet. Dorsett is long forgotten, but man, that little plug was a tough guy. Fought all those heavyweights of that previous era at 5'11, 190.

    Penalty minutes probably isn't a good qualifier for the whole 'toughness' standard. I mean rats piled up penalty minutes, and some could score (Ciccarelli, Marchand), but many of them probably weren't necessarily that tough. I mean there's dumb-tough, like these smaller guys getting into fights with the Scotts, Boogaards and McGrattans, and there's game-tough like standing in front of a Shea Weber slapper from the point in a tie game. Or just guys who are willing to take a bumrush forecheck hit on the boards in order to play the puck first. No one ever gets credit for that stuff. Usually just the guys who get into these seatbelt fights. Very different things.

    C - Bobby Clarke / Messier
    LW - Wendel Clark
    RW - Gord
    D - Larry Robinson
    D - Chris Chelios
    G - Glenn Hall

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    JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 11,210 ✭✭✭✭✭

    What I was focusing on was not so much how dirty a guy was, or if he was a good fighter, but guys who put up a LOT of points while also spending a lot of time in the penalty box. This might not be the best way to determine "toughness", but I figured PIM, coupled with long career and good scoring average was the best way to do it, without actually seeing all the players.
    I also ignored the fact that guys in the "box" are putting their teams at a disadvantage with the other team on the power play.
    Many here practically worship guys who have the talent to score and run from contact like they were on fire.
    The forwards I picked all scored at least .75 points a game and certainly didn't avoid trouble, some were dirty, cheap players no doubt.
    Roenick is a perfect example, he was better than Modano and Federov if you look at PPG and then see that he spent a lot less time on the ice.
    I figured that those two were MUCH better offensive players, but I was mistaken.

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