There's a great debate out there as to whether or not NHL players, like all professional athletes, are role models or not. While some believe they're nothing more than millionaires being paid to play the game they love, they're widely considered to be heroes and idols to others.
You can debate it all you want, but sometimes, it's easy to turn your back on a favourite NHL player and sometimes it's easy to not consider them role models when you see the controversy they've embroiled themselves into. There have been plenty of odd incidents involving NHL players. Some cases involve them being jerks off the ice, saying harsh things, being arrested in dumb ways or having vicious sides none of us ever thought could have possibly existed.
There will always be athletes doing dumb things, as it's a sad, yet common trend we see in the sports world. Some of these guys get too famous and rich at a young age and find themselves believing they're invincible, thinking they can get away with whatever they want without facing serious repercussions.
Well, there are some instances where your favourite NHLers let you down completely. As we said earlier, some of them get involved in incidents that totally damage their reputation in some way, while certainly losing some of the love they get from their fans. In fact, we assume that some of you won't be happy by the time you're done reading this article.
Here are 15 of the craziest things your favourite NHLers have done that totally caught you by surprise.
15 Jarret Stoll's Drug-Related Arrest
Life's good for Jarret Stoll. At least it was before this controversy showed up.
The two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Los Angeles Kings is also dating the ever-gorgeous Erin Andrews from Fox Sports. But fans were stunned to learn he was arrested for cocaine possession in Las Vegas.
14 Alex Ovechkin Is An Elite Rapper
Just when you thought you only knew Alex Ovechkin for scoring 50 goals a season and becoming a star that turned the fortunes around for the Washington Capitals, Ovechkin decides to rap? In Russian.
13 Staal Brothers Party Hard
Eric and Jordan Staal are two of the more average-appearing NHLers. They are classy on the ice and don't make a lot of headlines off of it...e xcept for this one time where they partied too much in Minnesota.
12 Mike Ribeiro Allegedly Assaulted His Nanny
Mike Ribeiro has enjoyed a solid career as a reliable 50-point producer. Though he drew some enemies for his over-selling of small hits that wouldn't make a three-year-old cry, he was still pretty popular in Montreal and Dallas, where he enjoyed most of his success.
That being said, his reputation took a hit when his ex-nanny accused him of sexual assault. Ribeiro is married and it would be a tragedy if these allegations really did occur. We won't learn the full details, as Ribeiro and his wife reached a settlement with the nanny.
11 Jaromir Jagr's Youthful Night
Even though sleeping with an 18-year-old was legal for 44-year-old Jaromir Jagr, something about it just doesn't seem right to many.
Yes, we know how single men will think (in nature). You want to get with the most beautiful girls you can, even if they're half your age. But when the girl he slept with posted the photo, it was kind of an awkward moment for Jagr and his reputation. We don't need to know how old the girls are he was sleeping with.
You'd think he'd try to meet a model or actress closer to his age. But hey, who are we to judge? Whatever makes him happy.
10 Millionaire Dion Wouldn't Pay $10 For a Festival
For some of us non-millionaires (99.9% of the world,) we refuse to pay $10 for things, like, well a beer at a sports game, a bag of chips, that delicious appetizer on the menu, and other things.
But when you have millions of dollars like Ottawa Senators defenceman Dion Phaneuf, you would think that $10 isn't a problem at all. Apparently it is, however.
Phaneuf has a cottage in Ontario and there was a shell festival there a number of years ago. The problem? The $10 admission was a problem for Phaneuf, demanding to get in free. He said he should be allowed in free because he would have attracted more people to come.
9 Ryan Kesler Contradicts Himself/Allegedly Cheated on His Wife
Ryan Kesler plays a style of hockey that makes him easy to hate, as he dives a lot, whines a lot, and, of course, scores clutch goals and shuts down your team's top player. But outside of the game, he's been an exposed jerk.
There are numerous stories about him going to parties and allegedly cheating on his wife many times. A conspiracy theory came out that former Vancouver Canuck Cory Schneider was traded because Kesler had an affair with his wife.
Now those are allegations, but during the 2010 Olympics, Kesler also said he hated Canada (their international team) even though he was playing for Vancouver at the time.
Someone needs to get their priorities straight...
8 Alex Burrows Stooped Low on Patrick O'Sullivan
Growing up in British Columbia, you can write a list of a million reasons why it's easy to love Alexandre Burrows. It goes beyond the clutch moments he's provided for the team. He's done great charity work, is very friendly off the ice, and loves his fans.
That being said, Burrows has been a jerk on the ice. Former NHLer Patrick O'Sullivan wrote a book that sadly details the years of abuse he received from his father and how he tried fighting through it.
For Burrows, he allegedly had no mercy. O'Sullivan claimed that Burrows taunted him on the ice over the incident. Hard for Canucks fans to let that sink in, because they couldn't possibly have seen that side in him.
7 Mike Richards Was Arrested for Drugs
Few NHLers have fallen from grace as quickly as the former Philadelphia Flyers captain.
Mike Richards never got his career back on track with the Los Angeles Kings and was eventually bought out despite winning two Stanley Cups with the team. Part of the reason they let him go was because of his arrest by the RCMP at the US-Canadian border.
Richards had oxycodone without a prescription. He did play this season with the Washington Capitals, but was not quite effective. Here's hoping he can turn it around.
6 Andrew Shaw's Homophobic Slur
It's well-known that NHLers will swear and insult each other a TON on the ice, but the camera people do a great job of making sure the audience at home can't hear it or read their lips.
Trash-talking is part of the game, but sometimes it goes too far. During this year's playoff series between the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues, Andrew Shaw used the f-word and a homophobic slur.
It's hard to believe in an era like this that someone would use those terms in front of a national audience. In fairness to him, Shaw did apologize for the incident.
5 Dustin Byfuglien Parties On the Water
Dustin Byfuglien is one of the biggest characters in the NHL and that was evident over one of the oddest player arrests you can think of.
In the summer of 2011, Byfuglien was living up the vacation life at Lake Minnetonka in Minneosta. But he apparently had a little too much fun, as he went out boating while intoxicated. He was arrested but only had to serve two days of community service.
What's the moral of the story? Life on the water is not all fun and games.
4 Steve Downie's Idea of "Fun"
While some of us better know Steve Downie today as a guy who delivered a number of cheapshots throughout his NHL career, he definitely enjoyed going over the top in his AHL days.
While in junior, before he made it to the NHL, Downie got into a scuffle with OHL teammate Akim Aliu. This all happened because Downie wasn't impressed with Aliu's refusal to cooperate with a team prank.
That prank involved Aliu joining other rookies without any clothes on in a tiny bathroom on the bus. Yeah...who wouldn't want to do that? Hard to side with Downie in this case.
3 Clayton Stoner Illegally Hunting
Hunting is obviously a pastime for many people in North America,and NHL tough guy Clayton Stoner has made that clear. Maybe a little too clear on his own part, however.
He illegally hunted and killed a grizzly bear in British Columbia, and since he wasn't a resident, he had no right to commit the act. Aside from that, he hunted without a license and out of season.
This past January, he was found guilty. We already know how many people today are against hunting in general. But it's a lot worse when someone breaks the law to do it like Stoner did.
2 Patrick Kane Gets Cheap and Vicious
I guess Patrick Kane didn't feel rich until he signed an eight-year deal worth $10.5 million a season. An entry level deal that pays nearly $1 million a season just wasn't enough for the guy who had just completed his second season in the big leagues.
In the summer of 2009, Kane and his cousin James beat up a cab driver for not having 20 cents to pay them back. That's right, 20 cents. Come on man.
1 Claude Giroux Inappropriately Touches a Cop's Backside
If dumb athlete arrests can provide us a lesson, it's usually to just listen and cooperate with law enforcement, whether you're guilty of any wrongdoing or not.
On Canada Day in 2014, while intoxicated in Ottawa, Claude Giroux grabbed a male police officer's behind and spent the night in jail. Fortunately for him, charges were never pressed against him. But yeah, this is definitely one of the strangest and oddest cases you ever heard.
You just wouldn't expect it to come from a guy like Giroux.
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