NHL Power Rankings: 20 Players You Hate, but Would Love to Have on Your Team
When it comes down to the players with the bad reputations in the league, as much as they might not be respected, they still manage to produce impressive numbers and influence their team enough to make other fan bases envious.
Here is my list of the 20 players in the NHL that most fan bases hate, but simultaneously want to play for their own team.
Keep in mind that making this list it requires for players to be at least widely disliked, but also, even more importantly, to be a strong enough player to defy their reputations and be a strong player for their team.
20. Steve Ott: Dallas Stars
Jump starting our list is the alternate captain of the Dallas Stars, Steve Ott, known throughout the league for his willingness to take the penalties, earning him a rep as both an enforcer and a gritty, aggressive player.
Ott also contributes offensively to the Stars with 32 points last season, making him an important asset to the shutdown line in Dallas. Ott is both a hard-nosed player, and a solid asset to the Stars, making him number 20 on our list.
19. Martin St. Louis: Tampa Bay Lightning
Following Steve Ott, we couldn't have a much better opposite than Martin St. Louis of the Tampa Bay Lightning. St. Louis might look a little odd on this list, however allow me to explain.
St. Louis is one of the fastest players in the entire NHL, making him insanely irritating to play against and incredibly difficult to defend. With his unparalleled speed, he is a lethal scorer for the Lightning, tallying 99 points last season.
In short, any fan base would love to give St. Louis a new home, however so long as they play against him, he continues to frustrate teams all over the league.
18. Tomas Holmstrom: Detroit Red Wings
Tomas Holmstrom is on this list because he is an absolute animal in front of the opponent's goaltender, making him one of the best players in the NHL when it comes to screening.
Holmstrom absolutely pays the price for planting himself in front of the other team's net minder, and doubles as an impressive offensive force with 37 points scored in 73 games played last season.
This Detroit forward is insanely irritating to play against because he is consistently positioned in front of the goalie, making him number 18 on our list of players you want on your team, but hate to play against.
17. Henrik Lundqvist: New York Rangers
The first goalie on our list is Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers who lands in the 17th spot simply because he is often very frustrating to try and score against.
Lundqvist pretty much personifies what this list showcases because he is irritating for the opponents, making the 29 other teams and fan bases dislike him, however he is an absolute blessing and one of the fan favorites for the Ranger followers.
16. Ryan Getzlaf: Anaheim Ducks
Let's try to keep this slide short. Ryan Getzlaf is a tough guy with a bit of a temper, no one can deny that, and the physical edge that he brings to his game can really rub a lot of people the wrong way.
Coupled with his size and grit, the stick handling skills that Getzlaf possesses are some of the best in the league, helping him to a total of 76 points in 67 games played in the 2010-2011 season.
The Anaheim captain is absolutely a player who opponents don't want to face off against, but he's a fan favorite among the Duck fan base because of his sweet hands.
15. Rick Nash: Columbus Blue Jackets
Captain Rick Nash of the Columbus Blue Jackets is number 15 on our list of players who most hate, but still want on their team. Nash is on here, not for his grit, but for the fact that he irritates the opponents to no end.
Rick Nash has a lot going in his favor including his size, his skating ability, and his stick handling skills, making him an absolutely lethal scorer, with 32 goals in 75 games this previous season.
Nash is frustrating to opponents because he can burn most defenders in the game, but at the same time he is the best in Columbus making most of the people who hate him just jealous.
14. Shea Weber: Nashville Predators
The central player on the Nashville Predators' defense is Shea Weber, who is a key force on the powerful roster of blue liners who are talented enough to shut down even the most powerful offenses in the league.
Shea Weber is a defender who rarely makes an error or gives up a legitimate scoring chance, yet he still managed to tally 48 points in 82 games played this past season.
Weber, who is just 25 years old, is a frustrating defender to try and score against, but no one can say that he wouldn't be an amazing addition to any lineup in the league.
13. Roberto Luongo: Vancouver Canucks
Vancouver's star goaltender, Roberto Luongo, has always been one of the most consistently strong goaltenders in the NHL throughout his career, making him a nightmare to try and slip a puck past.
Luongo had a pretty spectacular regular season with a 2.11 goals against average and .928 save percentage in 60 games this past season.
This star goaltender has continued to frustrate opponents well into the post-season with Vancouver currently facing off against the Boston Bruins for the Stanley Cup.
12. Alexander Semin: Washington Capitals
When it comes to irritating forwards, Ovechkin's line mate, Alexander Semin is one of the main ones who comes to mind pretty quickly.
Semin has the abilities as a skater and a shooter to irk his opponents when he manages to pick apart even the most talented defenders.
Semin is also not afraid to taunt or egg opponents on if it means that he might help his team to the man advantage for a couple minutes. All in all Semin is a player that most other teams dislike, but fans would love to see in their teams' sweater.
11. Miikka Kiprusoff: Calgary Flames
For a team that sometimes loses it's way, like the Calgary Flames, they often rely on goaltenders in order to steal a game time and again, and when push comes to shove, Miikka Kiprusoff does just that.
The Calgary goaltender has the talent to keep Calgary in the race for the win night after night, and steal games once in a while, making him an amazingly irritating guy to see between the pipes.
For the Flames, Kiprusoff is nothing shy of a blessing, however for all the other teams, he's an irritating goalie to try and score on.
10. Joe Thornton: San Jose Sharks
Very few can say that there is a grittier forward in the NHL today aside from Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks.
Thornton brings an aggressive edge to his game, similar to that of Southern California rival, Ryan Getzlaf, and is even more irritating for opponents with his experience and proven stick handling and skating skills.
The muscular forward has worked to be a force both on the offense, and on the back check making him lethal to opponents on either side of the ice, but twice as valuable to the San Jose roster.
9. Tim Thomas: Boston Bruins
Arguably the best goaltender in the game today is Tim Thomas, who is currently still working to backstop his team, the Boston Bruins, to a Stanley Cup Championship.
Thomas is noteworthy as an unbelievable goaltender who frustrates shooters every game with some unfathomable saves.
Yet this acrobatic net minder also has a bit of a temper, and gets emotional when the game is tilted in the opponent's favor, and isn't afraid to physically lash out against players as a result.
As much as he has that temper, Thomas managed to set a new record for the best regular season save percentage, making him an important member of his team, and a player who, although many hate, many want on their teams.
8. Jarome Iginla: Calgary Flames
Jarome Iginla of the Calgary Flames is an agitator. Not because he is a gritty or borderline dirty player, but instead because he is simply unstoppable. Iginla has tallied a minimum of 25 goals in each of the past 12 seasons, clearing the 50-goal plateau twice.
When a team is preparing to face off against the Calgary Flames, Jarome Iginla is the man to shut down, or at least try to shut down.
The 34-year-old right winger has a magic knack for scoring goals, putting him on many peoples' hit lists, yet he is a beloved member of the Flames, and, of course, any franchise that is lucky enough to house Iginla in the future will be nothing short of grateful.
7. Johan Franzen: Detroit Red Wings
Detroit's muslce-man, Johan Franzen, is an absolute animal, who is simply stronger than most of the other guys in the league, making him a difficult player to play against.
The 6'3", 218-pound right wing is next to impossible to move once he parks himself in front of a goaltender, making him both a fabulous screen, and an absolute agitator of the goalies.
This Red Wing forward not only irritates goalies, but also tends to frustrate coaches who are forced to break up their standard defensive pairings to work their two best or strongest blue liners while Franzen is out for Detroit.
In general, Franzen is a nightmare for opponents, but nothing short of a dream for the Red Wings.
6. Alexander Ovechkin: Washington Capitals
Where do you start with a player like Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals? Between his insane skill, size, grit, aggression, reputation and ego, Ovechkin is absolutely a player that many hate to want.
The Capitals' captain has gained the reputation as one that dishes out a few cheap shots, and whether you believe it or not, no one could honestly say they would pass up the chance to bring him to their team.
His eccentric goal celebrations have earned him a rep of being arrogant and egotistical too, however just like I mentioned before, whether you hate him or love him, he's an absolute asset to any team he plays for.
5. Zdeno Chara: Boston Bruins
Zdeno Chara, who stands at 6'9 tall and weighs in at 255 pounds, is known around the league as a dirty player. In Chara's defense, if you were 6'9" you would probably go around elbowing people in the head too, even incidentally.
The Boston Bruins' defender is a force to be reckoned with especially after tallying 44 points in 81 games played this past season, earning him a spot in our fifth seat.
Chara is a notoriously dirty player, but as long as you're sporting the same jersey, there's much less to worry about.
4. Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin: Vancouver Canucks
For the Vancouver Canucks, when the Sedin twins hit the ice, it normally spells a time for double the pleasure.
On the flip side, the opponents see the Swedish twins more as double trouble. Henrik and Daniel Sedin are notorious around the league for their unparalleled chemistry, their show stopping stick handling skills, and their questionable practices, including many borderline dives.
The Sedin brothers are undoubtedly strong hockey players, and two key components of the Canucks' lineup, and they would absolutely be welcomed additions to any hockey club.
However they still manage to irritate their opponents with the questionable dives, and how untouchable they are with their ability to spin off hits better than any other pair in the NHL.
3. Corey Perry: Anaheim Ducks
This season's Rocket Richard Trophy winner, Corey Perry, was the lone 50-goal-scorer in the NHL in the 2010-2011 season. Perry absolutely knows how to dig his way under the opponent's skin in oh so many ways.
This young Duck forward has some of the sweetest hands in the league, and has proven that he knows how to use those weapons to his advantage. Yet his hands aren't the only weapons he has.
Perry is a pretty vocal player, including some unruly trash talking that has made him pretty unpopular in the league, and led to some pretty strong anti-Perry sentiments, yet with his skill set, no one can claim they wouldn't want him on their team.
2. Chris Pronger: Philadelphia Flyers
Let’s all be honest, unless Chris Pronger is defending your net, and breaking a sweat in your team’s jersey, you never really look forward to facing off against him.
Pronger is notorious around the league, especially with the fans, for his reputation as a dirty player, making him both an intimidating force to go up against, and a valued member of the roster he plays for.
Pronger is a defensive force, one that completely carries the Flyers blue liner lineup when needed, and one that no one really wants to show down with, making him our second most hated player who I want on my team.
1. Sidney Crosby: Pittsburgh Penguins
Regardless of how much people can hate Crosby, calling him a crybaby or a wimp, or anything else in the book, no one can deny he is talented.
Granted it doesn't help his defense when he is out for months after a concussion but Penguin fans overlook the flaws, and hone in on how strong of a player he truly is.
As the youngest captain to hoist the Stanley Cup, no one can say that he isn’t an asset to every team he is on, and its very probable that hates him that much more simply because he will probably never dawn another sweater aside from Pittsburgh’s.
So aside from all of the other strikes against Sid the Kid, add a level of jealousy and bingo, Crosby is the most hated player that everyone wants to represent their city.