Sometimes as fans we get so invested in an NHL player’s stats that we forget that they are just normal human beings (Ilya Bryzgalov not included). As human beings, we are prone to make mistakes. In some cases, these mistakes lead to trouble with the police. While everyone already knows about players like Patrick Kane and Slava Voynov getting on the wrong side of the law, this article will focus on lesser-known controversies.
Fortunately for the players on this list, their brush with the police got swept under the rug before it became a big deal. These players are lucky that their trouble with the law didn’t become big ordeals considering what they actually did to get into trouble in the first place. While some were rather minor things like underage drinking, one of the entries on this list involves someone’s life ending.
Here are 15 NHL players you didn’t know had trouble with the police.
15. Tyler Seguin
Upon entering the NHL, Tyler Seguin was quickly gaining a reputation for being a very immature young man. It was this reputation that was one of the main reasons why the Boston Bruins traded the former second overall pick to Dallas in 2013.
It was during the Summer of 2013 when Seguin was at a Fourth of July party when the cops showed up due to a noise complaint. A video surfaced of the incident, showing Seguin having a friendly conversation with the police. However, once they left, you can hear Seguin trash talking the police. With his bad boy image, it’s surprising that Seguin hasn’t got into more trouble with the law.
14. Brendan Gallagher
This next entry featuring Montreal Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher is by far the least serious incident on this list. While Gallagher may not have got into much trouble with the police, it is a pretty funny story.
Gallagher was in the middle of giving a radio interview while driving when it was cut short. He got pulled over by the police for talking on his cellphone while driving. Even though he would have no problem affording to pay for a ticket, Gallagher was only given a warning. He may have only got a warning from the police, but he still got an earful from his mom, who was embarrassed by the incident.
13. Milan Lucic
Since entering the league in 2007-08 with the Boston Bruins, Milan Lucic has built a reputation for being a tough guy to play against. Not only can he score goals, but he can be quite the intimidating presence on the ice as well. At 6’3″, 236 lbs, he’s certainly one guy you wouldn’t want to pick a fight with. However, that is exactly what one man did in 2013.
Lucic was out at a Vancouver bar when he was suckered punch a couple of times. Fortunately, Lucic had the restraint not to fight back. While Lucic wasn’t the one getting in trouble with police that time, it was a different story a couple years earlier. Lucic got into an argument with his girlfriend. While it ended up being nothing crazy, it was still bad enough that the cops eventually came to his door.
12. Aaron Ward
While Aaron Ward never lived up to the expectations that came with being a top ten NHL draft selection, he still had a serviceable career as a gritty defenseman. Ward entered the NHL during the 1993-94 season and didn’t hang up his skates until 2010. Along the way, Ward was able to become a two-time Stanley Cup champion.
After retiring, Ward stayed in the game of hockey as a broadcaster. Things seemed to go well for Ward until he was arrested for assaulting his wife in 2015. Although Ward did have to spend a couple days in jail, the charges were eventually dropped.
11. Michael Ferland
When it came to making it to the NHL, Michael Ferland had a ton of things going against him. He was lucky to even get to play hockey as a kid considering he grew up poor. The Calgary Flames fifth round pick had a tremendous junior career but he had trouble transitioning his skills to the professional game.
While nothing was going well for him during his first couple years as a pro, it probably didn’t help that he was also in the middle of legal battle. Ferland was charged with assault after he got into a fight at a bar. Fortunately, the charges were eventually dropped as the judge ruled Ferland acted in self-defense. Ferland has been able to put his past demons behind him and has been a solid force for the Flames.
10. Zdeno Chara
Zdeno Chara has arguably had a Hall of Fame career. The defenseman is a former Norris Trophy winner and Stanley Cup champion. At nearly seven feet tall, Chara could cause a lot of pain if he wanted to. Fortunately for his opponents, Chara is mostly a gentle giant. However, there was one on-ice incident in particular where Chara got a bit too aggressive.
In 2011, Chara’s Boston Bruins were facing off against the rival Montreal Canadiens. Chara was in a battle for the puck along the boards when he shoved Habs forward Max Pacioretty into a stanchion by the bench knocking him out cold. Pacioretty was out for the rest of the season with a fracture to the 4th vertebra and a severe concussion. Although Chara was not suspended by the league, the Montreal Police did investigate the hit. Fortunately for Chara, no charges were ever laid.
9. Joe Corvo
Joe Corvo was a solid offensive defenceman for 11 NHL seasons. He had double-digit goal totals in three seasons and hit the forty point mark twice. However, Corvo is lucky he ever had an NHL career to begin with considering a terrible incident that happened just as his career was getting started.
In 2002, Corvo was arrested for assaulting a woman at a restaurant. After grabbing the woman’s rear, Corvo was kicked out of the restaurant. He left the restaurant, but he returned shortly after and kicked and punched the woman until she fell to the ground. After that brutal assault which left the women bruised and battered, Corvo only received a two year suspended sentence.
8. Eric And Jordan Staal
Both Eric and Jordan Staal have had tremendous NHL careers. Eric has been a consistent scorer since entering the NHL in 2003. On two different occasions, he’s hit the forty goal plateau. He also played a huge role in the Carolina Hurricanes 2006 Stanley Cup victory. While Jordan is not as offensively gifted as his older brother Eric, he makes up for it with his outstanding defensive play. Like his brother, Jordan is also a Stanley Cup champion.
The Staal brothers have a built a great resume on the ice. However, off of it, there is one big blemish. Back in July of 2007, when both players were very early into their careers they got into some trouble with the police. Eric and Jordan were among 14 people who got arrested at a bachelor party. Eric was charged with disorderly conduct, while Jordan had the added charge of underage drinking.
7. Clayton Stoner
While Clayton Stoner will never blow you out of the water with his skills, he’s been a solid NHL defenceman for many years now. While Stoner has made a career out of playing hockey, he arguably has an even bigger love for the sport of hunting. It’s Stoner’s love for hunting that earned him a spot on this list.
In 2013, Stoner was out hunting in B.C when he shot and killed a grizzly bear. When pictures circulated of Stoner holding the bears decapitated head, local residents thought he had killed a popular bear named Cheeky. While a DNA test proved he had not killed Cheeky, Stoner was still charged with hunting without a license. He was fined $10,000 and was banned from hunting for three years.
6. Ryan O’Reilly
Ryan O’Reilly is one of the best two-way forwards in the game today. What he isn’t the best at is making good decisions off the ice. In the Summer of 2015, O’Reilly was driving under the influencewhen he crashed his truck into a Tim Horton’s restaurant. To make matters worse, he fled the scene. Fortunately, nobody was hurt but O’Reilly was still charged.
After the trial was delayed for over a year, all charges against O’Reilly were dropped due to lack of evidence. His $7.5 million annual salary probably helped him get a pretty good lawyer. It’s baffling seeing athletes continue to get DUI’s when they are more than able to pay for a taxi. Hopefully, O’Reilly has learned his lesson, because next time he probably won’t get so lucky with the law.
5. Claude Giroux
For the most part, Claude Giroux is a perfect example of a hockey player that kids can look up to. Even though he was passed over in the OHL draft, Giroux didn’t let that get to him as went on to dominate the QMJHL. After being a first-round pick by the Philadelphia Flyers, he has been a superstar player and leader ever since.
Giroux would be a perfect role model if it wasn’t for one giant blemish on his resume. In July of 2014, he was arrested for repeatedly grabbing a male police officer’s buttocks. We’re sure this was supposed to be a joke, but it wasn’t very funny or smart. While the charges were eventually dropped, it’s still an incident that Giroux will never live down.
4. Casey Cizikas
It’s hard to believe but Casey Cizikas is already entering his seventh season with the New York Islanders. The twenty-six year old has carved out a decent NHL career as a gritty forward who can also put up a respectable amount of points. However, Cizikas hockey career hit a major speed bump before it even started.
In high school, Cizikas was a star rugby player. An incident during one game would change his life forever. A sixteen-year-old Cizikas put an opposing player Manny Castillo in a headlock and drove his head into the ground. Just a few days later Castillo would pass away from his injuries. Cizikas would eventually be found guilty of manslaughter. He managed to avoid jail time and instead just served 100 hours of community service.
3. Riley Sheahan
After being taken in the first round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft by the Detroit Red Wings, Riley Sheahan has become a great two-way forward. Sheahan must feel very fortunate to be where he is today, considering a shameful incident that happened in his first year as a professional.
Sheahan was playing for the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins when he got caught drinking and driving. Not only did Sheahan blow nearly four times the legal limit, much to his embarrassment he was wearing a Teletubbie costume. Fortunately, Sheahan has since matured and has turned his life around.
2. Ian White
Ian White played eight NHL seasons in his career with five different teams. However, he is best remembered for his time spent with the Toronto Maple Leafs. On Toronto teams that were rather poor, White was one of the few bright spots. In his four seasons with the Leafs, the defenceman at least hit the 20-point plateau.
White’s play started to deteriorate and by 2013 he was out of the league. He pretty much disappeared from the limelight until his troubles with the law started popping up. In November of 2015, White was arrested and charged with a number of weapons-related offences. White had become addicted to illegal substances and was so paranoid that he always carried a weapon on him. Fortunately, White never saw any prison time and has since entered rehab.
1. Jiri Hudler
Jiri Hudler broke into the league with the Detroit Red Wings in 2006. He would establish himself as a solid scorer, averaging about fifty points a season, It wasn’t until he had a 76 point season with Calgary in 2014-15 that people started to take notice. Unfortunately, Hudler has not been able to recreate that success and has actually found himself out the NHL entirely.
Hudler had a recent encounter with the police that will probably squash any dreams he had of an NHL comeback. On a recent flight from New York to Prague, Hudler’s actions got out of hand to say the least. He asked a flight attendant if they had any illegal narcotics. After she obviously denied his request he threatened to have his friends attack her. Hudler wasn’t done there as he also attempted to urinate on a food cart.
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