Most of the NHL legends you, your parents and grandparents got to watch won the Stanley Cup at least once. Take a look at the greatest players of all-time who won Stanley Cups -- they simply became heroes to the team they played for. And that is not an exaggeration.
Wayne Gretzky could easily be mayor of Edmonton if he so chooses to run. Bobby Orr could be governor of Massachusetts if he wanted to be. Mark Messier could be the mayor of both Edmonton and New York at the same time if he wanted to be. Okay, maybe that was exaggerating a bit.
But my point being, Stanley Cup champions are supposed to be heroes, legends, icons and model citizens. But unfortunately, some of the most infamous Stanley Cup champions committed some gruesome and awful acts outside of the arena. Here's a look at 15 Stanley Cup champions who did something the NHL wants you to forget!
16 Mark Messier's Greed
Mark Messier is widely recognized by many as the greatest captain in NHL history. He led the Edmonton Oilers to five Stanley Cup championships and helped the New York Rangers end their 54-year title drought in 1994. He is third all-time in scoring with 694 goals and 1,887 points.
Nearing the end of his career, Messier signed a six-year deal worth $30 million with the Vancouver Canucks in 1997. There was a clause in Messier's contract that should the Canucks improved their play on the ice under his leadership, Messier would be given more cash.
But back in 2012, Messier went to an arbiter and won a $6 million case in the contract. This came despite being a major flop in Vancouver, and the team actually played worse with him. An NHL legend taking more money from a team that overpaid him big time? That didn't look good on the NHL.
15 Eric and Jordan Staal's Arrest
The Staals are among the greatest NHL brothers of this generation. Eric led the Carolina Hurricanes to a Stanley Cup in 2006, scoring 45 goals and 100 points that season. His brother Jordan, one of the league's best two-way players, helped the Pittsburgh Penguins win the Stanley Cup in 2009.
But back in 2007, the two brothers were arrested in Minnesota during what appeared to be a rowdy bachelor party for Eric. According to CBC, Eric and Jordan were among 14 arrested for disorderly conduct, as police were informed of loud noises at the party.
Eric was only 22 years of age, and Jordan was 18 (drinking age in the United States is 21). This wasn't exactly a great moment for the brothers, Staal family, Hurricanes, Penguins or the NHL.
14 Milan Lucic Fights a Fan in Vancouver
Milan Lucic was a hero in Vancouver long before he became one of the NHL's best power forwards. The East Vancouver native helped the Vancouver Giants WHL team win the Memorial Cup in 2007. But because 'Looch' was a big part in helping the Boston Bruins defeat the Canucks in the 2011 Stanley Cup, he became one of the most hated men in his own city.
Boston returned to Vancouver for a game on Dec. 14, 2013. In the Bruins first visit to Vancouver since winning the Stanley Cup, the Canucks crushed Boston 6-2. A video of Lucic fighting a Canucks fan at a bar downtown earlier that night emerged, however. Unhappy with the events, Lucic had this to say:
“I have no reason left to defend my city and the people in my city. I’m disgusted and outraged that it had to come to something like that.”
Though Lucic certainly wasn't at fault here for being unfairly harassed by fans, the fact a video was released of him fighting a fan didn't do anything good for the NHL. Players are supposed to learn how to control their emotions. Then again, it's easy to see Lucic's point here.
13 Brendan Shanahan Stealing A Teammate's Wife
Brendan Shanahan is one of the most gifted scorers in NHL history, finishing with 656 goals and 1,354 points while helping the Detroit Red Wings win the Stanley Cup in 1997, 1998 and 2002. So you would kind of expect that Shanahan, a Hockey Hall of Famer, would have a rather clean resume in his career.
However, it's been widely circulated for two decades now that Shanahan's wife Catherine of 19 years was a girl he had to steal away from a teammate. You see, Catherine was married to Shanahan's former St. Louis Blues teammate, Craig Janney. It was believed that an affair took place, which led St. Louis to trading Shanahan to the Hartford Whalers.
Though Shanahan and Catherine have a happy marriage that has produced three kids, you would like to believe that this was true love and not an affair. We won't know the truth, however.
12 Tyler Seguin's Homophobic Tweet
The Boston Bruins drafted Tyler Seguin second-overall in 2010, and though he didn't score much in his rookie season, he did enough to help his team win the Stanley Cup. But the Bruins quickly got tired of Seguin's partying ways, and he was traded to the Dallas Stars in the summer of 2013 in a blockbuster deal that brought Loui Eriksson over to Beantown. It is now one of the most one-sided trades in recent memory.
But Seguin didn't leave a good first impression in Dallas. He tweeted a very inappropriate message, calling people in Texas a homophobic slur. No matter what your beliefs are, there are sensitive topics that aren't to be discussed out loud -- especially when you're a celebrity with a loud voice like Seguin.
Did Seguin deserve a Stanley Cup? You bet. But he really did not have any reason to tweet something so harsh.
11 Claude Lemieux's Dirty Hit On Kris Draper
The Colorado Avalanche and Detroit Red Wings had one of hockey's most fiercest rivalries in the '90s and early 2000s, meeting in five playoff series from 1996 to 2002 and combining to win five Stanley Cups. Though you'd think the nature of the competition was simply the driving factor in this rivalry, it was actually Avs' tough guy Claude Lemieux who started it.
During the Red Wings and Avalanche playoff series in 1996, Lemieux delivered an ugly hit from behind on Kris Draper, whose face went into the boards. Draper broke his jaw, cheekbone, nose and suffered a concussion on the play.
A year later, the infamous Brawl in Hockeytown took place, with Wings' enforcer Darren McCarty attacking Lemieux. Though a four-time Stanley Cup champion, Lemieux's ugly hit on Draper is one of the worst moments in league history the NHL wants to forget.
10 Scott Stevens Ruins Two Great Careers
Scott Stevens is probably the greatest open ice hitter the NHL has ever seen. The Hall of Famer was a key piece of the New Jersey Devils championships teams in 1995, 2000 and 2003. However, Stevens' aggressive play led to the untimely end of two great players and their careers.
It all started with Eric Lindros, once billed to be the next Wayne Gretzky. During the Devils' meeting with the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2000 Eastern Conference Finals, Stevens committed an ugly head shot on Lindros, who suffered a concussion. The hit continued to affect Lindros' health, and he wasn't able to stay healthy after Stevens committed the hit for the rest of his career.
Of course, Stevens also dished out a blind side hit on Paul Kariya during the 2000 Stanley Cup Final. Kariya did return to the game, but it was one of many hits that gave him concussion woes and forced the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim legend to retire early.
Stevens was a joy to watch, sure. But two brutal hits essentially ended two legendary careers early.
9 Theoren Fleury's Alcohol/Drug Addictions
Theoren Fleury had a real tough upbringing, with one of his hockey coaches sexually abusing him when he was only a boy. These were some of the many issues Fleury dealt with in his life, but he overcame all of it and turned out to be one of the flashiest players of the '80s and '90s.
Fleury scored 455 goals and 1,088 points in a storied career that includes a Stanley Cup championship with the Calgary Flames and an Olympic gold medal with team Canada in 2000. But in his book Playing with Fire, Fleury details all of the alcohol and drug addictions he encountered during his playing days.
Fleury often showed up hungover for practices and even became suicidal at one point. He also had made millions in his career but lost it all on drugs, gambling and alcohol. Though Fleury has since found happiness as a motivational speaker and is now alcohol free, seeing a player in so much despair was undoubtedly tough for fans and the league to watch. At least there's a happy ending to come out of this.
8 Rick Tocchet's Gambling
Rick Tocchet was an underrated piece of the Pittsburgh Penguins 1992 Stanley Cup championship team, scoring 14 goals and 30 points in just 19 games, helping them successfully defend their title. Tocchet posted solid numbers in his career, finishing with 440 goals and 952 points in 1,144 games.
During the 2005-06 season while he was an assistant coach for the Coyotes, it was revealed that Tocchet had allegedly helped finance a gambling operation in New Jersey. Other NHL players had apparently gambled in the ring as well. When all was said and done, Tocchet was given a two-year probation period and was ordered by commissioner Gary Bettman to avoid all forms of gambling.
So yeah, having one of your assistant coaches involved in an illegal gambling ploy is something the NHL wants all of us to forget about.
6 Jarret Stoll's Arrest
Jarret Stoll helped the Los Angeles Kings win a pair of Stanley Cups -- in 2012 and 2014. He wasn't much of a scorer, finishing with just 144 goals and 388 points in 872 games, though. But his physical style and high energy level fit the Kings' system perfectly, and they bullied their way to the two championships.
But in the summer of 2015, Stoll ran into trouble off the ice. At a Las Vegas hotel, he was arrested for being in possession of ecstasy and cocaine. He plead guilty to a pair of misdemeanor charges and was to serve 32 hours of community service, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Stoll is now retired and is a scout in the Kings organization. That being said, his arrest was an embarrassment for the Kings and for the NHL. Here's hoping all will turn out well for Stoll down the road.
5 Patrick Kane Attacking a Cab Driver
Patrick Kane is one of the most accomplished players of his era. He won three Stanley Cups by the age of 26 and has a Hart and Art Ross Trophy to his name (both awards won in 2016). 'Kaner' and Jonathan Toews helped transform the long-time losing Chicago Blackhawks into the NHL's most accomplished team of the 2000s. That is quite impressive.
But after completing his second NHL season in 2009, a 20-year-old Kane and his cousin got into trouble with the law. Both mens were arrested for allegedly beating a cab driver, who didn't have 20 cents in change for their fare. Yes, a guy making six figures a year beating up a cab driver over 20 cents.
Kane and his cousin luckily escaped major punishments, as they were simply ordered to keep it clean for a year and to apologize to the cab driver. Though Kane has been a model person off the ice since, it's hard to forget about this unnecessary incident.
4 Marty McSorley Attacking Donald Brasher
Marty McSorley is one of the toughest NHL goons to ever live, but also one of the most controversial figures. A two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Edmonton Oilers, McSorley was often called upon to protect The Great One in Wayne Gretzky, by means of intimidating opposing players into not even daring to touch No. 99.
But McSorley's tough guy personality often crossed the line. Such an incident took place when McSorley's Bruins faced the Vancouver Canucks in a Feb. 2000 game. With the game nearing its end, McSorley slashed Canucks' enforcer Donald Brashear over the head with his stick. Brashear fell to the ice unconscious and suffered a concussion.
The case was so ugly that the case went to the Provincial Court of British Columbia, and McSorley was found guilty for his actions. McSorley was sentenced to 18 months probation and received a one-year suspension from the NHL. He never played another NHL game after the incident.
3 Kevin Stevens' Drug Arrest
Though Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr got most of the credit for the Pittsburgh Penguins' success in the '90s that brought home a pair of Stanley Cups in 1991 and 1992, Kevin Stevens was also paramount in helping the franchise succeed so much.
Kevin had a pair of 50-goal and 100-point seasons in the early '90s, complementing the dangerous duo of Lemieux and Jagr. He finished with respectable numbers of 329 goals and 726 points in 874 NHL games. However, Stevens also had problems staying out of trouble off the ice.
In 2000, he was arrested for soliciting a prostitute and drug possessions, according to the New York Times. Police had found "crack cocaine" when investigating his motel room, according to the report. In May of 2016, Stevens and a companion were also charged with possession/intent to distribute drugs.
Here's hoping Stevens can find a way to stay out of trouble from now on, as his arrests have been a huge disappointment for the man himself and the NHL.
2 Patrick Roy's Domestic Violence Case
Patrick Roy is widely recognized as one of the most dominant goaltenders in NHL history. He has 551 wins, four Stanley Cups and three Conn Smythe Trophies, plus 151 postseason wins. Roy is undoubtedly one of the most dominant goalies the league has ever seen -- and possibly the greatest ever.
But in 2000, the good guy image of Roy was somewhat tarnished. Back in 2000, police received a call from his wife Michele as the two were arguing. He was arrested for domestic violence but the case was dismissed and Roy avoided all charges.
But, we're in a society where a man hitting a woman will never be acceptable or tolerated. Athletes like Roy are supposed to set high standards for young kids, and committing such a heinous act towards his own wife is a moment the NHL wants us all to forget.
1 Slava Voynov's Domestic Violence Case
Slava Voynov was a solid two-way defenceman for the Los Angeles Kings and helped them win the Stanley Cup in 2012 and 2014. Though not exactly a Drew Doughty-type player, Voynov's presence on the Kings' blue line was key in helping the franchise win a pair of championships.
But Voynov was given a suspension from the NHL during the 2014-15 season for domestic violence towards his wife, Marta Varlamova. The reports indicate that Voynov viciously punched, choked and kicked his wife and even through her into a television. Though Varlamova asked for her husband not to be charged, he was given a 90-day prison sentence.
Voynov moved back to his come country of Russia and has not played in the NHL in nearly three years. But given the horrible actions he committed towards his own wife, we're pretty sure the league is okay with that. I know I am.
Leave A Comment
Looking for an AD FREE EXPERIENCE on TheSportster?Get Your Free Access Now!