Top 15 NHL Players Who Have Embarrassed Their Franchise

Like the rest of us, NHL players are human and are prone to making the same types of mistakes that we all make from time-to-time. This means they occasionally find themselves in some sticky situations which end up embarrassing themselves and their hockey clubs. Some of these incidents are often seen as being quite humorous while others are far from it and can end up in injury and even death. In general, NHL players are considered to be choirboys when compared to their NFL, NBA, and MLB counterparts, but that doesn’t mean they don’t get into trouble and embarrass their teams in the process.

This is a list of 15 current and former players who at one time or another in their careers embarrassed themselves and their franchise. Some of them ended up in trouble with the law for their actions and paid a price while others were arrested and later had their charges reduced or dropped. Most of these players suffered from negative press and catcalls from fans, but they can really only blame themselves for the consequences and results of their mistakes. Most players learned their lesson after acting up, but a couple of them ended up being repeat offenders.

There have been numerous other players who embarrassed themselves and their clubs over the years, but were lucky enough to be left off of this list. These include Claude Giroux, Seymon Varlamov, Brett Sutter, Ed Belfour, Dino Ciccarelli, Rick Tocchet, Bob Probert, Dany Heatley, Billy Tibbetts, Riley Sheahan, Mike Richards, Ryan Malone, Dominik Hasek, Mike Danton, Dustin Byfuglien, Jay Rosehill, and Jordan Staal who have all had their moments. There have also been several players who were arrested and/or caught in embarrassing situations after hanging up their skates including Bobby Hull, Chris Nilan, Rick Vaive, Aaron Ward, and Rob Ramage.

15 Jonathan Bernier

14 Sean Avery

13 Nikolai Khabibulin


12 Patrick Roy


11 Jarret Stoll

Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

10 Ryan O’Reilly

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

9 Alex Galchenyuk

Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

8 Slava Voynov

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

7 Joe Corvo

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

6 Ray Emery

Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

5 Kevin Stevens


4 Patrick Kane

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Patric Kane, the NHL’s leading scorer this season, has embarrassed the Chicago Blackhawks on several occasions even if the club won’t admit it. The native of Buffalo, New York made the headlines for all the wrong reasons back in 2009 when he and his cousin got into an argument with a taxi driver over 20 cents. The driver said he didn’t have the exact change for the $15 the pair gave to him and they proceeded to assault the poor guy. Kane was arrested for robbing and assaulting the man after the incident in his hometown and the driver testified that Kane and his cousin broke his glasses in the attack and took their $15 back. Kane was eventually cleared of the felony charges facing him, but he pleaded guilty to a charge of noncriminal disorderly conduct. In addition, Kane also left the Hawks red faced when a woman accused him of sexual assault last year. Luckily for Kane, there appears to be insufficient evidence to charge him.

3 Ryan O’Byrne


2 Mark Hardy


1 Craig MacTavish


One of the most serious incidents involved forward Craig MacTavish of the Boston Bruins back on January 25, 1984. MacTavish was charged with vehicular homicide after he drank and drove and killed a woman in a traffic accident. MacTavish, who was 25 at the time, caused the accident 20 miles north of Boston when he rear-ended a vehicle driven by a 26-year-old woman named Kim Radley. The woman’s car left the road and crashed into a sign. She lost consciousness and passed away a few days later. MacTavish originally pleaded not guilty to charges of driving under the influence of alcohol, driving without a license, and driving to endanger. He later pleaded guilty to the vehicular homicide charge and served a year in jail. He missed the rest of the 1984-85 campaign and the Bruins released him after his jail term. MacTavish currently serves as Vice President of Hockey Operations for the Edmonton Oilers.

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Top 15 NHL Players Who Have Embarrassed Their Franchise