The 5 Biggest Villains in Recent Detroit Red Wings History
Detroit Red Wings fans, like other hockey fans, just downright don't like some players.
Some players are hated because they're talented and beat Detroit, but other players are downright nasty and vile. These players made the NHL on their ability to both play on the edge and get under the skin of the opposition.
When talking about the worst of these players, there are a few that immediately come to the mind of Red Wings' fans and players alike.
Here are the five biggest villains in the recent history of the Detroit Red Wings.
Honorable Mention (for the Wrong Reasons): Sidney Crosby
Sidney Crosby is not a "villain" in the context of this slideshow.
Red Wings fans can feel free to detest him as a person, a player and anything else that can be thought of in that regard.
But Crosby is not a villain, contrary to the views of many misinformed Red Wings' fans.
5. Chris Pronger
It's really almost a no-brainer to put Chris Pronger on this list of "villains." No, he never really seriously injured someone, but it is all about appearance and how a player appears to a fan base.
Pronger gets the short end of that appearance stick with Detroit Red Wings fans 10 times out of 10.
This is mostly because of hits like the video above, but also because of his reputation as a player that was incredibly hard to play against, constantly living on an edge.
Pronger clocks in at the No. 5 spot for his years of playing for the conference rival to the Red Wings on the St. Louis Blues, Edmonton Oilers and Anaheim Ducks. His ability to be a pest as well as an extremely difficult player to play against brings him onto this "villain" list.
4. Tie Domi
Tie Domi had over 3,500 penalty minutes in the NHL and a fair number of those came against Detroit.
Domi and Bob Probert had it out for each other for the majority of the games they played against each other.
Domi had a handful of fights against the Red Wings in the early 1990s, with the majority of those coming against Probert. Although Probert was the guy to beat in terms of fights in the 1980s and early 1990s, Domi's willingness to stand up against "Probie" and take a beating earned him a role as a pest.
When Domi later came back to the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Detroit Red Wings were still in the Leafs' division.
Things sometimes get heated between divisional rivals and Domi only exaggerated any divisional confrontations between the Leafs and Red Wings that previously existed.
3. Shea Weber
Or Shea Weber smash.
Whatever fans want to call it will not change the force and the impact of the hit Shea Weber put on Henrik Zetterberg's head.
According to Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press, the force was so hard Zetterberg's helmet actually split in two following the helmet hitting the boards.
Of course it didn't help that Detroit and Nashville were division rivals or that the Predators won Game 1 of that series, took the series in five games (Nashville's first ever series win over the Red Wings) and Weber was not suspended for the hit.
While the Red Wings are no longer division rivals with the Predators, Weber is and should be still considered to be a villain as far as Red Wings' recent history is concerned.
2. Patrick Roy
Montreal gave up what would be the second-most decorated goaltender of all time and got little in return.
Roy fought two Red Wings' goaltenders (once against Chris Osgood and once against Mike Vernon) in his time with his new team, the Colorado Avalanche. Roy would have fought a third Red Wings' goalie in Dominik Hasek, but Hasek slipped going into Roy's crease.
Roy has made a name for himself against Detroit and will be coaching the Colorado Avalanche this coming season.
Expect the Red Wings' fans to give Roy a chorus of boos when the Avs visit the Red Wings this season.
1. Claude Lemieux
The above video is just something that decent hockey players don't do.
Claude Lemieux is not a decent hockey player. In fact, as a result of the hit in the video above, Kris Draper broke his nose, jaw and cheek bones as well as sustained a concussion.
But really, it was just one hit, so why the "villain" title for Mr. Lemieux?
Well, as it turns out, despite Lemieux's turtle job after Darren McCarty pounded him into the ground, Red Wings fans still have long memories.
Lemieux was named the most hated athlete in Michigan in a recent poll in the Detroit Free Press.
"The Turtle" has forever cemented his name as a hated player in Michigan due to that hit and the fact he was on two different Stanley Cup winning teams that defeated the Detroit Red Wings.
He easily claims the No. 1 spot on this list.
All statistics via NHL.com unless otherwise noted.