Re: Of all the established and recognized N.H.L. players in the past 25 years who areNov 23rd, 2011
A more recent player that made a lot waves for a while with his play was Steve Downie. I loved him on the Canadian Jr squad but in the NHL, he showed a dangerous lack of respect for other players, with the way he charged around and head-hunted.
I saw Hextall and Billy Smith mentioned, but I have to confess that I didn't have issues with them (Hextall was definately the more viscious of the two!). Yes, they wielded the lumber on opposing forwards, but those forwards were usually infringing on their crease space or hacking at them for loose pucks after the whistles had gone. That never bothered me as much, maybe because both of the afore mentioned goalies also spent time in the blue & white of my Isles, but also because their hacking at forwards became prominent after Clint Malarchuk had his throat cut by a forward charging the net and the NHL did nothing for a LONG time. I also remember Hextall taking a run at Chris Chelios in the playoffs against Montreal, after Chelios had taken out the Flyers leading scorer, Brian Propp, a couple games before, with a dirty hit, again to which the league did nothing. I thought Hextall was playing within "the code" of the time when players retaliated against those who took too many liberties with their stars, and that Chelios deserved his pounding