December is now here which means we are getting closer and closer to Christmas. Last Christmas I wished for the Vancouver Canucks to win the Stanley Cup. Unfortunately, Santa decided to only give me 93.7% of that gift leaving myself and Vancouver one game short of our biggest dream. Instead when I got home after that very heartbreaking night, I found a small piece of coal underneath my Canuck pillow. At first I thought the tooth fairy was playing some kind of sick trick on me. Then slowly I realised that maybe, just maybe it could be Santa signalling to me that I was just placed on his naughty list. I guess me flashing the cameras at the penalty box was “naughty” – just kidding.
With Christmas just around the corner, which NHLers will be on Santa’s naughty list? Here I bring you the top ten naughtiest players and why.
10. Corey Perry – Anaheim Ducks
Last season he won the Hart Memorial Trophy and the Rocket Richard Trophy. Corey Perry loves getting under his opponents skin by means of trash talking, slashes, spears, and even through amusing threats. During an episode of MIC’D UP, Corey Perry was heard threatening Datsyuk (see video above): “hey, tell Samuelsson he’s gonna get it. You better tell him. Hey Pavol, you better tell him, you’re gonna get it too!” Last season he got many pucks past numerous goaltenders. But how did he go from 27 goals in 2010 to 50 goals in 2011? Yes he did breakout and have a great season along side Ryan Getzlaf and Bobby Ryan, however, that wasn’t the only reason. There was a contributing factor when it came to scoring on Nashville’s goaltender Pekka Rinne. Corey Perry was seen spearing Pekka Rinne’s groin, a gutless and cowardly move. Was he trying to distract Pekka Rinne? Or was he just being typical Corey Perry? Either way, he is number 10 (complete coincidence) on this year’s naughty list.
9. Matt Cooke –Pittsburgh Penguins
Everybody knows who Matt Cooke is, and on TheCanuckWay he is familiar territory. Matt Cooke has been consistently deemed one of the dirtiest players in the NHL because of his blindside hits and headshots. His worst incident is his hit to the head of Boston Bruin’s Marc Savard causing a severe concussion, which will likely end his career. A new rule was created because of this hit some call it the “Matt Cooke Rule.” But this did not stop Matt Cooke. March 21st 2011 he was suspended 10 regular season games AND the entire first round of the playoffs for his elbow to the head of Ranger’s Ryan McDonagh. Afterwards Matt Cooke announced that he “understand[s] more so now than ever, that [he] needs to change.” At the time him changing seemed as doubtful as Manny Malholtra returning to the Canuck’s line-up. As we all know, Manny Malholtra made an inspiring comeback into the Canuck’s line-up. He wasn’t necessarily good, but it’s the return that counts, right? So far this season Matt Cooke has also done the very doubtful, he has reinvented his game to play a more clean style of hockey with aggressive forechecking, tough penalty killing, and a goal here and there, which we all witnessed that at our home opener. Matt Cooke’s reinvention of his style of play is a great sign for the NHL if he can keep up his clean play. But until next year, he remains on the naughty list at number 9.
8. Ryan Kesler –Vancouver Canucks
Last season if someone asked you which Canuck player would be the most likely to do a naked photo for ESPN, 95% of people would have said “Ryan Kesler, hands down.” I think the only thing that shocked us is how disturbingly creepy the photo was. As creepy as it is, it still gave all of Vancouver some good laughs, including many of his teammates. When asked if his photo was photo shopped, Ryan Kesler claimed it was “all natural.” He also called his teammates “jealous” when he was ridiculed. Ryan Kesler is also known for sometimes letting his tongue slip, such as when he said he “hate[s]”Canada. I can understand if he does after losing the gold medal game in Vancouver, and losing game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals in Vancouver. But it’s something that Ryan Kesler should simply keep to himself; does the Selke winner really need more media attention? Ryan, your naked picture may be “all natural” just like your exceptional talent, but it’s your arrogance that puts you as number 8 on the naughty list.
7. Sean Avery –New York Rangers
Sean Avery is best known for his feud with Martin Brodeur, one of the greatest goaltenders of all time. During a Rangers and Devils playoff series Avery waived his stick and his hands in front of Brodeur’s face at the net in order to distract him and block his view from the play. His actions were classified as unsportsmanlike which now results in a minor penalty calling it, “the Sean Avery” rule. At the end of the series Rangers won 4-1. During the traditional handshakes Brodeur was the only New Jersey Devil that refused to shake Avery’s hand. Could you really blame him? After this incident Avery called Brodeur a “fatso” during a live interview. Avery, that may have been acceptable in a Bantam league, but not in the NHL. Avery also had controversial remarks towards Flames’ Dion Phaneuf (dating Avery’s ex girlfriend). In the dressing room prior to a game in Calgary Avery called the reporters over announcing that he wished to make a statement. He remarked, “I just want to comment on how it’s become like a common thing in the NHL for guys to fall in love with my sloppy seconds.” News flash Avery, everyone is somebody’s sloppy seconds whether you wish to believe it or not. Sean, it is your classless and vain personality that puts you at number 7 on the naughty list.
6. Brad Marchand –Boston Bruins
Let me start this off with saying how hilarious it was when it was announced that Brad Marchand’s tattoo was misspelled and read “Stanley Cup Champians.” What kind of cheap tattoo parlour did he go to? Brad Marchand was also seen at numerous bars and clubs throughout Boston partying often very intoxicated and in limited clothing. A bit over the top I must say, and that’s not just because I’m a envious Canuck fan. I think the picture explains enough.
5. P.K Subban –Montreal Canadiens
P.K. Subban is even more conceited than Ryan Kesler and Sean Avery combin-ed. The better he gets (I do admit he is a great player) the more attitude he has. Last season P.K. was benched for not playing a team game and being a selfish overconfident player. He is also known to not respect the veteran players, not a smart move considering young players are mentored by the veterans. Sorry P.K. but until you learn how to respect those around you and play a team game you are number 5 on the naughty list.
4. Alex Burrows/Maxim Lapierre –Vancouver Canucks
During the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs Alex Burrows intentionally bit the finger of Bruin’s Patrice Bergeron. That was a first. Throughout the series Burrows and Maxim Lapierre were constantly taunting the Bruins players by sticking out their fingers after the Bruins complained about Burrows’ actions. Amusing yet also childish. Not only are both of these players trash talkers, divers, and pests, but they both consistently complain about refereeing. More specifically Alex Burrows who addressed the media after a game against the Nashville Predators where he had three penalties and a game misconduct. Burrows explained that the referee who made all the calls against him was getting back at him for making him “look bad” previously. Burrows exclaimed that the referee threatened him during warm-up by saying “I’m going to get you back tonight.” But was that remark really made? Perhaps we may never know. Alex and Maxim, you bit your way up to number 4 on the naughty list.
3. Patrick Kane –Chicago Blackhawks
When you take a cab, do you tip the driver? I’m a college student struggling to get hours at my retail job yet I still spare a few extra bucks for cab drivers. However Patrick Kane, an NHL superstar making millions could not depart with 20 cents for a tip, during an incident Summer of 2009. Patrick Kane faced assault charges for punching the cab driver. All for just 20 cents, to this day I do not understand how this incident could ever have happened. I wonder what kind of cheap date Kane takes girls on. Lets give it a try:
1. He meets his date on bus and tries to get away with paying the student fare.
2. After a half hour bus ride which would have been 5 minutes by car, they stop for dinner at a McDonalds.
3. Instead of waiting in line, Kane pulls out his Stanley Cup ring and says “I’m Patrick Kane” and prances to the front of the line.
4. Kane insists his date gets a happy meal and he orders off the everyday value menu. He asks for the happy meal toy.
5. After a lovely dinner Kane decides to play in the McDonald’s play place. Unfortunately his date gets kicked out for being too tall. Kane continues for 20 minutes until he realises his date has left.
Patrick Kane you are number 3 on the naughty list, sorry but this doesn’t call for a shirtless limo celebration with unattractive girls.
2. James Wisniewski –
New York Islanders Montreal Canadiens Columbus Blue Jackets
James Wisniewski as a player can be described as a mix between Matt Cooke and Sean Avery: violent and obscene. Not only does he have more suspensions than goals in his NHL career but he is known as a rental player: a player who jumps from team to team. Wisniewski even hit former teammate and good friend Brent Seabrook by bashing his head against the glass. That’s almost as bad as giving your own brother a severe concussion, right Eric? James Wisniewski sunk too low when he made an obscene homophobic gesture towards pest Ranger’s Sean Avery. It may have provided some laughs to viewers including myself however, such a gesture on a nationally broadcast program is inappropriate and frowned upon. James Wisniewski you are number 2 on the naughty list. Be careful or next year you’ll be number one. Don’t blow it.
1. Tim Thomas –Boston Bruins
Tim Thomas ruined the hopes and dreams of the young and the old throughout the city of Vancouver. He stopped too many shots and poke-checked away Vancouver’s long awaited parade. He even shutout the fans of seeing one last goal in the last game that meant everything. He flashed his glove at the Vancouver crowd with sheer arrogance. He ruined Vancouver’s identity and created an angry crowd that blew up cars, smashed windows, and fought the police. Not to mention he stole the Vezina trophy from our beloved Roberto Luongo. But why Tim? We will never know, and this is why he is number 1 on the naughty list.
I know what you’re thinking… but this is a Canuck website, what do you expect? It’s only December after all.
With Christmas just around the corner, Santa is checking his list and he is checking it twice. Who would be on your NHL naughty list and why? Comment below! Follow us on Twitter @TheCanuckWay