Top 10 most heinous on-ice acts of 2015 (Puck Daddy Year in Hockey)

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Josh Cooper
Puck Daddy Year In Review
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(Puck Daddy presents its annual look back at the year in hockey. Check back every day through the New Year for our many lists and hot takes.) 

Hockey is a violent sport. At the NHL level, there’s an entire department dedicated to policing the game through suspensions and fines.

This past season, the league's Department of Player Safety saw quite a few rough acts by players through bodychecks or stick work. There were also several plays in other leagues that were both ferocious and anger driven.

We tried to pare down some of hockey’s most vehement plays of the past year.

Here are the Top 10 Heinous On-Ice Acts of 2015. Please list anyone we missed, or your own list, in the comments!

10. Brandon Prust spears Brad Marchand in the groin area

In a game between the Vancouver Canucks and Boston Bruins on Dec. 6, Brandon Prust speared Brad Marchand in an area that Marchand later called his “fun spot.” Prust received a 10-minute misconduct and was fined $5,000 for the act by the NHL.

9. Ilya Kovalchuk slash on Alexander Radulov in the Gagarin Cup playoffs

The two former NHL stars faced off against one another in the Gagarin Cup’s conference Final last season where Kovalchuk took a whack at the back of Radulov’s leg. Radulov ended up being OK, but called Kovalchuk “psycho” for the slash.

8. Andrew Conboy’s crosscheck to the face

Conboy was suspended 20 games for the below play with the Elmira Jackals where he crosschecked another player in the face. As we noted in our blog about the incident, Conboy had a bit of a rap sheet, going all the way back to Michigan State in 2009. He’s also served suspensions on a different continent, having three with the Cardiff Devils in a stint with the EIHL.

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7. Tyler Shedrake assaults a linesman 

On Feb. 14, Shedrake was suspended for the remainder of the SPHL season for the below incident.

At 10:42 of the third period, Sheldrake was assessed minor penalties for cross checking and roughing and a match penalty for attempt to injure whereby he punched a defenseless player who he had cross-checked to the ice in the face, then pulled him up off the ice in an attempt to fight the Peoria player.  Furthermore, he struck a linesman several times, causing injury, then forcefully took the official to the ice in his attempt to get at the opposing players and continue the altercation.

6. Daniel Carcillo’s crosscheck of Mathieu Perreault 

The whistle had blown the play dead in a Jan.16 game between the Chicago Blackhawks and Winnipeg Jets. And Chicago forward Daniel Carcillo decided to crosscheck a relaxed Mathieu Perreault in the arm. Perreault was out from the Jan. 16 contest until Jan. 27 at the Penguins. Carcillo was suspended six games. On the play, Carcillo received a two minute minor for crosschecking. 

5. Dustin Byfuglien on J.T. Miller

Late in the Winnipeg Jets’ season, defenseman Dustin Byfuglien crosschecked the head/neck area of New York Rangers forward J.T. Miller. Winnipeg had five games left in the year and was pushing for a playoff spot – their first since the team was the Atlanta Thrashers. Byfuglien got four games, and Miller escaped serious injury. Byfuglien was not penalized on the play. 

4. Joe Grimaldi spears Maxime Lengelier-Parent and then throws a helmet at him.

Grimaldi (who played for Edinburgh of the EIHL) unleashed a high hit at Evan Mosey of Nottingham. He was then was challenged by Lengelier-Parent, and responded by spearing Lengelier-Parent. Grimaldi then threw a helmet before Lengelier-Parent took down Grimaldi. After the game, Edinburgh released Grimaldi from his contract.

3. Zac Rinaldo’s high hit of Kris Letang

On Jan. 20 in a game between the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins, Flyers forward Zac Rinaldo hit into Pittsburgh defenseman Kris Letang high along the boards. Letang had his back turned to Rinaldo and didn’t see the hit coming. Rinaldo spoke about the play after it happened and even admitted he thought he was going to be suspended. Rinaldo got an eight-game ban for the play. He also received a major penalty for boarding. 

2. Raffi Torres’ 41-game suspension for high hit of Jakob Silfverberg

Torres sat out all of the 2014-15 season because of an ACL injury. After a high hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg in the preseason, he was forced to sit 41 more games. Following the completion of this 41-game suspension, Torres will have sat out a total of 74 games in his NHL career. This includes a 21-game ban from a hit on Marian Hossa in the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.  

1. Andre Deveaux’s on-ice attack 

Last March, Deveaux – who was playing for Rogle of Sweden’s HockeyAllSvenskan – slashed Vasteras defenseman Per Helmersson during warmups before a playoff game. Both players played the final two playoff games, and Helmersson was not injured. After the series, video of the attack surfaced, Rogle moved to terminate Deveaux’s contract. Authorities sought the arrest of Deveaux. Deveaux was banned by the Swedish Hockey Association until Feb. 16. Eventually authorities decided to drop their investigation into the attack. 

Tomorrow: Top 10 Hockey Photos of 2015

Previously on the Year in Hockey 2015:

Top 10 players of 2015

Top 10 hockey people of 2015

Top 10 social media moments of 2015

Top 10 most shocking transactions of 2015 

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