NHL players are a different breed. Plenty of NHL players could walk down the street completely unnoticed. Maybe it is because of their size, and in some cases, average athleticism. However, I think it is because a fair share of NHL players are jackasses, which many people can relate to.
Whether it be a goofy thing somebody said to the media, did on the ice or even just the way a guy puts himself together, NHL players make fools out of themselves on a consistent basis. Here are the 25 biggest jackasses in NHL history.
Matt Cooke is one of the newest jackasses in the NHL. He started Marc Savard's downward spiral, and he shows little remorse for the cheap shots he dishes out on a nightly basis.
This guy is old school, and we usually don't see players like him these days. All he wants to do is injure people, and he will go to great measure to see that it happens.
Blindside hits, knee to knee checks, hits to the head, you name it, Cooke has delivered it and injured someone in the process. He always comes off as quite the jackass.
Esa Tikkanen would write checks that his body could not cash. It is quite pathetic when someone has to resort to talking trash for things that Wayne Gretzky did. What a jackass.
I truly belive Todd Bertuzzi has significant remorse for what he did to Steve Moore, and Bertuzzi was such a talented player without any history of cheap shots, but unfortunately, that is how he will always be remembered.
Let's be honest. It was a pretty stupid thing to do.
Donald Brashear walked a fine line during his NHL career. He was constantly playing a physical game and would drop the mitts quite often.
Because of the edge Brashear played with, he was not very well liked around the league.
Dave Schultz was the representative personality of the Broad Street Bullies. That, along with his constant trips to the sin bin, earn him a spot on this list.
Chris Pronger hardly ever says a word off the ice and carries himself as a gentleman.
However, lucky for Flyers fans, Blues fans and Ducks fans, Pronger tends to be pretty nasty on the ice. His play in front of the net is enough to frustrate any opposing player or fan, and his constant on-ice chirping makes him a lightning rod for hatred.
Plus, he's just a goon.
During his playing days, Chris Simon truly was the bad boy of hockey. He had no control over his emotions and often let that get the better of him.
He must not have realized how foolish he often looked.
Dale Hunter holds a unique place in the record books. He is the only player to have compiled 1,000 points to go along with over 3,000 penalty minutes.
Samuellson was a terror for the opposition. He flew around the ice knocking heads with anyone who got in his path. The Swede would take things too far occasionally, though, injuring quite a few players during his career.
Even Don Cherry couldn't put up with Ulf Samuelsson's recklessness.
Theo Fleury was a drug addict and one of the dirtiest players the NHL has ever seen. That's more than enough for this list.
Dan Carcillo has made a living off of pissing people off. He's not the first one to do so, but he sure does a damn fine job of it.
Anyone who hits another person in the head with a hockey stick has to be considered a jackass, right?
Darcy Tucker was quite the character. He would dive all around the ice to draw penalties but also chirp all of his opponents. It didn't quite add up.
Rob Ray was never afraid to fight, but it had to be his way. Ray would remove his helmet, jersey and pads so that his opponent would have no chance to grab at the jersey, giving himself a huge advantage in fights.
The NHL eventually made a rule against Ray's gutless strategy.
Mike Ribeiro's consistent diving alone makes him one of the biggest jackasses in the NHL's long history.
Matthew Barnaby is one player who would smile if he saw himself on this list. Barnaby made a name for himself as an agitator in the NHL and did a damn good job of getting under just about everybody's skin.
Plus, Barnaby was willing to drop the mitts.
Unfortunately, he was a bit of a punk, faking injuries and constantly chirping, which made him despised amongst NHL fans. Though, like I said, he wouldn't have wanted it any other way.
Brett Hull was a once in a generation type of talent. Unfortunately, the passion was never truly there. Sure, he lit the lamp a ton and had a remarkable career, but Hull never truly displayed the type of passion for the game as some of the other greats. Instead, he just whined.
In fact, Hull didn't grow up with dreams of being in the NHL and even quit the game at 18, only to realize he had nothing else and hockey was his best chance of success.
Roberto Luongo got stuck with his foot in his mouth during the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals. He failed to deliver on all of the chatter he was starting. On the big stage, nobody falters like Roberto Luongo.
Martin Brodeur cheated on his wife with his sister-in-law. That's not very subtle. What a jackass.
Billy Smith completes the trifecta of jackass goaltenders on this list. Smith was an outstanding goaltender, but he also always racked up penalty minutes. Some of his antics were questionable at best.
Jeremy Roenick is one of the most outspoken players in NHL history, so naturally, he makes a bit of a fool out of himself on occasion. The game is better because of J.R., but that does not mean he is not a prime candidate for these rankings.
Rick Tocchet was a firecracker for years in the National Hockey League. He wasn't afraid to lay someone out, be carless with his stick, shoot his mouth off or even drop the mitts with just about anybody in the league.
It's tough to win over fans when you jump the glass to beat a fan with his own shoe like Mike Milbury did during his playing days. He was a dirty player, a terrible coach and general manager and is a very biased analyst.
Claude Lemieux did a lot of things to anger the hockey world and earn his jackass reputation. Most notably, Lemieux delivered dirty hits, shot his mouth off and it was rumored that he even tarnished the Stanley Cup in ways I will not get into.
Is there a more appropriate choice for the top of this list than Sean Avery? He dresses like a goon, says inappropriate things to the media and even exhibits childish behavior on the ice for the entire hockey world to see. He is the epitome of a jackass.