Although every NHL player is extremely talented at what they do, it does not mean that they are always beloved by everyone. In fact, there are an abundance of players who are often despised around the league because of their style of play. In this article, we will be looking at captains and alternate captains who fit these qualifications. A lot of the time when looking at these players, it is quite apparent that the reason why they are hated is because they play the game on the edge. A lot of the time, these players are also extremely arrogant and vocal. It is just so interesting that they have the opportunity to be leaders with this much hatred toward them.
We will also focus on five specific captain/alternate captains that should no longer have a job in the NHL, but somehow still do. When it comes to these players their reasons vary, but a lot of the time it comes down to their immovable contracts. It is important to note that these players still should be respected for all that they provided during their primes, even if today they are clearly on the decline. However, at the end of the day, it truly is time for these players to hang up the skates and focus on life after professional hockey. Nonetheless, let’s get started.
These are 10 NHL Captains/Alternate Captains Who Everybody Hates (And 5 Who Shouldn't Be In The League)
15 Hated: Zdeno Chara
Zdeno Chara has had a truly remarkable NHL career and will always be remembered for his giant size and solid defensive work. Yet, it is apparent that every NHL fan hates Chara unless they are from Boston. Due to his physical side, Chara has injured a fair share of NHL superstars and that will not leave the minds of opposing fans and players alike.
However, no one will ever forget the extremely dirty hit he laid on Montreal Canadiens’ forward Max Pacioretty a few years back. The hit led to Pacioretty suffering a severe concussion and neck injury that threatened his career. With this and so many others, Chara’s dirty style of play will never be forgotten, even when he makes the Hockey Hall of Fame.
14 Hated: Sidney Crosby
Sidney Crosby is arguably the best player in the NHL right now and is without a doubt, a future hall of famer. Crosby has led the Penguins to three Stanley Cup Championships and has won back to back Conn Smythe awards as playoff MVP. Yet, although Crosby is a once in a generation type player, he is hated by the majority of the NHL.
As much of a superstar as Crosby is, he is also a very dirty player. Yet, Crosby does this in the worst way by consistently slashing players and ducking away when they want justice for it. Crosby also is notorious for complaining to the referees and diving, which has angered everyone in hockey. No matter how spectacular he is, he will never be loved fully because of his idiotic antics.
13 Should Not Be In League: Troy Brouwer
As mentioned in the introduction, We've included Alternate Captains on this list because a lot of them are real pieces of work! Last offseason, Troy Brouwer was signed to a hefty contract by the Calgary Flames and instantly was named as an alternate captain. After just one season with the club, it is apparent that Brouwer’s game has dropped immensely. Brouwer no longer looked like the superstar he was in St. Louis and was extremely slow. It seems he got a little too comfortable after signing his big contract.
The NHL is a young man’s game and it is clear that Brouwer’s time is running out fast. Although he has a good amount of term left on his deal, if the Flames buy him out, he will most likely never make it to another NHL team again. Brouwer should still never be forgotten for his solid penalty killing and amazing leadership.
12 Hated: Milan Lucic
It is quite apparent that no one is actually a fan of Milan Lucic except for nostalgic Bruins fans and Oilers fans. Lucic is by far one of the dirtiest players in the NHL today and has a sense of arrogance with it. Although Lucic is a productive player, his numerous cheap shots and abysmal personality is what he will solely be remembered for.
Lucic has done his job quite nicely as a goal scoring goon for the Edmonton Oilers and is a great alternate captain, but he ultimately is a jerk to opposing players. Lucic is hated so much that the entire NHL community was ecstatic when he was flattened by Dalton Prout with one punch in a fight a few years back. That should say a lot about Lucic.
11 Hated: Gabriel Landeskog
Gabriel Landeskog is currently the captain of the Colorado Avalanche and for that, it is easy to feel somewhat bad for him. However, Landeskog has quickly gained a bad reputation in the league for being a player who dives and consistently complains. Landeskog is also quick to talk, but does not back up his actions and tries to get away from it.
Landeskog is also a player who can sometimes throw dirty hits, yet is not documented as frequently as other players. The main issue with Landeskog is that although he is captain, he does not actually have the qualities of a true leader. With this, it is easy to understand why he has been the subject of trade rumours since last season. Maybe he still needs a few seasons to learn how to really lead.
10 Should Not Be In League: Niklas Kronwall
Niklas Kronwall has had a very successful NHL career and will never be forgotten by the Detroit Red Wings. His time as an alternate captain for their club has been spectacular and he truly has been one of their top defensemen. Yet it is clear that Kronwall’s age is catching up to him and realistically he no longer possesses the talent of an NHL quality defenceman.
Sadly for the rebuilding Red Wings, Kronwall’s contract has a handful of seasons left with a big cap hit. With that, Kronwall will use this to stay in the league to ensure that he receives his heavy payment. Although Kronwall is a burden on the Red Wings’ cap in this present moment, his leadership over the years is still greatly appreciated in Detroit.
9 Hated: Brendan Gallagher
Brendan Gallagher has surprisingly developed into a very productive player for the Montreal Canadiens, but he has gained a bad reputation around the league. Although he is a very talented NHL player, it is clear that he finds his success by being a gritty pest. He is consistently involved in the physical side of the game, but often in a negative way.
Gallagher is also a notorious chirper and it has gained a lot of attention from other NHL players. In a way, it is pretty remarkable to see a smaller NHL player have so much success with his physical game, but he does it in an annoying fashion. Nonetheless, the Canadiens are extremely happy to have him in their top 6, lighting the lamp and throwing the body whenever necessary.
8 Hated: Brandon Dubinsky
Brandon Dubinsky has had a solid career since being traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets and is a big reason behind their success. As an alternate captain for the team, his ability has grown immensely and he is one of the better defensive centres in the game. Yet, Dubinsky will always be hated because of how dirty of a player he is.
Dubinsky will always throw hits, whether they are dirty or clean, and that instantly has made him one of the most hated players in the game. Yet one of his dirtiest moments was when he tripped Sidney Crosby and then crosschecked him so hard that his stick broke in the process. This is just one of many instances where Dubinsky was extremely chippy.
7 Should Not Be In League: Derek MacKenzie
Derek MacKenzie is a great leader in the dressing room because of his vast experience in both the NHL and AHL, but there is no reason for him to be the actual captain of the Florida Panthers. In fact, he really is a player that has no business being in the league anymore. If Jaromir Jagr, a player who still put up over 40 points last season cannot find a job, why is 4th line aging centre Derek MacKenzie still in the league?
MacKenzie is at the bottom of the league in terms of talent and it truly is shocking that he still is an NHL player. It is truly shocking that a career journeyman has kept his spot in the league, even though so many players are out of jobs that are better than him. During his prime, MacKenzie was a depth player at best who could kill penalties. It is just so intriguing that he has been able to keep his job with mediocre play.
6 Hated: Leo Komarov
Leo Komarov has developed into an integral part of the Toronto Maple Leafs core and is an alternate captain because of it. A lot of his success is found on the physical side of the game because he is a feisty player. Komarov’s presence in the rougher part of the game has made him a player who is often hated by opposing players but beloved by teammates.
However, the worst side of Komarov is the fact that he never seems to be quiet on the ice. He is either consistently chirping at the other team or he is complaining to the referee. One of the funnier moments of Komarov’s career was when he refused to fight Ryan Reeves, but acted like a tough guy in the process. Komarov is extremely talented, but also just a pest.
5 Hated: Cal Clutterbuck
Cal Clutterbuck is paid by the New York Islanders to be hated and he does a spectacular job at making that happen. Through his entire career, Clutterbuck has been extremely active in the physical side of the game and that ultimately is what keeps him in the NHL. Yet like most players who play always with high intensity, he has made a bad name for himself.
Clutterbuck has faced a lot of discipline from the NHL for his dangerous hits and has been suspended as a result. Although Clutterbuck has cleaned up his act a bit since his time with the Minnesota Wild, he will always have a little bit of negativity thrown at him. However, he has done a good job as an alternate captains for the Islanders.
4 Should Not Be In League: Ryan Callahan
Ryan Callahan was one of the best defensive forwards in the NHL for years during his stint with the New York Rangers, but has seen his game drop dramatically since being traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning made him alternate captain because of his leadership and experience, but it is clear that his time in the NHL should already be over.
Ryan Callahan will not officially be out of the NHL for awhile because of his ridiculous contract. Yet, his offensive numbers continue to get lower and he is consistently injured. Callahan no longer is an NHL caliber player because all of the issues he has had to go through, and with that, he really should not be in the NHL.
3 Hated: Corey Perry
Corey Perry is one of the best wingers of this generation and a huge reason why the Anaheim Ducks are a great team in the NHL. He is a huge scoring threat every time he is on the ice and one of the main reasons why the Ducks won their first Stanley Cup back in 2007. However, as talented as he is, he is also hated by the majority of NHL players.
Corey Perry is known for making a lot of dirty hits and that is ultimately what makes everyone despise him. Yet, what makes matters worse for him is that he also does basically anything to get under the skin of opposing players. The best example of this was when he stole Alexander Semin’s stick as he was about to go on the ice. Perry also somehow did not get a penalty for this disrespectful move.
2 Hated: Ryan Kesler
Ryan Kesler is one of the best two-way forwards in the NHL and that is what has made him become an elite player. However, basically anyone who is not a Ducks fan hates Ryan Kesler for an abundance of reasons. Besides the fact that he is an absolute pest on the ice, he also is extremely disrespectful to both players and even team management.
Kesler made a horrible name for himself when he demanded the Canucks to trade him to one of their biggest rivals, the Ducks. He handled the process so rudely and openly stated his dissatisfaction with the club. This ultimately is what makes fans hate him immensely. Also, the rest of the league hates him because he is a jerk to everyone and is an extremely dirty player. Isn’t it funny how both of the Ducks' alternate captains are hated so much by the NHL?
1 Should Not Be In League: Brooks Orpik
Brooks Orpik is a wonderful leader for the Washington Capitals because he works his hardest each and every shift. But it is absolutely apparent that he no longer is an NHL caliber player because of his lack of speed and his disappearance from the stat sheet. Orpik will however still be in the NHL for a few more years because of his atrocious contract.
Orpik was one of the best players on the Penguins during their 2009 Stanley Cup Championship winning season, but it is apparent he is no longer that player. It makes total sense that this is the case because he is definitely at an age where players are on the decline. Washington's Stanley Cup window is quickly closing, and having Orpik take up valuable cap space makes him the target of much hatred. With all of this, Orpik should still be respected for what he contributes because of his overall legacy.