Dany Heatley and the 20 Best Rock-Star Alter Egos in the NHL

Kevin W. Ryan@@kevry88Contributor IIIMarch 7, 2012

Dany Heatley and the 20 Best Rock-Star Alter Egos in the NHL

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    Hockey players are some of the biggest party animals this planet has to offer, as best showcased by last year's Stanley Cup Champions

    Aside from the Cup Champs, Sam Gagner's eight-point night earlier this month gives him the easiest pickup line for the babes in Edmonton.

    However, there is a strong difference between the best players this season and the best active players. Players like Milan Mahalek, James Neal and Scotty Hartnell are having fabulous years this year, but they are not even close to the top-20 players in the NHL today. 

    Here are the NHL's top 20 players with their respective rock-star alter egos.

    Unfortunately, Tim Thomas' Dixie Chick-esque presidential snub does not make the cut.

Joe Thornton (Eric Clapton)

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    Jumbo's game is silky smooth, and never out of line. He has exposed the uncanny ability to control the pace of the game since the trade to San Jose, where he was named team captain in 2010.  

    Joe's rock-star doppelganger can only be "Slow Hand" himself, Mr. Eric Clapton. Clapton's style purely reminds me of Joe's level of craft as a hockey player. When Joe receives the puck, its never certain whether he will skate around waiting for that perfect pass, or rip a snap top shelf next to the Johnnie Blue.

    Clapton, similarly, floats between slow and smooth string strokes with that occasional, face-melting shredding.  

Daniel Alfredsson (Frank Sinatra)

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    Alfredsson is perhaps the classiest player in the NHL today, much like my main man, the late Frank Sinatra.

    Frank was the King of Style in his day, along with the rest of the Rat Pack, and reminds me of none other than Sens long-time forward Daniel Alfredsson.

    Alfredsson's intro to the 2012 All-Star Game in Ottawa showed just how much the Swede is loved. 

Pavel Datsyuk (Barry White)

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    Pavel is a straight pimp on the ice, and his magician-like moves in Michigan only hint at how enjoying he is to watch.

    He is clearly the best two-way player in the game, but his handles with the puck are just pure "Oh-My-God" caliber—so it's only right that Barry White's baby-making music serves as the soundtrack. 

Zdeno Chara (Notorious BIG)

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    What does Chara sing every morning when he wakes up?

    "Ladies used to play Chara now they can't forget Chara now."

    I am falsely assuming Chara speaks in the third person, as I would if I were 6'9'' and the captain of the reigning Stanley Cup Champions. 

    All jokes aside, Chara has proven to be one of the best defenseman in the league, and along with his size, it's only perfectly fitting that his alter ego is Notorious BIG.

    What's also quite hilarious is that Chara was brought up on criminal charges for this hit on Max Pacioretty during their Stanley Cup run. Yeah, that makes sense Montreal.

    And leave it to Boston fans to one up hilarity, who notoriously and repeatedly whined to the NHL after their young, promising winger Nathan Horton was purely destroyed in the Stanley Cup Finals.

    Bostonians made it out to be Tony C all over again!  

Martin St. Louis (John Paul Jones)

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    Sweet St. Louis' speed at his age is remarkable. Aside from agility, his game is built on being a leader and it has allowed Marty to be one of the premier setup men in the game. 

    His similarity to John Paul Jones is uncanny due to the fact that both had remarkable talent that was overshadowed by teammates. St. Louis is most like Jones because when you talk Led Zeppelin, its Jimmy Paige, then Robert Plant. Only true rock fans bring up the other band members—John Paul Jones and John Bonham.

    Tampa Bay hockey is exactly the same way. Following a tough start, the Bolts had the leading scorer in Steven Stamkos—but found themselves near the bottom of the Eastern Conference for much of the first half of the season.

    Now, as Stamkos nears the 50-goal mark, the Bolts are making a late-season climb, trailing the eighth spot by just two points. 

    St. Louis leads his team with 39 assists this season, primarily directed leading scorer Steven Stamkos (47) and long-time band member Vincent Lecavalier—who hoisted Lord Stanley's Cup with St. Louis back in 2004.  

Nicklas Lidstrom (Van Morrison)

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    Lidstrom's mark will long live in history—as will my main man Van Morrison. Van had a strong passion for music as made clear by this fabulous story in Rolling Stone

    Nick Lidstrom assumed the incredibly pressured role as captain of the Detroit Red Wings, and never looked back. Lidstrom already had a Hall-of-Fame career before being named team captain in 2006—following Stevie Yzerman's NHL record of 20 straight seasons as a captain. 

    His game is so smooth, almost like a professor on the ice. Long live the Lidstrom Era.

Jonathan Quick (Elvis)

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    A one-man team calls for a one-man band —none other than the King himself. Without Quick between the pipes, the Kings would be scraping the bottom of the barrel in the Pacific Division. He is in the top three in goals against average, save percentage and shutouts this season and has been almost unbeatable in his career during the shootout.

Steven Stamkos (Aretha Franklin)

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    Homegirl has pipes, Stamkos has snipes

    Aside from obvious physical differences, Franklin is the Queen of Melisma. Stamkos plays the game in such a melismatic way, flowing through several defenders with ease and poise. Stamkos is only 22-years-old and has yet to even represent his country in the Olympics.

    Hockey fans are in for a treat as it's certain Stamkos is headed for a Hall-of-Fame career. 

Evgeni Malkin (Jimi Hendrix)

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    Malkin's game is so above and beyond anyone else in the league. There's only one rock star to have that type of lasting effect on music, the greatest guitarist of all-time—Jimi Hendrix. Hendrix expressed a unique, lyrical soul in his music with his a great voice and unmatched guitar solos.  

    Malkin plays the game extremely well on both sides of the rink and continues to blow minds, knifing through an entire roster of players here. Malkin is the likely MVP this season, though he trails Lightning sniper Steven Stamkos (a.k.a. Aretha Franklin) by nine goals.

Jonathan Toews (N.W.A.)

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    Captain Serious is all business, playing every shift like it's his last. Anyone who has actually listened to N.W.A. know that they were pioneers for hip hop/gangsta rap.

    N.W.A. and Toews are strikingly similar because of the rough, ruggedness they bring to their respective fields. Toews has so many outlets to cruise through his career with his unbelievable talent, well-paid contract and captain title in a true hockey town, yet all he truly cares about is winning, comin' straight outta Manitoba

Henrik Lundqvist (Chuck Berry)

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    Henrik has recently given back to the New York community by playing charity events with tennis legend John McEnroe (pictured). Hank has some talent with an axe in his hand, and perhaps a little bit more between the pipes. 

    Lundqvist currently leads the league in shutouts (eight), save percentage (.938), and is second to Brian Elliot in goals against average (1.82). 

    With the guitar in his hand off the ice, Henrik reminds me of the great Chuck Berry. That smooth, soulful style both share in their respective trade exploit passion while also showing everyone truly how much fun they have. 

    Chuck Berry has been coined as the "Ernest Hemingway of Rock & Roll" because his music, in essence, tells a short story with each note hit. 

Alex Ovechkin (Public Enemy)

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    Ovechkin is literally Public Enemy No. 1 in the NHL, to the point that it's almost as if he cannot silence any critics. Ovechkin's numbers are unreal for having only played about 500 games, yet because of those numbers, Caps fans and NHL "experts" expect him to deliver a Cup year after year. 

    Soon enough Public Enemy No. 1 will remind the greater NHL community why he was a No. 1 overall draft pick, hopefully terminating all negative criticism.

    Haters, refer.   

Claude Giroux (James Brown)

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    A guy I coined as “G-Sus” is the absolute definition of cool. 24/7 captures his unique style and attitude in fabulous fashion, proving to everyone just how great he is as a team leader. He centers one of the most powerful lines in the league, having vaulted Scotty H’s game to career levels while forming a hilarious bromance with Jaromir Jagr.  

    Giroux has an extremely unique confidence for such a young player. And lets be real—who is more cool than James Brown

Dany Heatley (David Lee Roth)

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    Heatley is arguably the second-most hated man in the NHL—classless, career-ending Todd Bertuzzi still stands tall at No. 1.

    The two-time 50-50 scorer demanded a trade out of Ottawa and rejected a trade to Edmonton, enraging hockey fans across Canada (and, uh, World War II Germany).

    Heatley's best possible rock-star alter ego is none other than former Van Halen lead singer David Lee Roth. Roth, like Heatley, was labeled as narcissistic after leaving Van Halen to pursue an individual career.

    Both have had minimal success in their most recent endeavor with the whole "Bluegrass Blues" butchering of the Van Halen, not to mention Heatley's struggling playoff career since the 2007 Cup appearance. 

    Long live Cabo Wabo.

Sidney Crosby (Kurt Cobain)

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    In what we can only hope is not an early end to a great career, the recently cleared Crosby has missed nearly the entirety of this season—a story that has been happily overshadowed by "Jimi Hendrix's" surreal play for the franchise. 

    Crosby was the most famous player in the league, especially when the media claimed him as a "rival" to Public Enemy No. 1 Alex Ovechkin. Crosby continued to one-up Ovi year after year, snagging a Stanley Cup and Olympic gold medal before Ovechkin.

    In fact, all 11 of Crosby's NHL records involve his remarkable play at such a young age. 

    In music, untimely deaths seem to occur too frequently. Kurt Cobain, and the rest of the "Infamous 17" rock stars to die at age 27, was marked as a "troubled genius" because his early career successes troubled Cobain mentally, ultimately leading to his suicidal death.      

    The Penguins captain will hopefully return to the first line soon, but with such cautious conditions at stake, only Crosby can dictate when that will be.   

Sedin Twins (Allman Brothers)

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    The Sedin twins are the best teammates in the NHL. Until the NHL implemented the fantasy draft at the All-Star Game, Daniel and Henrik had never suited up for opposing teams.

    The two flow so uniquely together on the ice, that only one band can serve as their soundtrack: The Allman Brothers.

Eric Karlsson (Justin Bieber)

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    Karlsson clearly matches up well with Justin Bieber's early career successes, however, the big difference is that Eric Karlsson is actually good at what he does.  

    Karlsson's almost Bobby Orr-esque style of defense has been the most promising of a teen since Nicklas Lidstrom started his lengthy career way back in 1987.  

Jaromir Jagr (The Beatles)

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    Jags now has a cool, clean cut look to himself (unfortunately he dumped that mop). Aside from Jagr's lack of effort toward the local barber, he has proven the best European-born player in NHL history.

    The best European-born band of all-time? The Beatles, of course.

    Long live the salute!  

Patrick Kane (Keith Richards)

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    Jonathan Toews' says it best in the 2011 version of Chicago's Most Wanted.

    Kane is notorious for his "lifestyle", as was the great Keith Richards. Richards and Kane would be a treat to party with together, along with my man HST and Tucker Max. Kane is an easy late addition to the masterpiece that is, the 25 Biggest Bros in Sports 

Jarome Iginla (Carlos Santana)

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    Iginla is one of the most underrated and under-appreciated talents in the game today. Aside from his 500 goals and insane double Gordie Howe hat trick, Iginla's lengthy loyalty to Flames Nation is remarkable.

    Iginla is one of the 26 players in the NHL born of black descent and the first to be named a team captain, boasting a unique Nigerian-Canadian mix.

    Iggy has served as a forward for the most dominant Olympic hockey program in history three consecutive trials, beginning with a Gold Medal in 2002, and another in 2010.

    The rock and roll legend most comparable to Iginla is Latin sensation Carlos Santana. Santana's unique style put Latin rock on the map. Santana has played shows with some of the most incredible rock guitarists in the world, including Jeff Beck, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Clapton, and of course there's Smooth, with Rob Thomas.  

    Don't be surprised if Iginla gets into the Hall of Fame as both an exceptional player, as well as a contributor. He's a bi-racial angel!