NHL's Top 15 Undersized Players and Why We Love Them
There are players that cast an enormous shadow in the NHL. Zdeno Chara, Tyler Myers and John Scott are some of the most imposing players in the game, each close to seven feet tall with their skates on.
At the other end of the spectrum are the Mighty Mice of the league. In this list, we'll look at 15 players who stand no taller than 5'10" but bring a lot more to the ice than the physical frame the good Lord handed them.
Honorable Mention: Darren Pang
If you've ever had the pleasure of meeting Darren Panger, you'll know two things: he's one of the most sincere, kind people you'll ever meet, and his height listing is as generous as his personality.
My college football coach would have called him a "waterbug" because of how he moves on the ice. Matt Zuccarello has been a fan favorite in his limited time with the Rangers.
Edmonton is finding out that they have a spark plug in Linus Omark. He had 27 points in 51 games during his rookie season last year.
Quietly a very solid producer in Edmonton, Sam Ganger suddenly finds himself one of the old men in the Oilers' dressing room.
No player on this list better exemplifies the competitive fire of a little-man like Nathan Gerbe, who stands 5'5" and is the shortest player in the NFL. He plays without fear or recognition of the size he's giving up, and is effective in doing so.
His efforts with a microphone might not sit well with people, but Kris Versteeg has a championship ring and is part of the new-look core in Florida this season.
One of the elder stateman on the list, Ray Whitney has produced at least 55 points in eight of the last nine seasons he's played, during which time he's put on four different sweaters.
Whitney has played in over 1,100 games in 19 seasons, and is one of the great all-time little guys.
Scott Nichol, a respected veteran who brings grit to the ice every night, has played in over 550 NHL games over 11 seasons.
Steve Sullivan is one of the most respected players in the game, having fought his way back from serious injuries more than once. He's in Pittsburgh this season, where his leadership will be valued.
He might still look like a teenager, but Briere has played in 743 regular season games, scoring 264 goals for the Coyotes, Sabres and now Flyers.
Contrary to Briere, Jeff Skinner still is a relative baby but plays with maturity.
He won't turn 20 until the middle of May next year, but he already has a 31-goal season on his resume.
What he did in the playoffs last year was good enough to give a rookie negotiating-leverage with a Stanley Cup champion.
Marchand has the look of a gritty shut-down center who can kick in 40-50 points as well.
The former Michigan Wolverine has fantastic hands and a quick release, and Habs fans love him despite his height. And yet, not only is he not the most popular Canadien, but he might not be the most popular on this list.
The captain in Montreal is one of the most respected players in the game.
Indeed, there are too many cliches to abuse regarding his character standing as tall as his physical form doesn't for us to begin listing here.
Patrick Kane skated off the ice in Philadelphia and realized the promise of being the only No. 1 overall draft pick in the history of the Chicago Blackhawks. He has some of the best hands in the game and is an elite scorer.
Martin St. Louis
Not only one of the best scorers in the game, Martin St. Louis is also one of the great personalities in the sport. He might look like the little brother in this photo, but his leadership has helped the Lightning get back into contention in the Eastern Conference.