Toronto, ON If nobody hates you, you’re doing it wrong, then these hockey players are definitely doing something right! Whether they always know how to find the weak spot in the impenetrable fortress that is your home team’s goalie, or they are always finding new ways of sneaking in a dirty hit whenever the refs aren’t looking, these players definitely know how to get everyone talking, or should I say ranting. Any hockey player should feel honoured to be on this list, and see it as a measure of success for their already colourful NHL careers (with the exception of Bertuzzi and Cooke). Here are the results as voted by you! Enjoy!
#10 Todd Bertuzzi
Detroit Red Wings forward, Todd Bertuzzi, was always known as being an intimidating force on the ice, but no one knew just how terrifying he could be until March 8, 2004 – a day that will forever cast a very dark cloud over his career. During a game against Colorado, Bertuzzi grabbed Avs player, Steve Moore, by the jersey, and forced his face down on the ice. As a result, Moore fractured 3 vertebrea in his neck, suffered a concussion, and was in a neck brace for a year. Bertuzzi, then a Vancouver Canuck, served a 20 game suspension for this career-ending attack.
#9 Alex Burrows
Burrows is consistently a high scorer season in and season out for the Vancouver Canucks, and it seems as though things are only going to get better. It’s hard not to feel a little anxious when he’s on the ice during your team’s penalty kill. However, it’s not all fancy goals for this guy. In the summer of 2009, while participating in a hockey tournament, Burrows allegedly assaulted a 19 year old goaltender. Police arrived on the scene, but no arrests were made.
#8 Sean Avery
Although, Sean Avery’s professional hockey career is officially over, hockey fans still quiver at the memory of one of the NHL’s greatest all-time pests. Now following a new career path as an advertising executive in New York City, the professional hockey world will certainly notice the absence of classic Sean Avery antics. Whether you personally loved him or hated him, not many hockey players can brag about being the namesake for entries in the NHL rulebook, or being suspended from hockey for calling out a C-list celebrity. I don’t know about you, but I still have a problem taking Dion Phaneuf seriously.
#7 Jeremy Roenick
Jeremy Roenick was a clear fan favourite in any NHL community he called home during his storied career. With his larger than life personality, and points to back it up, that’s definitely no surprise. However, Roenick often finds himself in hot water with the larger all encompassing NHL community for making insensitive comments that never go over well. During the Lockout of ’04, Roenick verbally attacked NHL fans, stating that fans were jealous of the players (and their salaries). Most recently, in the months leading up to the 2012 American Presidential Election, Roenick tweeted publicly about his contempt for President Barack Obama.
#6 Scott Hartnell
What is it about Scott Hartnell that rubs fans the wrong way? In Philadelphia fans love him, and probably his 37 goals last season has a lot to do with that. But when Scott Hartnell and his often Geico caveman-esque mane flows into an enemy barn, I can definitely see how the crowd would be more than a bit pissed off when #19 still manages to score despite being often knocked on his ass.
#5 Brad Marchand
Marchand really came into his own in the 2010-11 NHL season, and was a key member of that Boston Bruins Championship squad. That being said, fans of enemy teams can’t help but tremble as they recognize that this young guy is going to being making fools of their goalies for many seasons to come. Apart from his successes on the ice, Marchand, or Honey Badger, enjoys moderate fame in the fashion community as well. He was listed as one of the Top 25 most Stylish Bostonians in 2011.
#4 Patrick Kaleta
Since he’s only the third Buffalo area native to lace ‘em up for the Sabres, it’s hard to hate a hometown hero like Patrick Kaleta. In his first game in the blue and gold, Kelata notched his first assist and first fight, and the penalty minutes haven’t stopped coming since. It’s easy to see how Kaleta would be a terrifying presence on the ice, but despite his rough and tough image, he still manages to be a favourite among female fans. He was voted the hottest Sabre of 2012 by Cosmopolitan magazine.
#3 Milan Lucic
Lucic is just another reason why the Boston Bruins may be one of the most hated teams in the NHL outside of Bruins territory. Whenever Lucic scores on the opposition, it stings just a little bit more give his expanding repertoire of dirty and illegal hits. Not one to shy away from throwing a punch when his opponent is down or otherwise being restrained by a referee, it is easy to see how both hockey fans and Ryan Miller think of him as “a gutless piece of shit.”
#2 Matt Cooke
Even long after his career is over, Matt Cooke will forever be remembered as being one of the dirtiest players in NHL history. Cooke’s legacy is paved with suspensions, dangerous hits to the head, and a heap of injured hockey players. In 2010, Marc Savard was unfit to dress for two months after taking a blow to the head from Cooke. The NHL was unable to issue a suspension, and the incident resulted in the League implementing policies to make hits to the head illegal.
#1 Raffi Torres
Whether it’s his “poor judgement” in deciding what to wear on Halloween, or the fact that he is STILL serving out his sentence after his ugly hit on superstar Marian Hossa during the 2011-12 Stanley Cup Playoffs, one thing’s for sure. Everyone hates Raffi Torres! Torres is definitely in a tough spot this season, as even his hometown fans are going to be slightly miffed at him for missing the vital first eight games of this condensed season. Every game counts, and as a result of his nastiness last season, Torres is currently doing nothing to contribute. On the bright side, Torres won’t have to worry about writer’s cramps for awhile, as I’m sure there isn’t much of a line up at his autograph table right now.
Honourable Mentions: Steve Ott, Alex Ovechkin, Dustin Brown, Maxim Lapierre, All-time Philadelphia Flyers, Sidney Crosby, Corey Perry, Dany Heatley, Zac Rinaldo, Nazem Kadri, Chris Pronger, Darcy Tucker, Mike Smith, Jordin Tootoo, P.K. Subban, and anyone whoever played for the Bruins.