Hockey. A brotherhood that dates back well over a century and around the globe. While it may appear over a fan’s television, or spectating at an NHL game, that skaters from the same club tend get along just fine — the truth eventually leaks out. And, a truth that could entail locker room drama, dropping the gloves at a practice or leave an NHL General Manager forced to make a shocking trade.
Though, while a general manager is the one who officially executes a trade, more often than not a superstar caliber player could have the last word on a fellow teammate who gets shipped off to another North American city and at any given point in a season. But, it’s not always the case where a team’s top skater plays the role of being the antagonist; rather the problem could have started with the player who ends up being dealt.
The NHL has witnessed players traded for reasons that go as far as a teammate having an affair with another player’s girlfriend or wife, plus other players “bullying” younger teammates.
TheSportster lists the Top 15 NHL Players Who Drove A Teammate Out Of Town.
15. Dustin Brown – Sean Avery
When it was all said and done for former NHL forward Sean Avery – it was apparent that almost the entire league disliked the trash talking skater. And, for the record, Avery dressed for four different teams in a short duration, too. Why? He not only became a pest to opposing teams, but to his own respective teammates as well.
Most forget, but Avery’s NHL career began with the Detroit Red Wings, which to no surprise didn’t last long, and he was eventually traded to the Los Angeles Kings in 2002-03. It was there that Avery bumped heads with the (then) young gun, Dustin Brown. It became known that Avery would poke fun at the Kings’ youngster, and eventual Stanley Cup winning captain, for his lisp and Brown’s girlfriend at the time. The Kings didn’t have to think twice about which player to keep – and shipped Avery off to the New York Rangers in 2007.
14. Gabriel Landeskog – Steve Downie
Forward Steve Downie became a member of the Colorado Avalanche during the latter part of the 2012 regular season, after the Tampa Bay Lightning traded the former first-round draft-pick (Philadelphia Flyers 2005). Yet, Downie’s tenure in the Rocky Mountains was well, rocky to say the least. The Avs soon traded the former 2005 29th-overall-pick, and in large part because Downie took a “run” at Colorado’s young captain, Gabriel Landeskog.
It was apparent that Downie wasn’t happy after a minor tripping incident (initiated by Landeskog) in a preseason camp with the club, so the former Broad Street Bully tried to take matters into his own hands. Downie learned the hard way, as he did for a majority of his NHL career while jumping from team to team; as the Avalanche traded him back to the City Of Brotherly Love in the early stages of the 2013 season.
13. Cory Schneider – Martin Brodeur
Sure, most New Jersey Devils fans will say that goaltending legend, Martin Brodeur, was not “driven” out of town by the team’s (current) netminder Cory Schneider…however, if it weren’t for Schneider joining the Devils and his intriguing play in net during the 2013-14 season – would Brodeur have ever worn a St. Louis Blues sweater a year later? Probably not.
There were rumors that Brodeur was unhappy with his playing time, and decision making by (then) head coach Pete DeBoer; but the fact is that Marty finally had someone (respectively as it was the end of his career) outplaying him between the pipes for Jersey’s Team. Even if Brodeur couldn’t handle the same amount of starts in the past, the chances are that Brodeur would have ended his career in Jersey if it weren’t for Schneider. He might have even been in their front office today rather than in St. Louis.
12. Peter Bondra – Jaromir Jagr
It seems that all are aware who Czech Republic forward Jaromir Jagr is. Yet, not everyone recalls that Jagr dressed for the Washington Capitals at one point during his career, and decided to pack his bags from the Nation’s Capitals for the Big Apple.
During the 2001 offseason, the NHL superstar was acquired by the Caps and was hoping to lead Washington to its first ever Stanley Cup championship. Then, Jagr was supposed to be “the guy” for the Capitals and was going to thrive with his big contract and celebrity status in the city. However, the Caps struggled to be a competitive NHL team during his short tenure in D.C., and the fans seemed to have appreciated longtime Caps’ forward, Peter Bondra, more. Those factors didn’t sit well with the future Hockey Hall Of Famer, and Jagr demanded a trade to the New York Rangers during the 2003-04 NHL Trade Deadline.
11. Roberto Luongo – Cory Schneider
This is a unique situation because neither man hated each other, but their career situations made Vancouver too small a place to handle both of them – so one of them had to go. In 2012, the Vancouver Canucks found themselves in what is one of the more memorable and dramatic goaltending controversies in recent time. The Canucks had extended (then and current) goaltender Roberto Luongo’s contract to a 12-year deal worth a grand total of $64-million. And, given Luongo’s play at the time, and the young Cory Schneider on the rise between the pipes, the Canucks were in a position where they should’ve traded Luongo and held onto Schneider…
That wasn’t the case, as Luongo’s contract was a boat load for a team to tackle, especially in comparison to Schneider’s entry level deal. So, Vancouver was forced to deal away Schneider during the 2012 offseason (New Jersey Devils). Luongo was eventually dealt to the Florida Panthers one year later.
10. Duncan Keith – Patrick Sharp
It seems that NHL skaters, and all-star caliber players for that matter, tend not to follow nor respect the “Bro Code.” In 2015, it was rumored that Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane had an affair with his fellow teammate, Duncan Keith. And, it shouldn’t come to a surprise that the Hawks chose to stick with their Norris Trophy winning defenseman in Keith, and traded Sharp.
Sharp was dealt to the Dallas Stars after during the 2015 offseason, and while the Hawks were in need to make room for salary cap reasons – it appeared that maybe Sharp was traded for non-hockey related reasons. Both skaters continue to shine with their respective teams, but it will be interesting to see who will have more personal success moving forward and who will eventually get the last laugh.
9. Dustin Byfuglien – Evander Kane
Canadian born forward Evander Kane always has always been the front and center attention, and usually for all the wrong reasons. In February of 2015, it was reported that Kane and a number of his Winnipeg Jets teammates were not getting along, to say the least. The young gun showed up to a team meeting wearing his track suit, which was a violation of team rules, and also failed to show up for a game against the Vancouver Canucks around that same time frame.
So, defenseman Dustin Byfuglien took matters into his own hands by sending the “kid” a message. The six-foot-five d-man tossed Kane’s tracksuit into the showers after Kane’s amateur actions. Kane was eventually traded to the Buffalo Sabres. If it weren’t for Byfuglien taking a stand…perhaps that trade doesn’t happen.
8. Saku Koivu – Mike Ribeiro
Forward Mike Ribeiro joined the Montreal Canadiens roster back in the 1999-00 NHL regular season, and the marriage between the two lasted much longer than one would expect. Why? Ribeiro’s big ego and notable disrespect towards veteran players such as the great, Saku Koivu, was as bad as, if not worse, than any team’s internal problems could be.
And, Ribeiro even got into a fight at a team practice with the team captain, Koivu, back in the early 2000s. The Canadiens finally traded the “pest” in 2006 and to the Dallas Stars. So, while Ribeiro forced himself out of town – he picked the wrong battle with one of the greatest and most respected European professional hockey players of all-time. Koivu was also one of the most beloved Habs players in recent history. Ribeiro has had “internal and attitude issues” with every NHL team he’s played for since joining the league.
7. Jeff Carter – Scott Hartnell
While former Philadelphia Flyers forward Jeff Carter didn’t drive any of his former Flyers teammates out of town, the goal scorer drove himself out of the City Of Brotherly Love. It was rumored during the 2009-10 regular season that the Flyers’ Scott Hartnell’s wife had cheated on him and with Carter. Yes, another dramatic saga in Philly, which caused the team’s front office to trade an all-star caliber skater.
While the Flyers did turn things around that season, and made it to the Stanley Cup Finals, Carter was eventually traded during the 2011 offseason – to the Columbus Blue Jackets; apparently an undesirable destination for the former Flyers’ goal scorer. Normally when an NHL player breaks the “Bro Code,” karma will come back to haunt them, bad. Still, Carter was eventually traded to the Los Angeles Kings in 2012 and since that time has won two Stanley Cups with the club. The Flyers – still no Cups, and interestingly enough Hartnell now plays for Columbus.
6. Ilya Kovalchuk/Jamie Lagenbrunner
Former New Jersey Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello established a unique tradition in Jersey over the span of two-plus decades. Jersey’s Team never seemed to rely, or focus, a majority of its team’s intentions on one specific skater. Even with Hockey Hall Of Fame players such as Martin Brodeur, Scott Stevens, Scott Niedermayer and more. However, after the club acquired Russian superstar forward Ilya Kovalchuk in 2010 – it became apparent that the Devils team captain (at the time) became very unhappy with the organization’s non-traditional acquisition.
Towards the end of the 2010 season, and into the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Langenbrunner didn’t portray the same admirable playing characteristics which Devils fan had witnessed for the past seven seasons. The former United States Olympian, and the team captain’s, poor play carried over into the next season too. And, it was no coincidence that Kovalchuk had signed with the Devils that same offseason. Langenbrunner was traded to the Dallas Stars 31 games into the Devils season that year, and in large part because of Langenbrunner’s former teammate, Ilya Kovalchuk.
5. Max Pacioretty – P.K. Subban
Montreal Canadiens defenceman P.K. Subban took the NHL’s hottest market by storm when the Ontario native joined the club back in 2010. And, since that time, it seemed that Subban would perhaps one day don the Canadiens’ coveted captain’s letter “C.” But, that wasn’t the case as time progressed in Montreal for the star-studded defenseman.
The Habs eventually named American-born forward Max Pacioretty team captain back in 2013, and as that tenure progressed – it appeared that Canadiens’ overall relationship with Subban regressed. There were plenty of negative rumors swirling in the hockey city that Pacioretty and Subban no longer saw eye to eye, and Subban was eventually traded to Nashville this past offseason. So, while management may have been one reason the all-star d-man was traded, so was the team’s captain in Pacioretty.
4. Brendan Shanahan – Craig Janney
The St. Louis Blues acquired future Hockey Hall Of Famer, Brendan Shanahan, prior to the start of the 1991-92 regular season. The all-star forward progressed as an NHL skater for four seasons in St. Louis, but also picked up something more other than another stat added to his Hall Of Fame resume.
More than 20 years ago, there were reports leaked that “Shanny” was having an affair with fellow Blues teammate Craig Janney’s wife. And, not only did the affair go public, but the three time Stanley Cup Champion in Shanahan ended up marrying Janney’s wife and having a family with her. While neither Shanahan or Janney lasted much longer playing for St. Louis – it was Janney who was traded after the odd news was leaked.
3. Eric Lindros – Rod Brind’Amour
There’s never a dull moment in the city of Philadelphia and with its professional sports teams, especially the Philadelphia Flyers. During the 1999-00 regular season, Flyers forward Rod Brind’Amour was shockingly traded to the Carolina Hurricanes and in exchange for Keith Primeau. It left all Philly fans upset, that’s for sure.
Why was he traded? It was heavily rumored that superstar forward Eric Lindros had been having an ongoing affair with “Rod the Bod’s” wife, then. It’s been noted that Brind’Amour himself took action into his own hands by “beating up” Big E, and then marched up to Bobby Clarke’s office demanding for that either he or Lindros be traded. Well, the Flyers chose to trade Brind’Amour and was arguably one of the biggest mistakes the organization has ever made. Lindros barely played for the Fly Guys, due to concussion reasons…and Brind’Amour eventually won a Stanley Cup with the Canes.
2. Patrick Roy – Mathieu Schneider
Most dedicated NHL fans are already aware that Hockey Hall Of Fame Goaltender Patrick Roy has almost had a short temper. The former four time Stanley Cup champion had displayed his “hot head,” whether he was standing tall between the pipes, or behind the bench as a professional coach.
Roy also made headlines during the 1995-96 regular season, while being a member of the Montreal Canadiens. It was reported that the all-star had essentially gotten into a yelling match with (at the time) fellow teammate, Mathieu Schneider. Apparently, and in between periods during the altercation, Roy had thrown a cup of soda at his teammate. Schneider was then traded away from Montreal to the New York Islanders. Roy eventually ran himself out of Montreal and the rest was history, as he went on to win two Stanley Cups with Colorado.
1. Mario Lemieux – Jaromir Jagr
Hockey Hall Of Famer Mario Lemieux stunned all of professional sports, after number 66 came out of retirement during the 2000-01 regular season to rejoin the Pittsburgh Penguins. While Jaromir Jagr had become the face of the franchise, plus team captain (proceeding Lemieux), there was an apparent friction between the two superstars and former teammates (1990-1997).
And, even though the franchise was struggling financially, Jagr wanted out of the Steel City in large part because of Super Mario’s return. Jagr was traded to the Washington Capitals during the 2001 offseason, and Lemieux immediately took back the captain’s letter “C.” But, prior to the trade, the talk of the town in Pittsburgh was that Lemieux was “the captain” once he returned in 2000-01…which ultimately ran Jagr out of Pittsburgh.
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