The 12 Most Hated Players in the NHL

Michael Stuart@HB_MikeStuartCorrespondent IJune 29, 2011

The 12 Most Hated Players in the NHL

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    The Stanley Cup Finals really showed fans that it was possible to hate a team, player or entire fanbase more than anything else in the world.

    The Canucks took so much heat for their on-ice antics and off-ice "arrogance" during the final.  It was really humorous to read and listen to some of the things that people were saying.

    As a Vancouver-ite myself, I can't help but support the hometown boys when the team is in the Finals.  Though a Los Angeles Kings fan at heart, there is always room to support the team that calls Vancouver home.  Was a lot of the hate born out of jealousy?  For sure.  Did people want their beloved NHL franchise to be in the Canucks' position?  Absolutely. 

    In honour of the massive amount of hatred sent towards the Vancouver Canucks, their fans and the city in general, I will take a look at the 12 most hated players currently playing in the National Hockey League.

No. 12: Steve Ott

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    Sure, people hate Steve Ott because he's a big pain to play against, and fans hate him because he gets their team's star players off their games. 

    In reality, it's the fact that he can do this and still hurt you on the score board as he did in the 2009-2010 season when he scored 22 goals. 

    Dallas considers him a leader while the rest of the league just calls him a real big pain whenever the Stars come into town.

No. 11: Dan Carcillo

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    I'm a little confused as to whether Dan Carcillo ever had any teeth near the front of his mouth.  If you have the answer to that question, please message me.

    Dan Carcillo is such a pest on the ice.  He didn't make huge headlines this past season as he has before with his dirty antics, but he was not forgotten.

    Opposing fans hate this guy because he plays the game with a really reckless style and it shows through when he goes around taking cheap shots on vulnerable players.

No. 10: Chris Pronger

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    Chris Pronger is hated because he is just that good and that cocky.  Have you ever heard a more entertaining interview?  Well, I suppose probably, but still, this guy is good. 

    Chris' cocky attitude really gets on the nerves of players and fans.  Everybody remembers the whole "puck stealing incident" against the Chicago Blackhawks. 

    Those little things combined with this guy's incredible skill level add up to a whole lot of hate.

No. 9: Brad Marchand

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    I had to throw this one in for the guys at home.  Brad Marchand has been called just about every name possible in the last few weeks.

    Fans of the Vancouver Canucks HATE this guy with a passion.  Whether it be his apparent apathy towards the game's code, as evidenced by his punching of Daniel Sedin, or his scoring prowess, this guy was hated to the extreme.

    Even though I'm a Kings fan, I really wasn't impressed by this guy's attitude during the Finals.  Then again, I'm not the guy who got to hold up the Stanley Cup.

No. 8: Jarkko Ruutu

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    Everybody loves it when Jarkko Ruutu smiles.  It's not because it's pretty, it's not because it makes you feel warm inside, it's because when he does, you know he's chirped someone pretty badly.

    I don't think this guy's mouth ever stops moving.  I'm sure it's enough to drive some players in the league absolutely nuts.  That's his job and he does it well.

    Jarkko has been involved in all sorts of controversy during his tenure (including a biting incident) in the NHL and I'm sure that's not going to change next season.

No. 7: Ryan Kesler

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    I've got to hand it to Ryan.  He really toned down his antics this season and it made him a much better hockey player.  That being said, you could tell that there is still a lot of hate built up for this guy around the league.

    Kesler is known for his chirping.  Everybody remembers the "Kelly" incident against St. Louis a few years back.  That was definitely not his finest moment. 

    A year ago, Kesler would have found himself much higher on this list.  If he keeps up this positive change, he may not be on it come next year.

No. 6: Dany Heatley

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    Something about Dany Heatley's attitude just doesn't seem right.  The way he handled the whole Ottawa situation was not very professional and ugly. 

    I think fans hate this guy because he exudes a cockiness yet he doesn't seem to show up in the playoffs.  He was absolutely invisible during the Conference Finals this past season. 


No. 5: Steve Downie

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    Steve Downie is just a dirty player.  There is no way around it.  He lays out hits that the NHL has said that it would like to get rid of.

    Downie's stats are rather inflated from playing with guys like Stamkos and St. Louis so that takes away from a lot of his antics.

    At the end of the day, he needs to clean up his game or he will find that opposing players will start dishing out their own form of justice.

No. 4: Maxim Lapierre

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    There's just something about this guy's stare.  He looks possessed or something.  It's really quite creepy if you ask me. 

    He is the king of chirping.  He is to chirping what Jerry Springer is to daytime television: simply the best.  There is no doubt that this guy can get under opposing players' skin and drive them crazy.

    He plays his role well and he was a nice signing for the Vancouver Canucks this past week.

No. 3: Sean Avery

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    Hold the phone!  If Sean Avery is at No. 3 on this list, that technically means that I believe that there are two more hated players in the league.  Who thought that day would ever come? 

    Sean's antics are well documented.  There was the whole Elisha Cuthbert thing with Dion Phaneuf, the dirty sucker punch of Ladislav Smid and then there was my personal favorite, the stick wagging in front of Marty Brodeur.

    This guy just doesn't know when to stop. 

No. 2: Alex Burrows

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    I don't think that a lot of the hate Alex Burrows gets is necessarily deserved.  He's a hard working guy who made it all the way from the East Coast League.  It's a pretty incredible story when you really look into it.

    People perceive him as a diver and a whiner and just about everything else you can think of a National Hockey League player.  Though, after it's all said and done, I believe any team would love to have a guy like Burrows who can score 30-plus goals per season and nauseate opponents. 

    He's a great teammate and the Vancouver fans love him.  I don't think the rest of the league will be getting on his bandwagon anytime soon though.

No. 1: Matt Cooke

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    I don't think "everyone loves the Cooker" anymore, Mr. Larscheid.  Unfortunately, Matt Cooke's stock has fallen in recent years.  He was always regarded as edgy and physical, but recently, he has crossed the line.

    Some of the hits that Cooke dishes out are downright awful.  Players don't want this type of guy in the league.  What's worse?  He's an absolute coward.  Show of hands, how many people loved watching this guy get drilled by Evander Kane?  If you haven't seen it, check it out on YouTube. 

    Cooke is really just a dirty player, and I hope that someone talks to him about changing the way he plays or he could get himself into a lot of trouble.