The NHL is a tough guy's sport. It's a physical game, where in general, fighting is allowed. Such a sport obviously produces a lot of guys with a "bad boy" image.
There are plenty of players that have reputations in the league as "bad boys," either for what they do on or off the ice.
Despite their reputations, many of these bad boys are actually quite likeable away from the rink, believe it or not. And some are pests most of the time, but have their likeable moments.
Here are some current NHL bad boys that you can't help but like sometimes, or most of the time.
Aside from Pittsburgh Penguins Matt Cooke, Sean Avery is probably the most hated player in the NHL: by both fans and by other players.
Even his own team tires of his antics sometimes.
And if those aren't enough to provide amusement, there's always Avery's second career.
Additionally, this summer, Avery appeared in a New Yorkers for Marriage Equality PSA, which drew some criticism, but for the most part, made a lot of people see Avery in a different light.
It's hard to swallow, but sometimes, you can't help but like Sean Avery.
Around the league, Daniel Carcillo is regarded as somewhat of a pest. He played for the Philadelphia Flyers, which might have contributed to that reputation, but it looks as if he'd like to continue that reputation over to his new gig with the Chicago Blackhawks.
Carcillo is a pretty amusing guy though.
That's just one example of Carcillo's personality, which is actually pretty likeable. You wouldn't know it from his personality on the ice.
Shawn Thornton is the enforcer of the Boston Bruins and across the league has a reputation for it.
Besides being the team's tough guy, Thornton is also really entertaining. Thornton often has really amusing things to say, which has spawned a website to keep track of them.
If you just know Thornton as the Bruins enforcer, then you probably don't like him.
However, if you follow or listen to anything Thornton says off the ice, you know that he's a pretty likeable guy.
Paul Bissonnette is a self-acclaimed fourth liner, who spends most of his time on the bench. When he does play, Bissonnette generally gets into fights.
This, and his tattoos, might give him the "bad boy" image.
However, Bissonnette, or more affectionately, BizNasty, is a very amusing and actually very caring guy. He's partnered with Sauce Hockey to help generate funds to help the homeless.
Plus, his tweets will have you rolling on the floor.
Alexandre Burrows of the Vancouver Canucks has a bad boy image, particularly after biting the finger of Patrice Bergeron in the playoffs.
He's also known for his proclivity for chirping on the ice.
Chris Pronger is a player that pretty much everyone dislikes, including his opponents, until he plays for their team.
The most likeable part of Pronger (unless he plays for your team, which is then the fact that he's a great defenseman) is his interaction with the media.
Patrick Kane is another strong personality in the NHL; the type of confident personality that many dislike because they view it as being cocky.
Another incident that didn't help his bad boy image was the cab incident that dubbed him "20 Cent."
Alex Ovechkin is one of the most conflicting players in the NHL. On the one hand, he's beloved for his personality and talent.
On the other hand, he's routinely criticized for some of his hits and his showmanship.
What could be more likeable?