10 Worst NHL Players to Interview

Steve Silverman@@profootballboyFeatured ColumnistAugust 10, 2012

10 Worst NHL Players to Interview

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    Once players reach the NHL, it's not just about going to practice, listening to the coach's strategy and playing games.

    There are other obligations as well. Including talking to the media before and after games. Some players do it better than others. Many enjoy the give-and-take with the press. Some do not.

    There are many reasons the interview process can suffer. A player may not be confident in his speaking ability. A player may not feel like talking after a tough loss. A player may have a thick foreign accent that makes him difficult to understand. And as difficult as it may be to believe, a reporter may actually ask a less-than-intelligent question.

    Whatever the reason, some interviews don't go well. That's being kind. Some may be awful.

    Here are 10 of the worst players to interview.

Maxim Lapierre, Vancouver Canucks

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    Maxim Lapierre often comes across as arrogant and nasty on the ice.

    He also does in interviews.

    Lapierre was criticized for taunting Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins during the 2011 Stanley Cup Final. When he was asked about it, he demonstrated his hostility and arrogance. He also had an undercurrent of dullness that he could not hide.

Mikael Samuelsson, Florida Panthers

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    We have to say it's based on his insecurity with the language. However, Mikael Samuelsson has never been a scintillating interview while playing for any of the six teams that have employed him during his NHL career.

    We're not saying he's not trying, but he's the master of one-word answers, mumblings and providing answers that are not germane to the subject and don't have any insight.

Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators

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    He may be one of the top three goalies in the league, but Pekka Rinne is probably one of the bottom three interviews in the league—especially after a loss.

    That may be the case with a lot of the league's goalies, but few can stammer and say nothing for 30-plus seconds in the manner of Rinne. He mumbles, stutters and offers nothing to the interviewers about the hockey game, the problems he faced or about the specifics of goaltending.

Martin Erat, Nashville Predators

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    If you fast forward this video to the 6:31 mark, you get to hear the remarkably dull and monotonous tones of Nashville Predators winger Martin Erat.

    While we admire Erat as a forward who will go hard to the net and make a play, he's not much when he gets in front of the pen and mic club.

    In addition to his incredibly dull delivery, he offers this memorable bit of insight on the Preds' offense. "We shot the puck, but it didn't go in." Thanks for explaining the obvious.

Logan Couture, San Jose Sharks

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    Couture often plays an exciting and hard-charging game on the ice. The 23-year-old from Guelph, Ontario is a hard-working lad who has exceeded the 30-goal mark in each of the last two seasons.

    However, he is an interviewer's nightmare in the locker room. He's a mumbler and a stumbler and his quotes offer no insight to what happened in the game. When it comes to his own contributions, he does not want to toot his own horn.

    While modesty can be a beneficial trait, it's not going to help the media or the fans who are interested in finding out what happened on a particular play.

    Couture needs to look his questioner in the eye, stop stammering and give a well-thought out answer.

Henrik Sedin, Vancouver Canucks

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    Henrik Sedin is one of the highest profile players in the NHL and one of the most creative from an offensive perspective.

    However, while he knows how to stand with a reporter in a two-shot, his responses are weak and ineffectual. When Sedin finished as the NHL's scoring leader at the conclusion of the 2009-10 season, his responses were dull, cliche-ridden and lacked insight.

    Again, there may be some degree of modesty, but viewers want to know what makes him the kind of player who can lead the league in scoring and what kind of emotions he is feeling, but he offers little to those who want to know.

Anttii Niemi, San Jose Sharks

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    The cultural difference between North American players and their Finnish counterparts is dramatic.

    In the interview above, San Jose goalie Anttii Niemi is talking to the press after a victory in which he played well.

    His tone and attitude is as pained as if he had to plan his own funeral. Niemi speaks in a flat tone and offers next to nothing in terms of insight as to why his team played well and defeated the Boston Bruins in a big game.

    Niemi shows almost no emotion in a game where he played at a very high level and had every reason to celebrate.

Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings

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    He is quite possibly the most exciting player in the league.

    When Pavel Datsyuk has the puck on his stick, the fans are not the only ones who are standing to see the moves he is about to string together.

    Teammates and opponents will stand at their own bench or at least focus in hard on him because they want to see what he will do next. They are rarely disappointed.

    Off the ice, Datsyuk often appears bored and disinterested when he has to answer questions. He's polite, but he does not have the kind of off-the-ice polish that would allow him to offer insight into his own magical play.

Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings

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    A loss is not the end of the world.

    Jonathan Quick certainly learned this by the conclusion of the 2011-12 season when he backstopped the Los Angeles Kings to the Stanley Cup championship and won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff's Most Valuable Player.

    However, after a regular-season loss, Quick acts as if his best friend in the world had passed away. One-word answers, no insight and acting as if it's painful to answer questions.

    That's not going to get it done.

Colton Orr, Toronto Maple Leafs

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    Colton Orr is one of the NHL's top-ranking tough guys. He manned that role for the Boston Bruins and the New York Rangers before moving on to the Maple Leafs.

    Orr throws punches with reckless intent and many hockey tough guys are far more insightful than you might think.

    Orr does not have an angry personality off the ice and even tries to cooperate with the media. However, he offers nothing of substance when he's asked about his pugilistic endeavors on the ice.

    Perhaps Orr is of the opinion that you don't talk about it, you just do it. Still, when questions are asked, he needs to be more upfront than he was in this interview with John Giannone.

Bonus Selection: Darryl Sutter, Los Angeles Kings

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    Darryl Sutter is part of the legendary Sutter family that has been in and around the NHL since Brian Sutter played his first NHL game with the St. Louis Blues in the 1976-77 season.

    The Sutter brothers are known for their hard edge, work ethic and ask-for-no-quarter, give-none style. That translates to conversations with the media. Especially Darryl.

    He will meet with the media and answer questions only because he has to. Any interview with sourpuss Darryl Sutter looks about as welcome as a trip to the dentist without Novocaine.

    Sutter comes across as a humorless individual. His Los Angeles Kings players certainly responded to him last year in winning their first Stanley Cup, but he'll make life miserable for them if they get off to a poor start.

    Hey, Darryl, pass those lemons.