Raffi Torres is repeatedly reprehensible; therefore, is not worthy of a “love to hate” status among NHL fans. To fall under that category is a genuine privilege that makes sense in a sport that brilliantly blends grit with glamour.
Accordingly, the love-to-hate crowd is reserved for players who are habitually on an edge, but rarely play over it, and who often put their skill sets to positive use for their team. Incidentally, when they do that, it just irks opposing audiences all the more after they percolated some punishment or inflicted some irritation.
It is that fruitful physical force which allows the individuals in question to pull polarized crowds through the turnstiles and draw masses of viewers to a TV screen. If those viewers are not with them, they are eagerly against them and ready to enjoy rooting for them and their team to fall short.
The best bunch of current NHLers who sustain that serve as catalysts in healthy rivalries are as follows. “Dirty dozen” may be a strong turn of phrase, but these 12 definitely bring a decent helping of spice to the ice.