The 10 Strangest Personalities in the NHL
The NHL may not boast the same kind of flamboyant personalities that are prevalent in the NBA and NFL, but that doesn't mean that the league doesn't contain some weird and funny dudes.
You'll be hard-pressed to find teammates throwing each other under the bus—OK, not that hard-pressed—and providing ESPN's daytime talk show hosts with ridiculous "he said, he said" fodder. However, there are still some interesting and hilarious folks that are in and around and involved with the NHL.
This list is in not all inclusive or comprehensive. If there is a guy that you think deserves to be here, post a link and we'll share a laugh.
Let's get Ilya Bryzgalov out of the way.
Bryz first made headlines as a strange character with his ramblings about the universe and what not on HBO's 24/7. He stole the show with his talks about how infinitesimally small our solar system is compared to the rest of the galaxy, but he turned out to be illegitimately interested in astrophysics.
During the lockout, he hung out at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center and even got to wear a space suit.
Ryan Miller is an anomaly in the hockey world because he actually speaks his mind. You don't get your typical hockey player non-speak when you ask him a question—and make sure the batteries in your recorder aren't dead if you're in the locker room after Miller has a bad night.
Take, for instance, the Milan Lucic incident, when the Buffalo Sabres netminder claimed that he stuck around just to tell Boston reporters exactly what he thought of the bruising forward.
When it comes to Russians that pretend to not understand English, they don't get any funnier than Pavel Datsyuk. His broken and rambling English is good for laughs alone, but the Detroit Red Wings forward has a hilarious personality to boot.
Brendan Shanahan may be known as the Banahammer these days, as he is in charge of suspending players for wrongdoings, but he used to be one of the best interviewees in the NHL. When he wasn't talking about how the coach wouldn't permit "sax before games," he was breaking hearts and faces as one of the league's best power forwards.
Shanny also had one of the more memorable goal songs when he played for the Detroit Red Wings. When he would score, Joe Louis Arena would pump up the volume with this little diddy.
There might not be an NHL player—former or present—that strives for the spotlight like Jeremy Roenick. When he was an active player, he would get into arguments with other large personalities like Patrick Roy, giving birth to the classic "rings plugging my ears" comment from Roy.
Trash talking is an art form. An art form that Ryan Kesler has perfected. He's one of the most talented agitators in the NHL and frequently goads opponents into taking bad penalties with his chirping.
There's another side to the competitive Kesler, though. The interview-bombing side.
He's a fan favorite with the Vancouver Canucks for his silly antics off the ice and makes newsreels whether or not he scores goals on the ice. Mostly because he manages to find his way into interviews that are being conducted with his teammates.
Chris Chelios may spend his free time showing current NHL stars how to go beast mode and play hockey until their mid-40s, but there was a time—a long, long time—when Chelios was one of the most outspoken people in hockey.
And we're not talking outspoken like Ryan Miller. We're talking about making passive-aggressive comments about commissioner Gary Bettman.
Chelios was also one of the best trash talkers ever, and he's known for driving men into a tizzy with his yapping.
There may not be a better interview in the NHL right now than John Tortorella. At least that's the case for journalists that have nothing better to do than wait around for one or two snide comments. Torts has become so notorious for his backhanded comments to the press that ESPN dedicated a top-10 to him and his sound bytes.
He'll also tell you exactly what he thinks about how his team is performing, which players aren't up to snuff and who his least favorite reporter is. It's Larry Brooks, in case you were wondering.
Twitter can make a normal person an overnight sensation, and that's pretty much what happened to Paul Bissonnette. He is an average hockey player that doesn't tend to stick out for offensive reasons. However, he did operate the most open and candid Twitter account in the NHL for a long while.
Biznasty became a must-follow for all hockey fans despite not being an All-Star. That was until he referred to Ilya Kovalchuk as a communist (per NBC Sports).
The man with the meanest mug in the NHL actually has a pretty hilarious personality.
Kevin Bieksa is one of the wittiest guys in the league and is always good for a jab or two during interviews. When he's not making sarcastic remarks to reporters and picking on his teammates, he spends part of his time as a security officer for the Vancouver Canucks.