Top 10 NHL Hits of All Time

NHL is one of the most popular leagues in the world. You see players on ice skates skating across the field with ice hockey sticks trying to score a goal.

It is one of the most dangerous sports in the world. And who can forget Clint Malarchuk getting his neck sliced when the fellow player Steve Tuttle skate blade hit him!

What else is the sport famous for, if you ask? Well, it’s for the players smashing against each other.

Since they play on the ice, there are no stopping accidents from happening, but not every time; it is just an accident.

Ice hockey NHL
Ice hockey NHL (Source: Peakpx.com)

There are many rules and regulations to make the game safer. Despite this, it is common to see players deliver powerful hits to their opponents.

As the rules of the clean hit have changed, some of the incidents before are now against the rules. So today, we are looking at some of the top NHL hits of all time. You might be surprised as some of the incidents are outrageous.

So without any further delay, let us get into the details.

Top 10 NHL Hits Of All Time 2022

We have compiled the list primarily with the help of internet sources like BleacherReport, SportsShow, etc. But let us first look at the rankings of the big hits before getting into the details.

EventDate
10. Raffi Torres on Brent Seabrook2011
9. Bryan Marchment on Donald Brashear2002
8. Eric Lindros on Vladimir Konstantinov1997
7. Larry Robinson on Gary Dornhoefer1976
6. Darcy Tucker on Sami Kapanen2004
5. Scott Stevens on Slava Kozlov1995
4. Trevor Linden on Jeff Norton1995
3. Brian Campbell on R.J. Umberger2006
2. Scott Stevens on Paul Kariya2003
1. Scott Stevens on Eric Lindros 2000

10. Raffi Torres on Brent Seabrook

The first hit we are talking about took place on April 17, 2011. In-game three of a Western Conference Quarterfinal playoff, the Vancouver Canucks played against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Then Canuck’s Raffi Torres blasted the Blackhawk’s defenseman and Olympic gold medalist Brent Seabrook behind the net.

It was just under eight minutes, and Torres saw the opportunity to deliver the hit. Then, he caught Seabrook’s head with his shoulder. The referee blew the whistle, but Torres received only a two-minute minor penalty.

Raffi Torres on Brent Seabrook
Raffi Torres on Brent Seabrook (Source: Dailyherald.com)

Although Torres has been suspended four times for a similar hit throughout his career, even the announcers quickly pointed out his act. However, he did not suffer any heavy penalty.

The Canucks beat the Blackhawks in the game, and Seabrook missed two games due to the hit.

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9. Bryan Marchment on Donald Brashear

Our number 9 of the top NHL hits is of Bryan Marchment on Donald Brashear. The San Jose Sharks were facing off against the Philadelphia Flyers on January 2, 2002.

Then the Sharks’ Marchment hit the Flyers’ Brashear near center ice. The hit turned out to be one of the biggest and top hits in the NHL.

The hit from Marchment gave momentum to the Sharks. They won the game with a score of 5-2.

Bryan Marchment
Bryan Marchment (Source: Icehockeywiki)

However, according to Philadelphia Inquirer Tim Panaccio, both Marchment and Brashear delivered hard hits to each other throughout the game.

That season the San Jose Sharks recorded their career-best 99 points en route to their first-ever Pacific Division title.

8. Eric Lindros on Vladimir Konstantinov

The following top NHL hit is that of Eric Lindros and Vladimir Konstantinov in 1997. There the Quebec Nordiques were playing against the Detroit Red Wings.

Eric Lindros was playing for the Quebec Nordiques, while Vladimir Konstantinov was playing for the Detroit Red Wings.

Eric Lindros on Vladimir Konstantinov
Eric Lindros on Vladimir Konstantinov (Source: Inquirer.com)

Then, Lindros hit Konstantinov with a shoulder checking. As a result, Konstantinov was smashed into the glass with great force, falling on the ice.

The hit was considered a clean hit; however, it took a while for Konstamtinove to get back to his form. Nevertheless, Lindros’ hit gave fans something to remember for the rest of their lives.

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7. Larry Robinson on Gary Dornhoefer

We are going back to 1976 for our number 7 top NHL hits. On May 11, 1976, Montreal Canadiens and Philadelphia Flyers played the Stanley Cup Finals in game two.

Gary Dornhoefer was the right-winger for the Philadelphia team, while Larry Robinson was the Canadien’s defenseman. The defenseman gave Dornhoefer a massive bodycheck.

Dornhoefer went flying off, and the hit had such an impact that the Montreal maintenance crew had to step on the ice to nail the board back to its original place.

Gary Dornhoefer
Gary Dornhoefer (Source: Nbcsports.com)

The incident proved that Robinson deserved his nickname “Big Bird.” Philadelphia had won the Cup for the last two years. After the incident, the Canadiens won the game with a 2-1 result winning the Cup.

Furthermore, the Canadiens took home the Cup for the next three years. Two years later, Dornhoefer took retirement from the sport and went to work for the CBC’s Hockey Night, Canada.

6. Darcy Tucker on Sami Kapanen

Number 6 on our top NHL hits list is Darcy Tucker on Sami Kapanen. On May 4, 2004, the event took place in overtime of game six of the Eastern Conference semi-final.

The Toronto Maple Leafs and Philadelphia Flyers were facing off against each other. Then Darcy Tucker of Maple Leaf body slammed Sami Kapanen of the Flyers hard into the boards.

Tucker’s hit looked common initially by the onlookers, who later realized its power. Kapanen fell three times before being able to stand up.

Darcy Tucker, Maple Leafs
Darcy Tucker, Maple Leafs (Source: Wikimedia.org)

It took him 15 more seconds before he could skate to the Flyers’ bench. Then, finally, Kapanen was able to return to the game.

The Flyers defeated the Maple Leaf with a score of 3-2. Furthermore, the hit is considered one of the top ones in the NHL.

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5. Scott Stevens on Slava Kozlov

Considered one of the most massive body checkers in NHL history, we have Scott Stevens on Slava Kozlov as our number 5 top NHL hits.

On June 20, 1995, the New Jersey Devils and Red Wings were facing off during the second period of game two of the Stanley Cup Finals. Then, Stevens delivered a massive body check on Slava Kozlov.

Scott Stevens on Slava Kozlov
                            Scott Stevens on Slava Kozlov (Source: Puckprose.com)

The hit was a fatal one and was considered a significant turning point in the series. It also helps establish Stevens as one of the most intimidating defensemen of all-time in NHL history.

As a result, the Devils won the game 4-2 and took the series lead by 2-0. Therefore, Stevens is given credit for the win of the match.

4. Trevor Linden on Jeff Norton

We are putting the hit of Trevor Linden on Jeff Norton on our number 4 of the top NHL hits. On May 11, 1995, the event occurred in game three of the Western Conference quarterfinals.

The Vancouver Canucks and St. Louis Blues were facing each other. Then the Canucks’ captain Trevor Linden delivered a hard bodycheck on Blues’ Jeff Norton.

Trevor Linden on Jeff Norton
Trevor Linden on Jeff Norton (Source: Pinterest)

The bodycheck Linden delivered was so massive that the glass shattered after the impact. It could be the result of the hit; the Canucks won the game by 6-1 and led the series by 2-1.

Linden was known for his leadership, but this event established him as one of the most influential players. His hit will forever be remembered as one of the top NHL hits of all time. 

3. Brian Campbell on R.J. Umberger

Now the hit that we are going to talk about knocked not only the player but also injured him. We are talking about Brian Campbell’s hit on R.J. Umberger.

On April 22, 2006, the incident took place in game one of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. The game was between Buffalo Sabres and Philadelphia Flyers.

Brian Campbell on R.J. Umberger
Brian Campbell on R.J. Umberger (Source: NHL.com)

During the first overtime period, Sabres’ Brian Campbell delivered a hard bodycheck to the Flyers’ Umberger. While the fans of Sabres gave thunderous applause, the Flyers’ fans were left devastated.

The impact of the hit was so significant that Umberger’s jawline was also poorly injured. The Sabres won the series 4-2, and the hit became one of the top NHL hits in NHL history.

2. Scott Stevens on Paul Kariya

Our number 2 spot is taken by the hit of Scott Stevens on Paul Kariya. On June 6, 2003, the incident occurred in game six of the Stanley Cup Finals.

Like the hits are common in NFL, so are incidents of players getting concussions from the hits. Unfortunately, it is precisely what occurred during the match between Anaheim Ducks and New Jersey Devils.

Scott Stevens of Devils delivered a massive open-ice hit on Ducks’ Paul Kariya. You can guess from the statement above what happened next.

 Paul Kariya laying motionless after the hit
Paul Kariya lying motionless after the hit (Source: Nbcsports.com)

The hit was so powerful that Kariya received a concussion. He was motionless on the ice for an extended period. However, Stevens did not suffer any penalty.

To everyone’s surprise, Kariya came back and returned to the game. Furthermore, he scored a goal and helped the Ducks to win the game with the lead of 4-1.

Kariya would, unfortunately, experience frequent concussion issues for the rest of his career.

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1. Scott Stevens on Eric Lindros

Our number 1 incident that takes the place of the top NHL hits is that of the Scott Stevens on Eric Lindros. It is not just us telling this; the hit is considered one of the hardest hits in hockey history.

In the seventh game of the 2000 Eastern Conference final, the New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia Flyers were facing off against each other.

Then Scot Stevens of Devils delivered a deadly shoulder check to Flyers’ Eric Lindros. After he had missed ten weeks of the action due to a concussion, Lindros was playing his second game.

Scott Stevens on Eric Lindros
Scott Stevens on Eric Lindros (Source: Google.com)

The hit made Lindros unconscious even before hitting the ice. For Stevens’ the hit was considered clean, and there was no penalty. Additionally, the incident made Stevens one of the most dangerous players in the NHL.

The hit was the eighth concussion Lindros suffered in his career. It is also said that the hit by Stevens was the main reason for his premature retirement from the sport.

Conclusion

Hits are common in NHL, but not all can be considered clean. Over the years, fans have seen many massive hits on the ice skating rink. Unfortunately, there have been many more incidents of big hits in the NHL.

Although various rules and measurements are taken to make the game safe, we will continue to see the players smashing onto one another in the sport.

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