5 Most Hated NHL Stars

It was baseball legend Reggie Jackson who once famously said, “fans don’t boo nobodies.” If you are being booed on a regular basis by opposing fans that must mean you are pretty good. Growing up a Sharks fan, the booing was reserved for Ed Belfour, a good goaltender who deserted San Jose for Dallas and future hall of fame defenseman Chris Pronger. That got me thinking, league wide, which current star players are the most hated? While the most severe hate is reserved for role players like Raffi Torres and Max Lapierre, due to their antics, a number of star players are very much disliked by fans around the league. For various past indiscretions or primarily jealousy in the case of the most hated star, the following five high-caliber players are the most disliked in the league.

5. Corey Perry

(Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)
(Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)

Ducks star Corey Perry is annually amongst the top goal scorers in the NHL but he often crosses the line with cheap shots. Now I’m never one to deny a bias being a Sharks fan but Perry viciously slashed Marc-Edouard Vlasic in the side of the face when the defenseman had fallen in the corner. Furthermore there was the cross-check to the hamstring area of goaltender Evgeni Nabokov. These are the two incidents that come to my mind but fans of other teams are well aware of Perry’s antics. He speared Stars forward Jamie Benn in the playoffs after taking a hard hit. Nobody in the league seems to get more upset about receiving a good hard clean hit than Perry. The video below ends with a montage of Perry nastiness that makes him universally hated in Sharks territory.


4. Ryan Kesler

Ryan Kesler
 (Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports)

When Ryan Kesler was traded to the Anaheim Ducks, it was very fitting move. While his former team the Vancouver Canucks are known for being one of the most guilty teams when it comes to diving, Kesler was the poster boy. Therefore, going from one of the most hated teams in the league to another hated team was just too perfect. Kesler has been a solid two-way center over his career and currently gives the Ducks a second scoring threat behind Perry and Ryan Getzlaf. However, outside Ducks and Canucks fans, you would be hard pressed to find any hockey fan who says they are a big fan of Kesler.

3. Milan Lucic

Milan Lucic hit on Ryan Miller
Lucic: Goalie terrorist – Moments after the Milan Lucic hit on Ryan Miller (Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE)

Speaking of poster boys, Milan Lucic is the epitome of the “Big Bad Bruins.” One of the few remaining power forwards left in the NHL today, Lucic is a terrific player when he has his head on straight. He is pretty much money in the bank for 20 goals and 60 points but for some reason he got spear happy in recent years. Not to mention Lucic broke hockey etiquette rule no. 1 and that is you don’t touch goaltenders. Anyone who has played hockey knows that playing without goalies is no fun at all. Nobody wants to play “posts” with empty nets. Goalies get special treatment because there are far fewer of them available. Lucic however ran over Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller after losing the puck. Not cool bro, not cool.

2. Brad Marchand

Brad Marchand upends Sami Salo durign Saturday's game. Marchand is facing a suspension for the clip, which appaered to be just above Salo's knee. (Boston Herald)
Brad Marchand upends Sami Salo durign Saturday’s game. Marchand is facing a suspension for the clip, which appaered to be just above Salo’s knee. (Boston Herald)

Lucic’s teammate Brad Marchand is likewise a terrific player when he isn’t crossing the line. Marchand is a consistent 20 plus goal scorer every year and can play a gritty clean style but chooses to cross over the line into dirty territory. Not only did he recently get suspended for slew-footing Derick Brassard but he has also been suspended for other cheap plays. The video below is a cheap low hit on the knees of Sami Salo, aka clipping, which is illegal and extremely dangerous.

1. Sidney Crosby

Sidney Crosby should seek a sports psychologist. (Photo Credit: Andy Martin Jr)
 (Photo Credit: Andy Martin Jr)

Let me be clear that yours truly is not amongst those who hate the best player in the game. However, like LeBron James in the NBA, there is simply a lot of animosity towards the NHL’s best player. The majority of the Crosby hate comes from pure jealousy. It’s not as if Crosby aired “The Decision” of where he was going to sign like LeBron did, but regardless, fans don’t like Crosby because of how good he is at torching their favorite teams. There is something to be said for Crosby having embellished calls in the past, but league wide, that reputation isn’t nearly as prevalent for Sid the way it was for Kesler and the Canucks.


19 thoughts on “5 Most Hated NHL Stars”

  1. wow…this is an all-star team , there is not one guy any team in the league would not snap in a heart beat…this is north American grind hockey , if you don’t like these players put on your white skates and topic your euro ass out of the way. this is not gary bettman hockey…this is gordie howe hockey.

  2. There’s a reason why Sidney Crosby is called “Crysby”. He dives, he whines, he gives cheap shots to the nads. All this and more are why he’s unliked in many places of the NHL.

  3. Try actually watching Crosby play. Watch the slashes and trips, watch how he skates over to the officials after every period. Watch bush league moments like his knocking an opponents helmet away when he was picking it up after a play. He isn’t a diver, he’s a crybaby and gets away with murder as the Canadian poster boy for the league.

  4. Good article, till I got to #1. Crosby is the ‘best in the league’ & that’s why people hate him?? Now THAT’S funny. On both counts. I can name a half-dozen players who are consistently more productive (& more dangerous). Most of us don’t consider Crosby enough of a threat to “hate” him.

  5. LMAO — defending the Canucks of AV is pretty hard to do. Sort of like biting off more than you can chew. That said, what Vancouver was is now very different than what it is today — a pretty good hockey team that has shed many of its more questionable habits.

  6. Which leads me to my other point, basing an opinion on the past, especially when most of the offending players are no longer on the team, is foolish, it goes back to saying the Flyers are still a bunch of goons based on their reputation from the ’70’s. The Canucks changed 1/3 of their roster, it’s barely resembles the team that earned said reputation.

  7. For awhile. But not anymore. Thank you, that was my point all along, and my reason for saying your statement was inaccurate.

    • ok fair enough, you are defending that the rep is ancient history, which is fair point players have moved on but to many outside vancouver that rep will remain for awhile. that 2011 final, if you werent a Canucks fan you were pretty much rooting for the big bad bruins, and it’s not like Boston is a super well liked team either.

  8. I didn’t think you were aware, glad I could help. So, with Lapierre gone, you are basing the Canucks diving reputation on one player, Burrows. Maybe reading that over will let you see how ridiculous it sounds. Now we are back to labeling the Canadiens as a team with a reputation of divers, since Subban just got fined for it. See, I can be unrealistic too. Nearly every team has a player who can be accused of diving, except San Jose of course. Thornton just falls over easy, I realize it’s not the same thing.

    • No doubt Thornton embellishes lol, never denied that, and yes some of the Canucks divers are no longer in van, but for awhile they had multiple players notorious for it.

  9. Lapierre hasn’t played in Vancouver for a couple seasons now, not certain you were aware. This is what I’m saying, when you have something personal against a team you lose objectivity. I suppose the Flyers are still a bunch of goons, since they racked up the penalty minutes in the ’70’s.

    • yes as a sharks fan, i wasnt aware lapierre was with the blues to knock out dan boyle cold for minutes on end. That reputation from lapierre and burrows was just a couple years ago, burrows is still there, that rep is well deserved. Burrows trying to draw a trip on Lucic off the faceoff? That was absurd.

  10. The Vancouver Canucks are known for being one of the most guilty teams when it comes to diving, by you, and other Canuck bashers. If you don’t like a team, then you will find something about them to criticize. In the end, it makes as much sense as disliking Sidney Crosby because of his skill. That opinion is just that, opinion, it’s hardly based on fact. By that logic, you could say Montreal is a team known for diving, since Subban just got fined for doing it.

  11. Solid list, I would probably put Marchand first just because of all the cheap shots, but that might just be my Canuck fan bias.

  12. Not a bad list. My opinion of Kesler has improved somewhat based on him leaving out the constant complaining the refs for penalties and the absolutely shameful diving and Oscar-worthy embellishments. I really do believe that previous management (or core decisions) from the Canucks actually embraced diving and trying to draw penalties, especially if you consider some of their players from 2011 – Kesler, Burrows, Lapierre, the Sedins.

  13. Check the stats. Crosby has never been called for a dive in his career. He’s a ten year veteran damn near.

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