The NHL is a league that is compiled of many different types of players. Each of these different players have different personality traits, characteristics and quirks. There are some players like Sean Avery, Matt Cooke and Trevor Gillies that fans just love to hate.
These players are pests, agitators, scrappers and yappers. They get on your nerves and can make your head spin. These players are just hard to watch. Who makes your stomach turn or drives you bonkers?
This list will take a good look at some of these "hate worthy" players.
This player needs no introduction, and this video pretty much sums up why fans love to hate Matt Cooke. He is a disgrace to the NHL and is the league's dirtiest player.
He has consistently violated the rules and has most likely ended the promising young career of Marc Savard.
He may just be the most hated man in all of hockey.
This is another self explanatory offender and hate recipient.
No one likes a player that is an agitator. Burrows may be able to put points up on the board, but he also plays a physical checking game. Some people like Patrice Bergeron were not fond of this style.
Bergeron was also not very fond of having his fingers bitten by Burrows. I mean really? Are we in kindergarten? Hockey players should never resort to biting.
Steve Downie is a peculiar player to say the least. He is a player who seeks retribution even if you land a clean check on him. He likes to always be on top and it just seems to be his style.
Downie is a player who gets way to intense sometimes. This includes making runs at star players like Sidney Crosby, being overtly aggressive with cheap shots, and resorting to dropping the gloves with his own teammates in practice.
No matter how you slice it, Downie would give Ric Flair a run for his money for the nickname, "Dirtiest Player in the Game". Woooo!!!!
The kicker about this video, this was a preseason game !
Mike Ribeiro has gotten a bad name because of his massive flopping and faking. Ribeiro may be a wizard when it comes to moving the puck in the shootout, but he has often oversold hits in order to appear injured.
Other players despise him for this and often feel like giving him a hit worth of complaining about. Ribeiro is definitely a player that fans love to hate.
When I saw Ribeiro writhing with "pain" on the ice, I instantly thought of someone from Life Alert. "Help, I've fallen and can't get up."
Trevor Gillies is another player who doesn't learn from past mistakes. For this reason he is another player that fans love to hate.
He was suspended for a dirty hit earlier last season, and what was the first thing he did when he came back from his suspension?
Gillies threw another cheap shot and was penalized more severely. As a result, Mr. Gillies only appeared in 39 games last year. What does that tell you given his suspension history and games-played ratio?
Gillies is a player who is a straight up goon who gives the league a bad eye. His actions are intolerable, vile and indefensible.
Daniel Carcillo is a known scrapper. However, this instance was just pathetic.
As you can see, a ruckus starts in front of the crease after the whistle in front of the crease. Marian Gaborik happened to be in the middle of this conflict. Carcillo then—like a punk—heads straight to Gaborik and drags him off into the corner.
Yes, I realize Gaborik dropped the gloves first, but Carcillo had no right making a run at Gaborik to begin with.
This is just one of the many acts that makes Carcillo a hated player in the NHL.
Colton Orr is another one of these agitators. He is a player that loves to start trouble. It sometimes feels that the instigator rule applies to players like Orr.
He is a scrapper and yapper and loves to play physical. He always make a habit of trying to run the opposing team's top player.
As you can see in the video, Orr may be a player you love to hate, but don't mess with him.
Lapierre is a player who is another major yapper in the NHL. He talks a lot of trash and has a knack for rowelling up his opponents.
He also only fights against individuals he knows he can defeat. He has gone into the turtle position time and time again.
Lapierre will also hit players late after the play is over in a shady attempt to draw a bad penalty on the opposite side.
To quote Ray Ferraro, "That play was absolute garbage!"
Steve Ott joins his teammate Mike Ribeiro on this late of players who fans love to sip the "Hate-orade" on.
Ott is a player who always finishes his check regardless of whether or not the whistle has blown. He also likes to go after the legs and knees of other players on a routine basis. However, when the opposition goes to fight back and seek vengeance, he cowers and ends up drawing penalties for his team.
This overall demeanor and attitude garners a lot of hate from the fans.
"Sid the Kid" is one of the NHL's most talented players. He is also one of the league's most hated players. Crosby may be a talented goal scorer and passer, but he is also known to whine and complain when things don't go his way.
Sidney Crosby celebrates with no hesitation when he lights the lamp three times in the Consol Energy Arena. However, when someone on the opposing team celebrates, he whines and moans about it.
Crosby is also one of the premier divers in the league. He is so good at this he can even draw penalties when he is at fault. Last year he blatantly slew footed a Rangers forward, and now team captain, Ryan Callahan. The end result involved Callahan being penalized for interference on Crosby. This made sense for no particular rhyme or reason, but Crosby was in the wrong.
Crosby is talented enough that he doesn't really need to whine for calls.
This is another player where the images and videos will speak louder than any words possible could.
Just look at what Todd Bertuzzi did to Steve Moore. He ended the career of a young, promising player by flat-out assaulting him. There is no way that Bertuzzi should have ever been allowed to return to the league as soon as he did. Bertuzzi faced criminal charges and jail time stemming from this.
Whenever fans look at Bertuzzi, they will always remember how he ended Steve Moore's career.
Remember earlier when I said there was no place for biters in hockey? Well, apparently the league is a little more tolerant towards them than I like.
Jarkko Ruutu is a player who is not only known for his biting but for his elbows and body checks. Ruutu will literally attempt to deliver shots to the head and will egg on other players. He loves to yap and try and entice a star player, and if he is successful, another player will step in to fight. Ruutu will then skate away, and as a result, will draw a power play for his team.
Ruutu was literally one of the leagues most hated players before signing with Jokerit of the league SM Liiga.
Take a look at the hit above—so much for the spirit of international competition.
Everyone in the NHL wishes they had the talent and size of Alex Ovechkin. How many players do you know that can grind, check, and can put up 50 goals and at least 90 points year after year? Not many can do that.
Most of the hate is because of jealousy, but Ovechkin has also been known to throw some checks now and then.
He is also flamboyant and enthusiastic when it comes to celebrating goals with his teammates. His biggest opponent in this category is Don Cherry, but it's a bit funny that a man who dresses like Cherry can call another person flamboyant with a straight face.
Love him or hate him, Alex Ovechkin is a talented athlete who receives a lot of hate from players and fans alike.
I remember this hit on Jagr. It wasn't dirty at all, but it shows the strength and ability of Ovechkin.
Outside of Rangers fans, you will be hard pressed to find an individual that doesn't hate Sean Avery. Avery garners so much hate because he is an agitator and a pest. He gets underneath other players skin and knocks them off their game.
People also hate Sean Avery because of his mouth. The above clip clearly states some of the controversial comments that Avery is infamous for.
Mike Richards, the newest LA King, will fit along in Hollywood. He is a skilled player who will join a talented cast of characters. However there is another side to Richards. He can be a very vocal and dirty player.
He takes the body and hits without mercy. He is a good, physical player, but many feel he seems to stretch the rules.
If you take a look at this hit on David Booth, some people will say it was dirty, and some people will say it was clean.
What do you think?
Chris Neil is well known for being an opportunist when it comes to hits. He like to wait until he sees a player with his head down. He will then throw his entire body full force at his opponent.
If you take a look at the clip above, Neil just seems to intentionally hurt people. He checked one guy and then went looking for a fight. This is just the type of player Neil is.
His reprimanding and suspension are a testament to that, but he is another one of those players that seem to never learn from their misdeeds.
Chris Pronger is a tall and chiseled NHL defenseman. He is big and bulky and sometimes takes advantage of other players given his body size. It isn't his fault that his elbows may happen to line up with the helmets of players much smaller than him, but his has a history of being liberal with his swinging elbows.
Pronger is a defenseman who was in the same league with Scott Stevens when it came to laying out players with devastating checks. He will cross check, slash, and even stomp players that get in his way.
As a result of his suspensions and penalties, many players hate Pronger for his disregard for player safety. Many have called him dirty, and fans and players alike have grown to hate Chris Pronger.
So there we have it.
These players are just some of the most hated players in the league. Each one is on here for both different and similar reasons. The style of game they play, their success, and their overall attitude all generates a lot of heat and hate at the same time.
Who did I miss? Leave a comment and potential description in the bottom below and it could be added on as an honorable mention.
Leaving comments is the best way to get the conversation going. If you liked what you read, feel free to give it some props, a like and a plus-one. And if you like me enough, you can go to my homepage and become a fan.
Thanks for reading!
Tom Urtz is an NHL, New York Rangers, and WWE Featured Columnist and overall sports fanatic.
For more NHL free agent news, updates and alerts about players: