NHL’s Most Hated Players

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.

-A. Kam

 

Reference:

https://www.hockey-reference.com

Flames on Fire

The Calgary Flames have been putting in the work this off-season and it just might pay off.  Over the last few seasons the Flames have been “that close” to a phenomenal team that can compete in the post season.   They’ve struggled to maintain an offensive force and were in need of consistent defensemen in front of their netminders.  With the additions of Noah Hanifin and Elias Lindholm from the Carolina Huricanes and some veterans in the league, they have taken a major step in filling the holes throughout the lineup.

Noah Hanifin was drafted in 2015 by the Hurricanes after completing only one season at Boston College under the best coach in collegiate ice hockey, Jerry York.  At BC he played in 37 of 38 games with 5 goals, 18 assists, and a +12 rating.  The Golden Eagles finished second in the Hockey East that year.  Following his collegiate success, Hanifin was the only defensemen in his draft class to start the season that same year in the NHL.  This past season was, offensively, his best yet with 10 goals and 22 assists.  He definitely needs to improve on his +/- rating this year with Calgary in order to make a difference.  However, giving him the benefit of the doubt as I did with Skinner in a prior post, the entire Hurricanes lineup struggles to keep the puck out of the net and Hanifin’s rating at least shows he received a lot of ice time.

Elias Lindholm has 188 points in 374 career games.  He’s a young, strong center with a lot of potential.  It might have been a risky move for the Flames to sign him to such a big deal, but I believe it will pay off for them.  The other big addition the Flames have made this summer is signing James Neal.  The Hurricanes are the fifth organization he will be a part of in the league.  Neal is a dependent, passionate winger with a lot of playoff experience.  He just might be the perfect line mate for Lindholm or is he going to be the third with Monahan and Gaudreau?

A re-signing that the Flames hope will pay off for them in the long run is their goaltender Mike Smith.  He won 25 of his 55 starts this past season with a .916 save percentage.  Goaltending has been an issue for the Flames over the last few years, hopefully Smith can change that this upcoming season.

 

References:

https://www.nhl.com/player/noah-hanifin-8478396

https://www.nhl.com/player/elias-lindholm-8477496

https://www.nhl.com/player/james-neal-8471707

https://www.hockey-reference.com/players/s/smithmi01.html