The scariest players in NHL history and why players feared them

The Halloween season is here and the NHL is not in action due to COVID-19. Still, there are plenty of hockey players over the years that have terrified fans and most importantly opponents. Let’s take a look at them.

Scariest NHL Players: Bob Probert

If you are going to compile a list of some of the scariest players to ever play in the NHL, it starts with Bob Probert. It could also possibly end there but that wouldn’t be much of an article now would it.

“Probie” as he was known was a beast of a player and probably the greatest enforcer this league has ever seen. At 6-3″ and 225 pounds, he was an intimidating figure. Back that up with over 230 fights in his 16 year NHL career and you have terror personified.

Here’s the thing about Probert, he was a good hockey player. In 1987-88 he scored 29 goals and 62 points in 74 games. That was also the year he set a career high in penalty minutes for a single season with 398. All in all, when Probert was done he chalked up 3300 PIMs.

Scariest NHL Players: Joey Kocur

If you think it was scary to play the Detroit Red Wings because of Bob Probert, they also had an enforcer by the name of Joey Kocur too. The 6-2″ behemoth weighed 220 lbs and knew how to put it behind his right fist.

scariest nhl players
Joey Kocur was a scary man (Getty Images)

I have to be honest with you, if not for Probert’s reputation, Kocur probably should be number one. His right hand broke orbital bones regularly as his 2519 PIMs attest. Legitimately the best knockout puncher the NHL has ever seen, or will ever see.

NHL Scariest Players: Dave Tiger Williams

Tiger Williams was a mad man. He is the all-time leader in PIMs with 3971. Everyone wants to talk about Wayne Gretzky’s records that may never be broken, well there is no safer record in NHL history than Williams as the all time PIM leader.

By the way, Williams could play hockey too. He scored 513 points in 962 games. Not bad for a guy only recognized for fighting and losing his mind on the ice.

Scariest NHL Players: Dave ‘The Hammer” Schultz

Compared to Probert, Williams, and Kocur, Dave Schultz’s 130 fights seems paltry. However during the heyday of the Broad Street Bullies this man terrorized the NHL. With 2922 PIMs to his name, he certainly was the scariest Flyers member.

To be honest, I am not sure Schultz was playing with all his marbles to begin with. This was one of the scariest human beings to ever lace up skates and was an inspiration for Hollywood characters like the Hanson Brothers and Ogie Olglethorpe from Slapshots.

NHL Scariest Players: Dale Hunter

Not all hockey players are scary because of what they can do with their fists. Some are just plain old cheap shot artists and Dale Hunter was the king. It really isn’t an honorable legacy if we are being honest. Yes, he was a good hockey player and one of the toughest to play against as his 3565 PIMs will attest (2nd all-time). However, his reputation is tarnished for a series of notable cheap shots that embarrass the game of hockey.