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NHL Power Rankings: Rating the Biggest Character on Each Team

Jim MancariCorrespondent IMay 22, 2011

NHL Power Rankings: Rating the Biggest Character on Each Team

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    TAMPA, FL - MAY 03:  Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals celebrates a goal by Mike Knuble #22 (not shown) at 59 seconds of the second period against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NHL Sta
    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    Hockey is a game chock full of the world’s best athletes.

    However, the game also includes some of the biggest characters in the sports world.

    Hockey players are a rare breed to begin with, but some players stand out based on their unique blend of personality and value to the team.

    Here is a power ranking of the biggest character on each NHL team.

30. Stephen Weiss, C, Florida Panthers

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    UNIONDALE, NY - FEBRUARY 21:  Stephen Weiss #9 of the Florida Panthers waits for a faceoff during an NHL hockey game against the New York Islanders at the Nassau Coliseum on February 21, 2011 in Uniondale, New York.  (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
    Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

    Stephen Weiss is the longest tenured Florida Panther.

    He was the team’s leading point scorer and serves as an alternate captain.

    Weiss also finished third on the Panthers in penalty minutes, so he’s not afraid to be an agitator.

29. Ed Jovanovski, D, Phoenix Coyotes

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    GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 25:   Ed Jovanovski #55 of the Phoenix Coyotes skates to the bench during the NHL game against the Edmonton Oilers at Jobing.com Arena on January 25, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona.  The Oilers defeated the Coyotes 4-3.  (Photo by Christ
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    A seasoned, well-decorated offensive-minded defenseman, Ed Jovanovski provides veteran leadership to the Phoenix Coyotes young squad.

    He was plagued by injury in the 2010-11 season but recorded over 25 assists in his previous three seasons.

    Jovanovski also provides strong, agitating defense, recording over 100 PIM's in the 2008-09 season.

    He played in his 1,000th game this season.

28. Joe Thornton, C, San Jose Sharks

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    VANCOUVER, CANADA - MAY 18:  Joe Thornton #19 of the San Jose Sharks lines up in the left wing position prior to a faceoff in Game Two of the Western Conference Finals against the Vancouver Canucks during the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Arena on M
    Harry How/Getty Images

    Joe Thornton is the Sharks’ captain, who is known for his high-intensity style of play.

    In 2003, he was accused of hitting two police officers. However, this incident happened while Thornton was coming to his brother’s aid.

    He takes his share of penalty minutes, but more importantly is a leader on a team that is battling for a Stanley Cup Finals berth.

27. Jordin Tootoo, RW, Nashville Predators

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    ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 15:  Jordin Tootoo #22 of the Nashville Predators skates against the Anaheim Ducks in Game Two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Honda Center on April 15, 2011 in Anaheim, California.
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Jordin Tootoo has gained a reputation of being a dirty player on the ice.

    He’s been suspended twice: March and October of 2007 for brutal on-ice incidents involving hits to the head.

    He began his career with three straight seasons of 100-plus penalty minutes.

26. Eric Staal, C, Carolina Hurricanes

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    BUFFALO, NY - MARCH 15: Eric Staal #12 of the Carolina Hurricanes streches during warm ups prior to play against the Buffalo Sabres at HSBC Arena on March 15, 2011 in Buffalo, New York. Carolina won 1-0.  (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
    Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    Eric Staal is simply a gamer.

    He’s played through injury and has set the tone for his younger teammates.

    He’s been the team’s captain for two seasons and has had his share of penalty minutes.

25. Bobby Ryan, LW, Anaheim Ducks

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    ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 15:  Bobby Ryan #9 of the Anaheim Ducks skates against the Nashville Predators in Game Two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Honda Center on April 15, 2011 in Anaheim, California.  (Pho
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Bobby Ryan is a good young goal scorer and a grinder.

    He plays hard, but his immaturity caught up with him in this year’s playoffs.

    Along the board, Ryan stomped on Nashville Predator Jonathan Blum’s ankle with his skate blade.

24. Todd Bertuzzi, RW, Detroit Red Wings

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    DETROIT - MAY 4: Todd Bertuzzi #44 of the Detroit Red Wings skates with the puck against the San Jose Sharks in Game Three of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs on May 4, 2011 at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan
    Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

    Todd Bertuzzi can certainly be considered a character based on his memorable sucker punch of Steve Moore.

    Back in 2006, Bertuzzi grabbed Moore from behind and delivered a haymaker right to the head.

    He’s learned his lesson since this incident but will always be remembered for it.

23. Cal Clutterbuck, RW, Minnesota Wild

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    ST PAUL, MN - MARCH 22:  Cal Clutterbuck #22 of the Minnesota Wild skates against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Xcel Energy Center on March 22, 2011 in St Paul, Minnesota.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    Cal Clutterbuck instantly became a fan favorite during the 2008 season for the Minnesota Wild.

    During that year, he broke the NHL record for hits in a season with 356.

    With his catchy name and creative facial hair, he’ll continue winning over fans in Minnesota.

22. Ales Hemsky, RW, Edmonton Oilers

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    COLUMBUS, OH - FEBRUARY 05: Ales Hemsky #83 of the Edmonton Oilers skates against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena on February 5, 2011 in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Ales Hemsky has been a true grinder for the Edmonton Oilers.

    He’s no stranger to missing time due to injury and has gained a reputation for being injury-prone.

    Oilers fans wish he could stay on the ice because he’s been so productive when healthy.

21. Rick Nash, RW, Columbus Blue Jackets

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    GLENDALE, AZ - MARCH 24:  Rick Nash #61 of the Columbus Blue Jackets during the NHL game against the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena on March 24, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona.  The Coyotes defeated the Blue Jackets 3-0.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Gett
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Though he plays on one of the lesser known NHL teams, Rick Nash is slowly making a name for himself.

    He’s put together four straight 30-plus goal seasons.

    He signed a big contract extension to remain the Blue Jackets and continue serving as their captain.

20. Kevin Westgarth, LW, Los Angeles Kings

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    PITTSBURGH, PA - FEBRUARY 10:  Kevin Westgarth #19 of the Los Angeles Kings mixes it up with Deryk Engelland #5 of the Pittsburgh Penguins at Consol Energy Center on February 10, 2011 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
    Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

    Kevin Westgarth’s second home is the penalty box.

    He’s been a bruiser since his college days at Princeton and racked up 105 penalty minutes in his first full season.

    In 14 AHL games in 2007, Westgarth tallied 44 PIM.

19. Raffi Torres, RW, Vancouver Canucks

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    VANCOUVER, CANADA - MAY 15:  Raffi Torres #13 of the Vancouver Canucks checks Marc-Edouard Vlasic #44 of the San Jose Sharks in Game One of the Western Conference Finals during the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Arena on May 15, 2011 in Vancouver, Br
    Rich Lam/Getty Images

    Raffi Torres has bounced around between five different teams during his seven-year career.

    During these years, he has developed a reputation as an enforcer.

    He was suspended for a hit on Jordan Eberle of the Edmonton Oilers this season and also laid a heavy hit on Brent Seabrook in the playoffs.

18. Jonathan Toews, C, Chicago Blackhawks

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    CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 24: Joanthan Toews #19 of the Chicago Blackhawks watches the replay board after a call against the Vancouver Canucks in Game Six of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the United Center on A
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Jonathan Toews has already accomplished so much during his NHL career.

    The 23-year-old is the youngest captain in the league and has already won a Stanley Cup.

    He’s a grinder that plays hard and is the type of player any general manager would love to build their team around.

17. David Clarkson, C, New Jersey Devils

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    NEWARK, NJ - APRIL 10: David Clarkson #23 of the New Jersey Devils skates against the Boston Bruins at the Prudential Center on April 10, 2011 in Newark, New Jersey.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    David Clarkson has become one of the more popular players in New Jersey due to his aggressive style of play.

    He’s an agitator who spends significant time in the penalty box.

    For the Albany River Rats in 2005-2006, Clarkson recorded an astounding 233 PIM.

16. Cody McLeod, LW, Colorado Avalanche

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    ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 5: Ryan Reaves #75 of the St. Louis Blues fights Cody McLeod #55 of the Colorado Avalanche at the Scottrade Center on April 5, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    Cody McLeod earned his character status in 2008 during a game in Detroit against the Red Wings.

    He picked up the traditional octopus that is thrown on the ice when the Red Wings score a goal, and threw it back into the stands.

    In addition to this incident, he spends a great deal of time in the penalty box for his aggressive style of play.

15. Ryan Miller, G, Buffalo Sabres

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    PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 26:  Ryan Miller #30 of the Buffalo Sabres reacts during their game against the Philadelphia Flyers in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center on April 26,
    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    Ryan Miller is joining the likes of Roberto Luongo and Henrik Lundqvist as the best goalies in the league.

    He’s become one of the leaders of a veteran Buffalo Sabres team, though he’s only played five full seasons.

    He is a dominant force in between the pipes and even isn’t afraid to knock players around in the crease. Just ask Matt Stajan.

14. Cam Janssen, RW, St. Louis Blues

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    UNIONDALE, NY - MARCH 05:  Cam Janssen #55 of the St. Louis Blues skates against the New York Islanders at the Nassau Coliseum on March 5, 2011 in Uniondale, New York.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    Cam Janssen is the definition of a hockey “goon.”

    He’s always instigating and agitating and has even injured himself in some of his fights.

    Ironically, he was dubbed as the “Four Minute Man” in 2009-2010. That year, he averaged as much ice time as penalty minutes per game.

13. Chris Neil, RW, Ottawa Senators

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    OTTAWA, CANADA - MARCH 15:  Chris Neil #25 of the Ottawa Senators gestures to the crowd after a fight with Deryk Engelland #5 of the Pittsburgh Penguins during a game at Scotiabank Place on March 15, 2011 in Ottawa, Canada.  (Photo by Phillip MacCallum/Ge
    Phillip MacCallum/Getty Images

    Chris Neal is also a goon.

    He’s served as the Ottawa Senators’ enforcer the last few years.

    Neal is not one for scoring a great deal of points, but he’ll make up for that by taking a boat load of penalty minutes.

12. Dustin Byfuglien, D, Atlanta Thrashers

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    ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 25:  Dustin Byfuglien #33 of the Atlanta Thrashers skates against the Vancouver Canucks at the Philips Arena on March 25, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    Dustin Byfuglien is known as “Big Buff” by his teammates.

    He’s a versatile athlete and has already won a Stanley Cup—2010 with the Chicago Blackhawks.

    He’s a very intense player with lots of grit and determination.

11. Colton Orr, RW, Toronto Maple Leafs

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    NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 19:  Colton Orr #28 of the Toronto Maple Leafs is flipped over by Kris Newbury #45 of the New York Rangers during the first period at Madison Square Garden on January 19, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    What do you get when you combine six points with 239 penalty minutes?

    You get Colton Orr’s 2009-2010 season. Though he may not score many points, his role on the team is as an enforcer.

    He’s been suspended twice in his career: once for a cross-check to Alex Ovechkin’s face and once for a knee-to-knee hit on Logan Couture.

10. Zenon Konopka, C, New York Islanders

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    UNIONDALE, NY - MARCH 24:  Zenon Konopka #28 of the New York Islanders is restrained by linesman Brian Murphy #93 during a fight in an NHL hockey game against the Atlanta Thrashers at the Nassau Coliseum on March 24, 2011 in Uniondale, New York.  (Photo b
    Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

    Zenon Konopka led the NHL with 307 PIM this season.

    He’s bounced around the league and has brought his prowess for starting fights with him to each stop.

    He’s a typical fourth line center and enforcer.

9. Steve Downie, RW, Tampa Bay Lightning

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    BOSTON, MA - MAY 14:  Steve Downie #9 of the Tampa Bay Lightning falls to the ice against the Boston Bruins in Game One of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden on May 14, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Phot
    Mike Stobe/Getty Images

    Steve Downie is known for his intense style of play.

    Unfortunately for him, it has landed him with multiple suspensions, including two 20-game suspensions.

    He slashed a referee in the AHL and has been known to leave his skates during checks.

8. Steve Ott, C, Dallas Stars

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 02:  Steve Ott #29 of the Dallas Stars skates against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on April 2, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Steve Ott is listed as No. 3 on The Sports Network’s top-10 agitators of all time.

    He’s always ready to drop the gloves to give his team some motivation.

    He’s been suspended several times for some brutal hits, including an eye-gouging hit on Travis Moen.

7. Maxime Talbot, C, Pittsburgh Penguins

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    TAMPA, FL - APRIL 25: Maxime Talbot #25 of the Pittsburgh Penguins has a disagreement with Teddy Purcell #16 of the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the St. Pete Times Foru
    Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images

    Maxime Talbot is a true character.

    He once wore teammate Sidney Crosby’s jersey during a practice to confuse the crowd in Toronto.

    Talbot has appeared in multiple television commercials and even called out Alex Ovechkin for being a “real douche.”

6. Jarome Iginla, RW, Calgary Flames

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    SAN JOSE, CA - MARCH 23:  Jarome Iginla #12 of the Calgary Flames in action against the San Jose Sharks at the HP Pavilion on March 23, 2011 in San Jose, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Jarome Iginla is on this list for a different reason that being a goon.

    Iginla is an intense player on the ice but is a fun-loving character off the ice.

    He is always present at community events and donates $2,000 for each goal he scores.

    He is also a spokesman for Scotiabank and Samsung Canada, so his face is widely recognized.

5. Chris Pronger, D, Philadelphia Flyers

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    PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 30: Chris Pronger #20 of the Philadelphia Flyers hits Zdeno Chara #33 of the Boston Bruins in Game One of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Wells Fargo Center on April 30, 2011 in Ph
    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    Chris Pronger is a larger-than-life figure, standing at 6’6”, 220 pounds.

    He’s been in the league forever and has been a physical presence his entire career.

    He joins Jean-Sebastien Giguere as the only two former Hartford Whalers still active in the NHL.

4. Milan Lucic, LW, Boston Bruins

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    TAMPA, FL - MAY 19:  Milan Lucic #17 of the Boston Bruins talks to referee Steve Kozari #40 in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at St Pete Times Forum on May 19, 2011 in T
    Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images

    Milan Lucic is known for his physical style of play.

    He’s an animated player that has had several on-ice incidents that have added to his tenacity.

    While he’s been suspended and fined for some of his action including an obscene gesture to the Atlanta Thrashers fans, he’s been a vital part of the Boston Bruins success this year.

3. P.K. Subban, D, Montreal Canadiens

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    MONTREAL, CANADA - APRIL 21:  P.K. Subban #76 of the Montreal Canadiens skates up ice with the puck in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Boston Bruins during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Bell Centre on April 21, 201
    Phillip MacCallum/Getty Images

    P.K. Subban is one of the most intense players in the game today.

    He has a fiery attitude, despite his relatively small body type for a defenseman.

    Twice during this year’s playoffs, he memorably chest bumped Montreal Canadiens’ goaltender Carey Price after scoring the game-winning goal.

2. Sean Avery, LW, New York Rangers

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    NEW YORK - MARCH 06:  Sean Avery #16 of the New York Rangers celebrates a goal that was called back against the Philadelphia Flyers during their game on March 6, 2011 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Sean Avery of the New York Rangers has built his reputation around instigating other players.

    Few games go by without him dropping his gloves and spending time in the penalty box.

    He has undergone anger management treatment and structured counseling.

    He memorably disputed with Devils goalie Martin Brodeur during the 2008 playoffs. In fact, the NHL instituted a new rule called the “Sean Avery rule” in which a player cannot turn his back on the play and wave his stick in front of the goalie.

1. Alex Ovechkin, LW, Washington Capitals

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    TAMPA, FL - MAY 03: Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals scores a power play goal at 17:27 of the second period against the Tampa Bay Lightning and is joined by Mike Green #52 in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NHL S
    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    Every time Alex Ovechkin scores a goal, you’d think that he never scored before.

    His emotional celebrations have added to his character.

    While he is a goal-scoring machine, he’s also known for his sometimes reckless style of play. He’s been suspended twice for on-ice incidents.

    His charismatic personality and obnoxious comments have allowed him to top the list of the NHL’s biggest characters.

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