The NHL's 16 Scariest players of All-time

Many things make an athlete -- Physical presence, scars, looks or even how good they can be. In this countdown, we take a look back onto some of the scariest NHLers of All-Time



16. Jacques Plante

Jacques Plante fits into the list mostly because of the looks then action. Plante was the first goaltender in NHL history to play with the goalie mask after suffering a broken nose against the New York Rangers. Plante was an amazing goaltender. He is a seven-time Vezina winner, eight time All-star and six-time Stanley Cup winner. He will always be remembered as the first goaltender to wear the goalie mask and to change the course of goaltending forever.


15. Tie Domi

Probably one of the smallest fighters that was in the NHL at the time, the 5 foot 9 inch enforcer knew how to hold his end of the bargain when it came to fighting. He was built like a brick out-house, weighing 209 pounds and he never had second thoughts about fighting someone. Over the course of his career, he got to know the penalty box pretty well with his 3,515 penalty minutes. He would go against some of the fiercest fighters in the era. 



14. Maurice Richard

He wasn't named "The Rocket" for nothing, he could scare any defenseman in the league with his speed and skill. Notching 544 goals and 965 points throughout his career, he was known for his temper that sometimes got the best of him. In 1955, he was suspended by the NHL for punching a linesman out cold, his season-ending ban resulted in a Riot in the old Montreal Forum. 


13. Roman Polak.

Like in any good horror movie, he is the last one you'd expect on this list. Described as a mild-mannered, quiet individual. When he played for the St. Louis Blues, he was said to be the giant you never want to wake. He has forearms like trees trunks and if you make him mad, he has no problem correcting you. In 9 NHL seasons, he has amassed 423 penalty minutes. 


12. Sean Avery

 Probably the most hated man of hockey, he was frightening because he didn't care much. He always pushed farther than he could go. He was well known as the man that would push you until you were at your wits end and then not drop the gloves when you dropped them. He was also known to torment goaltenders. He once hit Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas with his stick and had a rule named after him for his antics when he placed his stick blade in New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur's mask grill.


11. Cam Neely 

Acquired in foolish trade by the Vancouver Canucks, he was frightening because he could do it all. Scoring 50 goals three times throughout his career. He had solid bricks at the place of his fists when he fought. Even though he could undress any defender, he preferred going in a straight line like a NFL Fullback. At the end of a 13-year career, the right wing notched up 395 goals and 694 points.


10. Tony Twist

Tony Twist was the Jason Voorhees of NHL fighters, impossible to take down. Twist's 10-year career was near the end tail of the "goon" era, but Twist was an all-time fighter. He had the shape of a professional wrestler and forearms that would make Mark McGwire proud. The Jason Voorhees was scared of no one (including friends on opposing teams) and he put the fear of God into anybody that messed with his teammates. In 10 seasons, Twist gained 1121 Penalties in minutes.


9. Bob Probert

If Tony Twist was Jason Voorhees, then Bob Probert was Michael Myers. Probert had legendary battles with big name fighters such as Kelly Chase, Stu Grimson, Tie Domi and the one and only Tony Twist. Probert terrified the Norris/Central Division and played on some of the toughest teams in the League with the Detroit Red Wings and the Chicago Blackhawks. He is still the record holder of most penalties in minutes of the Detroit Red Wings. 


8. Rick Rypien

Another one that may surprise you might be Rick Rypien. Standing at 5 feet 11 inches, he was like Bob Probert wasn't scared of anyone. Most times he would go up against players that were taller and stronger than him. Though one wouldn't consider Rypien as a pure goal scorer, the Calgary Flames might argue otherwise. That's because Rypien, an Alberta native, must feel comfortable against the Flames as he's scored 5 of those nine career goals in 12 games against Calgary. In a 6 year career, "Ripper" has 226 Penalties in minutes after his career came to an abrupt end when he was found unresponsive in his home on August 20th 2011.


7. Gerry Cheevers

Just like Jacques Plante, Cheevers makes the list for his imposing masks he wore during the years. Mostly known for his play with the Boston Bruins, Cheevers loved to travel as he played in several leagues from 1961 to 1980. His signature mask changed a lot across the years, because a stitch was added each time he was hit on the mask by the puck, which is frightening enough as it is.


6. Eddie Shore

Nicknamed "Old Blood and Guts", Shore was one of the toughest player in his time (1926 to 1940) and he was freaky good, taking the most of the Hart Trophies of any NHL defensemen. Only Gordie Howe and Wayne Gretzky have more. Shore fractured an opponent's skull after he checked him and the player hit the boards head first, which led to the first All-Star game as a benefit for the family.


5. Bobby Clarke

Comparing some players on the list to horror movies, Bobby Clarke would be Freddy Krueger. Clarke was the founder of nightmares in his era. With his imposing and toothless face that would make any opposing player cringe. Even though he was skilled, Clarke was akin to Avery in the instigation department. He was a hatchet man with his stick and he deliberately broke the ankles of Valeri Kharlamov of the U.S.S.R during the 1972 summit series. This goes to show how the real Nightmare on Elm Street was when you got to play against the Philadelphia Flyers back then.


4. Scott Stevens

Anyone who doesn't think that Scott Stevens is scary should ask Paul Kariya or Eric Lindros. The Hall of Famer checked Lindros so hard that it literally knocked his socks off. The hit on Kariya was even worse. Again, the player got his socks knocked off with his head down. What was even more scarier was that back then his hits were clean and were right on spot.


3. Bobby Hull

Bobby Hull played in the era where when you got a dislocated shoulder you still played. Hull was strong and stood up for himself  anywhere on the ice. Even though there wasn't any radar guns, some say his shot was the hardest of all-time and legend states that his shot once blasted a goaltender into the net. Nicknamed the Golden Jet, he could blow any players that stood in his way, but it was goaltenders he frightened the most. Without masks, goalies were terrified of taking one of his shots to the face.


2. Gordie Howe

He is regarded as one the of NHL's best player in history, but he was fierce for opposing players. Having being named after the Gordie Howe Hat Trick (1 Goal, 1 Assist and 1 Fight), he was known for his offensive and fighting sides he had. With his longevity, skill set, he was regarded as the best player in NHL history, that's until Wayne Gretzky came along. However, unlike Gretzky, Howe was known for mixing it up, throwing elbows, using his stick to spear or cross-check any opponent and check players into the boards. If nothing else, knowing a Gordie Howe Hat Trick involves a fight, it says enough like that.


1. Al MacInnis  

Surprises you MacInnis is the number 1 on this list? He was never known for crushing people with checks or fighting, or even getting a lot of penalty minutes. However, his shot scared everyone and anyone that got in the way of his shot regretted it right after. MacInnis broke Chris Osgood's hand, the glove finger of Jocelyn Thibault, arena boards, and almost removed that family jewels of teammate Rich Parent (Ruptured testicle). Grant Fuhr once said 

"As a goaltender, you shouldn't be scared of anything. The only thing I'm scared of is Al MacInnis' shot,"







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