The 2009 NHL playoffs will showcase players who echo past stars celebrated for their toughness. No one embodied that attribute more than Mr. Hockey. The Hall of Famer suffered a skull fracture in 1950 but played for a record 26 NHL seasons, scoring 801 goals and 1,850 points while winning six MVP awards and four Stanley Cups. A ''Gordie Howe Hat Trick'' is his signature goal, assist and fight in the same game.
Red Wings' defenseman Chris Chelios still plays a vital if limited role at age 47 in his 25th NHL season. No blueliner has skated in more games (1,644) than Chelios, who's been known to dish a little punishment while winning three Stanley Cups and three Norris Trophies.
Photo: Tony Triolo/SI, Elsa/Getty Images/NHLI