5 Dirtiest Players In Detroit Red Wings History

By Josh VanDyke

5 Dirtiest Players In Detroit Red Wings History

Niklas Kronwall
Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Red Wings are one of the oldest franchises in the NHL as part of the Original Six that formed the NHL in 1917. In that time, the Red Wings fielded their fair share of grinders, goons, and goal-scorers. Let's take a look at the five dirtiest players to ever wear the winged-wheel.

5. Darren McCarty

Darren McCarty of the Detroit Red Wings prepares for action against the Pittsburgh Penguins during game one of the 2008 NHL Stanley Cup Finals
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5. Darren McCarty

Darren McCarty of the Detroit Red Wings prepares for action against the Pittsburgh Penguins during game one of the 2008 NHL Stanley Cup Finals
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Darren McCarty played for the Detroit Red Wings from 1992-2003 and the 2008-09 season. McCarty was known as a grinder who wasn't afraid to let his fists do the talking. He finished his career ranked sixth in team history in penalty minutes with 1,302 and will be revered in Red Wings glory for the time he beat up Claude Lemieux of the Colorado Avalanche in 1997 and Lemieux turtled on the ice in fear.

4. Todd Bertuzzi

Todd Bertuzzi
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4. Todd Bertuzzi

Todd Bertuzzi
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Todd Bertuzzi only played six seasons with the Red Wings and was a powerful presence on the ice at 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds. While Bertuzzi wasn't a dirty player during his time in Detroit, his infamous fight with Steve Moore will probably taint his post-career legacy. While with the Vancouver Canucks, Bertuzzi punched Moore from behind during a 2003 game and the shot knocked Moore unconscious and ultimately ended Moore's career.

3. Niklas Kronwall

Niklas Kronwall of the Red Wings skates down the ice during a 2014 game
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3. Niklas Kronwall

Niklas Kronwall of the Red Wings skates down the ice during a 2014 game
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Niklas Kronwall has been an offensive-minded defenseman for the Detroit Red Wings for 15 seasons, but might be known more for his crushing defensive hits than his powerful slapshot. During the 2009 Western Conference Finals against the Chicago Blackhawks, Kronwall leveled Martin Havlat which coined the term "Kronwalled". While Red Wings fans enjoy the physical play, many opposing fans, coaches and players view his hits as borderline dirty plays.

2. Gordie Howe

Gordie Howe
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2. Gordie Howe

Gordie Howe
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Gordie Howe is universally considered one of the greatest hockey players of all-time (his nickname is Mr. Hockey for crying out loud), but he is also well-known for his excessively high elbows. Howe got away with it most of the time by exaggerating his skating stride and swinging his elbows wildly. Howe is the organization's all-time leader in games played, goals, and points, but also ranks third in penalty minutes with 1,643.

1. Bob Probert

Bob Probert of the Detroit Red Wings stretches before practice with a black eye and stitches
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1. Bob Probert

Bob Probert of the Detroit Red Wings stretches before practice with a black eye and stitches
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If there's anyone who epitomizes an old-school enforcer, its Bob Probert. A member of the aptly named "Bruise Brothers" with teammate Joey Kocur, Probert got in numerous memorable fights with other tough guys such as Kevin MaGuire, Wendal Clark, Tie Domi, and Marty McSorley. Probert ranks fifth all-time in NHL history with 3,300 penalty minutes and is the Red Wings' leader with 2,090 penalty minutes in only nine seasons with the team.

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