Matt Cooke And 10 Worst Cheap Shot Artists In North American Sports History

Matt Cooke And 10 Worst Cheap Shot Artists In North American Sports History

Matt Cooke Minnesota Wild
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Matt Cooke's latest incident involving the Colorado Avalanche's Tyson Barrie got me thinking. Where does Cooke rank among the worst cheap shot artists in history? That doesn't just include the NHL, but other leagues as well. Take a look at the 10 worst cheap shot artists in the history of North American sports.

10. Jack Tatum

Oakland Raiders
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10. Jack Tatum

Oakland Raiders
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Nicknamed "The Assassin," Jack Tatum earned his spot on this list for two hits. The first came in Super Bowl XI when he hit Vikings receiver Sammy White, who was running across the middle of the field to receive a pass. Tatum's hit was so violent that White's helmet flew about 10 feet away. The second hit came the following preseason when he hit New England Patriots' receiver Darryl Stingley on a similar play. Stingley never walked again.

9. Ty Cobb

Ty Cobb
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9. Ty Cobb

Ty Cobb
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For how a great of a player he actually was, Ty Cobb was just as dirty. There are rumors that he would sharpen his spikes to inflict damage on the other teams players when he slid into bases spikes-up. There's so much that is unknown about Cobb, which is why he isn't higher on the list. Allegedly, he was hated by fans and other teams alike, and he was also known to be a racist.

8. Matt Cooke

Matt Cooke Pittsburgh Penguins
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8. Matt Cooke

Matt Cooke Pittsburgh Penguins
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Matt Cooke has been suspended on multiple occasions, but maybe his most notable hit came vs. then-Bruins forward Marc Savard. Cooke hit Savard square in the head with his shoulder as Savard was preparing to take the shot, giving him a concussion that ultimately cost Savard his career. Cooke's latest cheap shot was a blatant knee-to-knee hit that sidelined Tyson Barrie for 4-6 weeks.

7. Bobby Clarke

Bobby Clarke Philadelphia Flyers
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7. Bobby Clarke

Bobby Clarke Philadelphia Flyers
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There could be a list of just Philadelphia Flyers on here, but Bobby Clarke, the captain of the "Broad Street Bullies", certainly took liberties with the opposition because of guys like Dave Schultz and Bob Kelly protecting him. He would use his stick as a weapon. He would hook and slash players in the ankles and on the hands, and his most famous slash came in the 1972 Summit Series against the U.S.S.R. when he slashed Valeri Kharlamov.

6. Ulf Samuelsson

Ulf Samuelsson New York Rangers
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6. Ulf Samuelsson

Ulf Samuelsson New York Rangers
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With 2,453 penalty minutes, Ulf Samuelsson was one of the dirtiest players to ever play in the NHL. He truly impacted and ended careers, as evidenced by his hits on Pierre Mondou and Cam Neely. Mondou caught Samuelsson's stick in his eyeball, and it ended his career. Neely took a knee-on-knee hit that resulted in recurring knee issues for the rest of his career.

5. Bruce Bowen

Bruce Bowen San Antonio Spurs
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5. Bruce Bowen

Bruce Bowen San Antonio Spurs
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Bruce Bowen is as cheap a player as the NBA has ever seen. He was infamous for sticking his foot underneath shooters, causing them to twist or sprain their ankles. In the 2007 playoffs, he blatantly kneed Steve Nash in the groin. Bowen toed the line, and he often crossed it when he was playing.

4. Dale Hunter

Dale Hunter Washington Capital
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4. Dale Hunter

Dale Hunter Washington Capitals
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Dale Hunter isn't second all-time in penalty minutes for nothing. His most famous hit came against the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1993 Patrick Division semifinals, when he checked Pierre Turgeon in the head after a goal, causing him to miss the remainder of the playoffs. Hunter was suspended for 21 games for the hit.

3. Bill Laimbeer

Bill Laimbeer Detroit Pistons
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3. Bill Laimbeer

Bill Laimbeer Detroit Pistons
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He epitomized the "Bad Boy" Pistons. Seriously, how many fights did this guy get into? He took physicality to a completely different level. There were no such things as easy baskets and weak fouls with this guy. Laimbeer made sure that his opponents earned every point.

2. Chris Simon

Chris Simon New York Islanders
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2. Chris Simon

Chris Simon New York Islanders
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Chris Simon is no longer in the league, and that is probably a good thing. During his NHL career, he was suspended eight times for a grand total of 65 games. Two incidents stand out with him though. First, he took a swing with his stick toward the head of the Rangers' Ryan Hollweg. The other one came when he stomped on the leg of Jarkko Ruutu. Those two incidents alone cost him 55 games.

1. Conrad Dobler

Conrad Dobler Cardinals
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1. Conrad Dobler

Conrad Dobler Cardinals
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Conrad Dobler was named "Pro Football's Dirtiest Player" by Sports Illustrated in 1977. A right guard for the St. Louis Cardinals, Dobler quickly earned that title. Whether it was punching Joe Green, kicking Merlin Olsen, punching, biting and spitting on opponents, Dobler did whatever he could to get an advantage. And that's why he is No. 1 on this list.


Around the Web

  • William Head

    Tatum was mean. They didn’t call him the Assassin for nothing. But he wasn’t a dirty player, or a cheap shot artist. The truly scary thing is, the hits he put on people, even the hit he put on Darryl Stingley, were within the rules.

  • Me

    Marty McSorley(sp?) hit from behind when he sated againstColorado?

  • Eddie Fields

    Bad list with Suh.

  • timothy flanigan

    ulf samuelson way too low on this list.when someone would go after him he would just turtle to the ice acting like he was shot.in 1991 when he did that hit on neely the nhl was a joke of a league.it did not even protect it’s stars unless you were named wayne or mario.at the time of the hit neely was a true superstar.

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  • Steve Hill

    This is a phenomenally lazy, incomplete and by most measures, crap list. I’m sure that if certain relevant criteria and data was consistently applied over about 100 years of American team sports that it would look much different.

    • Farva55

      Gee, maybe they should have done a top 500 list of dirty players to satisfy you internet troll.

    • Farva55

      I’d also love to know why this is a crap list. I just went through it and guess what- all of these players ARE DIRTY.

      • Robert Wood

        Perhaps the fact that Dale Hunter’s hit against Pierre Turgeon was said to have occurred while playing the Philadelphia Flyers and not the New York Islanders would make someone think that this was a “crap list”…

  • Krish Kothari

    why the hell is ndmokong suh not here. sorry idk how to spell his name

    • WilliamFreimuth

      He had a couple of bad moments…..who doesn’t?
      The rest is just his phenomenal superiority makes him look like he’s playing dirty……while actually you’ve just never seen anyone that good.

  • Komit

    Laimbeer most hated yes i would agree with that but dirty bullshit. He was very physical and could strait psych his opp he took Ewing out of the payoffs mentally. Laimbeer #3 wow just wow phail.

  • http://www.sodahead.com/HankRockwellJr/ Hank Rockwell Jr

    I played against Dobler in college and never saw a nasty play from him. In fact, he was a good sport and worthy adversary.

    • Robert Wood

      Next time, let me know before you start dropping names. That one almost fell on my foot…

  • RobFromLoveland

    Certainly an interesting list, but there should be several more NFL players in the list. The one league where vicious cheap shots are highly praised by most of the broadcasters.

  • killjoyramp

    Mike Tyson ear chewing service.

  • maddog81

    You should really know what you’re talking about before you post a list like this: Tatum played in Oakland and Houston, your picture is of the LA Coliseum. Tatum’s hit on Sammy White was not even helmet-to-helmet, not only legal then, probably legal now under very stricter rules. The hit on Stingley took place two years after the play on White, was a tragedy, but then again did not even receive a penalty flag…