The 13 Biggest Brats in the NHL

Robert WoodCorrespondent IApril 13, 2012

The 13 Biggest Brats in the NHL

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    Hockey has a long, colorful history of "pests".  But the individuals on this list are best described as "brats".  These 12 players and one coach are whiny, annoying, obnoxious and abrasive.  And they usually get their way. 

    So without further delay, here is my all-star team of agitators.  

13. John Tortorella, New York Rangers

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    What better coach to lead this bratty bunch than John Tortorella?  He is the winningest American-born coach in NHL history.  He is also the whiniest American-born coach in NHL history.  He has so many angry responses for the referees and the media that his nickname should be "Re-Torts".  

12. Sean Avery, New York Rangers

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    Sean Avery had to be on this list, so I made him the honorary captain.  The notorious pest played his final NHL game in December and officially announced his retirement in March.  During his career, Avery did whatever it took to get under the opponent's skin, including non-stop trash talking, waving his arms in the goalie's face, and sucker punching an opposing player to start a full-scale brawl.  He also did a sloppy job of insulting his ex-girlfriend and another hockey player during an interview, drawing a fine and suspension from commissioner Gary Bettman in a matter of seconds.  

    He will be missed.  

11. Ryan Miller, Buffalo Sabres

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    Miller's calling card is to be a brat in front of the camera, preferring to whine, complain and insult only after he leaves the ice. However, his attention-grabbing comments regarding Brooks Laich and the Washington Capitals' drive to the playoffs came back to haunt him.  

10. Jeff Skinner, Carolina Hurricanes.

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    The diminutive forward was surprisingly short-tempered this season and turned into quite the little agitator.

    He probably got fed up with everyone reminding him that he was a figure skater. 

9. Mike Ribeiro, Dallas Stars

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    The biggest mouth in the NHL talks before, during and after the game.  He even chirps during the shootout.  

    After making the goalie look ridiculous, of course.  

8. Dwayne Roloson, Tampa Bay Lightning

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    That's right.  I just called a 42-year-old a brat.  But he becomes easily agitated, frequently spars with opponents and chews the referee's ear off.  Sounds like a brat to me. 

7. Ryan Clowe, San Jose Sharks

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    An expert agitator, Clowe's finest hour came in the second to last game of this year's regular season, when he played the puck while on the bench and somehow got away with it. He then completely denied the incident when asked about it after the game.  A bratty masterpiece.  

6. Maxime Talbot, Philadelphia Flyers

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    A new uniform saw Maxi pad his status as one of the biggest brats in the state of Pennsylvania—and the entire NHL.  Hopefully, Talbot will not sign with one of the two teams participating in next year's Winter Classic.  Two years of listening to Talbot on HBO's "24/7" is two years too many. 

5. Steve Downie, Colorado Avalanche

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    The temper in Tampa is now a pest in the West.  Steve Downie has a whole new conference to annoy.  If any Western Conference players would like to earn their first fight in the NHL, Downie will be happy to oblige.  

4. Alex Burrows, Vancouver Canucks

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    I reserve a special spot on this list for someone who bites another player's finger in the middle of a game.  

    Burrows scored extra points by doing it in the Stanley Cup Finals.  

3. PK Subban, Montreal Canadiens

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    Fans love to boo him, players love to hate him.  And the man named after a TV character loves every minute of it. 

    Subban had four different altercations during practice this season, and one of the fights was with an assistant coach. That's worth serious bonus points.  

2. Brad Marchand, Boston Bruins

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    I think "The Little Ball of Hate" is a big enough brat to have earned his own nickname by now.  Pat Verbeek should come take his nickname back.  

    And then give Brad Marchand a face wash.  

1. Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins

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    Who else did you think I would pick to lead this team?  Captain Criesby was ordained as the NHL's Golden Child, but he has tarnished his reputation with constant whining, passive aggressive comments to the media and smacking, spearing and slashing his opponents while his black-and-white-striped friends aren't paying attention.  Plus, The Gripe One doesn't like it when fans throw hats on the ice.  

    Unless they're for His Whininess, that is.