Bodychecking in hockey has been one of the most controversial topics in the sport in recent years, especially at the minor league level. However in the National Hockey League, bodychecking is very frequent with many hits delivering serious blows to opponents. In recent years the National Hockey League has taken the issue of dangerous bodychecks seriously, and players are taught how to hit their opponent more safely so the issue of concussions is kept to a minimum. However for many years it was common to see professional hockey players deliver massive hits on the ice.
It is time to take a look at the ten biggest hits in NHL history. Remember what was considered a “clean hit” at the time, may not be considered a clean hit now as the standards of what a clean hit is has changed.
#10 – Niklas Kronwall on Martin Havlat
On May 22, 2009 in game three of a Western Conference Final playoff game between the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks, Red Wings’ defenseman Niklas Kronwall delivered a massive bodycheck on Martin Havlat. Kronwall was given a major penalty for interference and a game misconduct, however many have questioned why Kronwall needed to serve time in the penalty box for delivering what was considered “a clean hit” by National Hockey League rules. Despite the penalty, Kronwall was not suspended. Since the hit, when a player gets bodychecked by Kronwall, they get “Kronwalled”. Even though Chicago won the game 4-3, the Red Wings came back to win the next two games of the series to advance to the Stanley Cup Final. Havlat, who suffered a concussion, played in game four of the series but only played just over seven minutes and was a -1 and did not play in game five.