Daniel Alfredsson, Marcel Dionne, Dale Hunter, Mats Sundin, and Cam Neely.
Those are just a number of some of the greatest NHL players ever who deserved a Stanley Cup like few others, but sadly never got to hoist it. In the mean time, jerks like Matt Cooke and Brad Marchand were able to win hockey’s ultimate prize, even if their personalities and on-ice antics say otherwise.
But for some NHL fans, they can be revered in joy when knowing some of the league’s most hated players have not won a Stanley Cup. There are a number of jerks, pests, punks, bullies, and goons who disgrace the beautiful game and therefore don’t deserve their shot at a championship.
As such, fans are always hanging onto their seats hoping they don’t see some of these guys win a championship, but it’s out of their control. While some of us hope legends like Jarome Iginla, Shane Doan, the Sedin twins, and Joe Thornton win their first Stanley Cup, we understand that not every great player truly will win it.
It’s a shame and it’s hard to accept, but it happens. As we said earlier, how do some of the NHL’s dirtiest players get to win a Cup? Could you imagine if Donald Trump won the Nobel Peace Prize over someone who did countless charity work around the world in hopes of winning that honor?
There are a number of NHL players that fans would never want to win a Cup and here are the 15 that we hope don’t get it, one way or another.
15. Dion Phaneuf
When he was with the Calgary Flames, people really only had to hate him for being a hard-hitter. Phaneuf was a modern-day Scott Stevens: If your head was down, he’d make you pay the price.
But after he became the Toronto Maple Leafs captain, Phaneuf became much more despised. He’s very overpaid, is a whiner and not even a captain by any means. If he were to score a goal for every time he blamed someone else, he’d be in the running for the Rocket Richard.
14. Alex Ovechkin
The world loved seeing LeBron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers/Miami Heat crumble in the playoffs until he finally won his first championship in 2012. Long before that, it was a fun thing to make up the LeBron ringless jokes.
It was a sad day for many when he got that first ring. And Alex Ovechkin is no different. Sure, he’s well-loved and respected by many, but seeing him come up short in the playoffs time and time again is a guilty pleasure many of us have.
At least for those die-hard Sidney Crosby and Pittsburgh Penguins fans, no?
13. Roberto Luongo
Yes, he’s a future Hall of Fame netminder who deserves a Stanley Cup, but please bear with me as I explain (as a person who grew up in Vancouver) why it’d be painful for the Canucks fan base to see Roberto Luongo win a championship.
How should he win a Cup in Florida when there isn’t any ice (jokes of course) in the boiling weather? It’s not as though the Panthers have die-hard fans who’ve been suffering for nearly 50 years like the Canucks fans.
Luongo had chance after chance to guide star-studded Canucks teams to Cups. And he failed. We just wouldn’t be able to forgive him if he got the job done in Florida but failed us here.
12. Ryan Kesler
While in Vancouver, it was easy for Ryan Kesler to have less hatred when he had teammates Alex Burrows, Raffi Torres, and Maxim Lapierre on the squad. Now that he’s had more exposure, here’s why he doesn’t deserve a Cup.
Rumours have it that he orchestrated Cory Schneider being traded to New Jersey after having an affair with the latter’s wife. If that’s true, what kind of man whose married with kids and cheats on a teammate’s wife deserves a Cup?
Kesler’s been a huge jerk inside and outside of the locker room and his diving theatrics should put him on Broadway, not on top of the hockey world.
11. Phil Kessel
“Phil the Thrill” was ran out of down by the Toronto Maple Leafs. That’s not his fault, as the media treated him like garbage in the city.
That being said, we still wouldn’t like to see him win a Cup. Phil Kessel’s become a huge whiner and it’s like the LeBron affect if he wins a Cup in Pittsburgh: He simply joined up with other stars to win a title, because he knew he couldn’t do it on his own.
Granted, Kessel was traded to Pittsburgh. But putting myself into the shoes of a Toronto fan (and there are many of them), seeing Kessel win a Cup would bring a lot of sour tastes into Canada…and Boston, another arch-rival of the Pens.
10. Mike Ribeiro
Mike Ribeiro has absolutely enjoyed being a drama queen and diver in the NHL. There have been instances where his flops and sell-jobs have been disgraceful to the game, but that’s not the only reason we’d cringe if he lifted Lord Stanley’s mug.
Last year, disturbing allegations came out that involved Ribeiro sexually assaulting his nanny, though a settlement had been reached. Given the society we live in today, doing anything like that to a female makes you a coward.
For that, it’s easy to explain our decision to list Ribeiro. There’s no reason a person who acts like that (if the allegations are true) deserves a Cup.
9. James Neal
James Neal isn’t always the first guy that comes to your mind when you think of jerks who love to take cheapshots, but that’s exactly who he is.
Aside from being a well-known diver, he’s delivered a number of ugly hits and somehow got away with them. He viciously hit Calgary Flames’ defenceman Mark Giordano this past December and got away with a horrible shot to Zach Parise.
He’s a talented scorer, but he loves to play it dirty too. That’s not a person we want hoisting a Cup.
8. Maxim Lapierre
A large number of NHL fans were thrilled when Maxim Lapierre played overseas in 2015-16, but that doesn’t mean he won’t have another chance of winning a Stanley Cup.
Lapierre isn’t one of the biggest players by hockey standards, but he is a well-known pest. He dished out awfully dangerous hits to Andrew Shaw and Dan Boyle within a week in during the 2013-14 season.
He seems to enjoy attacking players when referees aren’t looking. We don’t like people who cheat their way into and out of a system, so Lapierre doesn’t deserve to flash a Cup ring.
7. Evander Kane
Evander Kane is known for his huge ego and arrogance, it’s a reason why he was traded from the Winnipeg Jets to the Buffalo Sabres a year ago.
There was a team controversy where he didn’t wear a team suit at a formal time, instead showing up in track equipment. Teammate Dustin Byfuglien threw his clothes in the shower, signalling his conceited nature.
Kane obviously has a me-first attitude and those aren’t the guys we want winning Stanley Cups, now is it? How about a classy guy who puts the team first. Shane Doan or Jarome Iginla, anyone?
6. Steve Ott
Steve Ott is hated and rightfully so.
He’s just a smallish power forward (six feet tall) who can score and bully his way through opponents. Yes, he’s a professional pest.
Everyone remembers his dirty eye-gouge poke to Travis Moen in 2009 and a poll released from Sports Illustrated in 2009 showed he and Chris Pronger were the NHL’s most hated players.
Ott isn’t the most friendly guy on the ice and eye-gouging is illegal in high-combat sports like boxing and mixed martial arts. Come on, Mr. Ott. You’re better than that.
5. Alexandre Burrows
Unless you’re a Vancouver Canucks fan, chances are you’re hoping that Alex Burrows will never hoist a Stanley Cup. Even if you’re from Vancouver, it’s easy to see why he doesn’t deserve a chance to win one.
Biting Patrice Bergeron’s finger in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final was rather embarrassing to the game, as was his hair-pulling of Duncan Keith during an all-out brawl in 2009 between Vancouver and Chicago.
Burrows pulls plenty of dirty antics to get under the opponents’ skins. He’s a shell of his former self and we can’t forget the past. Does he really deserve a Cup at this point for being a jerk to other teams?
He also allegedly made fun of Patrick O’Sullivan for being heavily abused by his father. Assuming those rumours are true, we need to say no more.
4. Patrick Kaleta
If there’s a Ric Flair in the NHL, it’s Patrick Kaleta.
He takes after the former wrestling World Champion in the fact that he’s The Dirtiest Player in the Game. Kaleta has been suspended for head-butting Jakub Voracek, hitting Brad Richards in the boards, head-checking Jack Johnson, with the last one being a 10-game suspension.
When you give so many hits like that, it’s clear you get pleasure and joy from doing it. Who wants a guy that head-hunts instead of playing hockey, winning a Stanley Cup? We sure don’t.
3. P.K. Subban
People love to hate P.K. Subban. In fact, I’m sure if you were to poll every NHL fan in North America outside of Montreal, he’d come up as the most hated player in the league.
There are plenty of reasons for that, but his all-around cockiness and excessive celebrations have infuriated other teams and players. His Canadiens have a fierce rivalry with the Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Ottawa Senators. That’s an easy way to draw haters.
His ugly slash on Mark Stone during the 2015 Playoffs was uncalled for, not helping his ratings in the polls.
2. Zac Rinaldo
Zac Rinaldo played several seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers and there’s no doubt he brought back the old feel of The Broad Street Bullies from the ’70s.
He was suspended in 2015 for an ugly charge on Kris Letang. Rinaldo was suspended again a couple of months ago for an ugly hit on Cedric Paquette. The man who knows more about suspensions than point-production has also been in plenty of AHL trouble.
This guy can barely crack an NHL roster and when he does, he just delivers ugly hits. Who would want to watch him win a Cup?
1. Raffi Torres
It’s a pure joy for some fans to know that Raffi Torres was on the wrong end of the 2006 and 2011 Stanley Cup Finals, losing with the Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks, respectively.
There’s only so much to say: He delivered an awful hit to Brent Seabrook in the 2011 Playoffs, sent one of the most vicious hits ever to Marian Hossa during the 2012 Playoffs, as well as Jakob Silfverberg in September.
Torres is a punk, to say the least. He’s always out head-hunting, but what separates him from the others is how much pain and damage he delivers. For that, he doesn’t deserve a Cup.
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