Every sport has their heroes and villains both on and off the field/court/ice. More often than not, the heroes and villains are also the sports’ superstars and/or one and the same. Let’s look at one example in Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins. He is a hero in Pittsburgh, leading the team to three Stanley Cup victories during his captaincy thus far. He is a superstar in the NHL being the recipient of 2 Art Ross trophies, 2 Harts, 3 Ted Lindsey awards, 2 Maurice Richard trophies, and 2 Conn Smythes. Crosby also ranks highly on the list of NHL’s most hated players due to his success, game play, and “cry baby” antics. Superstars tend to be in the media constantly which draws more attention to their mistakes and mishaps, such as Crosby slashing off Methot’s finger, or more recently Malkin taking batting practice with Raffl’s head. If Tanner Pearson would have committed either offense, most people would be like “who?” and then not care after the sentencing occurred instead of bringing it up time and time again.
Other heroes, superstars, and villains in the league that hold at least one of those titles include:
Alexander Ovechkin, enough said.
Brad Marchand, I mean who licks opponents just to do it?!
Tom Wilson, his suspension history is reason enough.
Ryan Reaves, is a bully really a bully if they’re bullying a bully?
P.K. Subban, he’s at the middle of all the dramatics and theatrics but yet he’s always the innocent one.
Drew Doughty, his play is as unruly as his hair.
Evgeni Malkin, don’t poke the Russian bear.
TJ Oshie, he skates a fine line between playing hard and playing dirty.
Corey Perry, he’s an accomplished aggravator.
James Neal, same as Oshie with questionable hits and actions.
Ryan Kesler, he plays a big game and talks a bigger one.
Antoine Roussel, he plays a physical game with a short fuse.
Andrew Shaw, described as dirty, reckless, and dangerous with cheap plays and one-liners.
Milan Lucic, credited as a protector of his teammates and takes on fights and penalties so they don’t have to.
Zac Rinaldo, known for his head-hunting abilities who loves a short 5-game vacation and takes them frequently.
Scott Hartnell, mostly when he was with the Flyers and Blue Jackets. He’s kind of dropped off the radar since then.
Many say Matthew Tkachuk, but I believe Brady Tkachuk will quickly replace his brother on these lists.
They say if you have haters, then you must be doing something right. I would say that if you have haters based on your performance and successes on the field/court/ice then you must be doing something right.
Did I miss anyone who deserves to be on the list? If so, reply in the comments with your additions, deletions, and opinions!
Thanks for reading! Keep it classy JMSO followers.