The National Hockey League is one of the four major sports leagues in North America. Though the league has continued to grow in terms of revenue and television ratings, there are still some things the league needs to do that could improve the quality of the NHL.
That all starts with giving the boot to some of the NHL's biggest pests, jerks, bullies and players who love to deliver cheapshots. Because the NHL hasn't done this, it's essentially ended the careers of superstars such as Paul Kariya, Chris Pronger, Marc Savard and Eric Lindros. That goes without saying that Sidney Crosby, the best hockey player in the world, has suffered from multiple concussions in his career.
Hockey isn't UFC or boxing. The game is suited for world-class skilled players to outplay the opposition to win games, not to try to give players injuries that could threaten their lives and careers.
The NHL was a sport during the 70s where it appeared to be more a street fight sport than a sport that involves sticks and pucks. Thanks to the Philadelphia Flyers bringing in the Broadstreet Bullies team, it seems as though some fans are more interested in violence than the art of hockey.
I sincerely hope that NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman reviews what I have put together here as he should strongly consider kicking these players out of the NHL for good. There is no place for goons to be taking control of the NHL. Let the superstars play without being targets of dangerous hits that take away entertainment from the game.
Without further ado, I present you the 15 NHL players who should no longer be given any chances to improve their characters. It is time for the NHL to wake up and say goodbye to these NHL players for good.
15 Zdeno Chara
It wouldn't be fair for the league to kick him out if he was one of the best defensemen in the NHL, but injuries and age no longer make him an effective player.
Unless you're a Bruins fan, it's easy to understand why so many people dislike Chara. Not only was he able to beat up all of his opponents, but he was integral in winning games.
But his hit on Max Pacioretty which broke his vertebrae and gave him a severe concussion still haunts the NHL, considering nothing was done about it.
Say what you want about it, but it looks obvious to me that Chara had every intention of hurting him. So yeah, maybe the NHL should kick him out.
14 Ryan Kesler
Ryan Kesler is one of the NHL's premier-two way forwards. The man is a lock to score 20-plus goals a season and always shuts down the opposition's best player.
Despite that, Kesler is known to be a big jerk in the dressing rooms, and an arrogant jerk who thinks he's bigger than the team.
Kesler also is known for being one of the NHL's biggest divers, which is a cardinal sin in the big boys' league. Maybe he should be kicked out and join an acting theatre.
13 John Scott
Scott is nothing more than a big guy who puts on skates and gloves. The 6-8, 270 pounder may be intimidating to some, but the man simply cannot play hockey.
He's scored five goals in 274 NHL games; that just isn't acceptable. With his big size, you'd think he'd score 20 goals a season. Tomas Holmstrom did it for the Detroit Red Wings, and he's not even close to reaching Scott's standards.
Just watching him play can make you cringe. He can't skate and isn't much of an enforcer because of it.
12 Eric Boulton
For all the good that Islanders GM Garth Snow has done in the last year to improve the Islanders, it's baffling that he would re-sign career goon Eric Boulton a few weeks ago. Boulton only played 48 games in the last three years coming into this season, 'earning' 154 penalty minutes. Boulton has miraculously stuck around for 20 years in the NHL, scoring 31 goals in 648 career games. The Islanders would be better off giving the roster spot to someone with some upside, but for some reason, they still feel they need an enforcer around. Perhaps the NHL should step in and make the decision for the Islanders.
11 Dan Cleary
Cleary hasn't involved himself in any controversy, but the man is simply pushing himself to the point where it's time to call it quits.
A three-time 20 goal scorer, Cleary has just five goals over his last two seasons. The Detroit Red Wings keep bringing him back out of loyalty, which isn't usually something a model organization does.
Cleary's no longer an effective NHL player. He shouldn't be pushing himself past his limits. It's probably a good idea for him to get kicked out so he can leave his career behind in one piece.
10 Mike Richards
Richards, a former captain for the Philadelphia Flyers and premier offensive scorer, never materialized into much during his four-year tenure with the Los Angeles Kings.
He scored no more than 18 goals (back in 2011-12), and had his contract terminated in the offseason as he never regained his scoring touch.
Richards was arrested over the summer for drug possession at the Canadian border. The Kings terminated his contract to move on from a troubled player.
The NHL doesn't need low-light players who give them a bad name. Time to move on from a player whose getting into trouble.
9 Jarret Stoll
Jarret Stoll has been a solid third-liner during his NHL career, winning two Stanley Cups during his tenure with the Kings.
Like Richards, he found himself in offseason trouble, though Stoll is a member of the New York Rangers now.
Stoll was arrested and charged with felony for cocaine possession back in April, shortly after the Kings were eliminated from playoff contention.
Probably a good idea to get this guy the help he needs before letting him play again.
8 Alex Burrows
Growing up in Vancouver, it's easy to love Alex Burrows as a talented NHL player, but it's easy for people to dislike a man who has played the game in a disgusting matter.
From pulling Duncan Keith's hair during a scuffle to biting Patrice Bergeron's finger, Burrows has a fair share of NHL haters.
I don't want to guess what the next move up his sleeve is, but it'd be a good idea for the NHL to deal with him sooner rather than later.
7 Paul Bissonnette
Paul Bissonnette isn't playing in the NHL right now. The man plays for the Ontario Reign of the AHL.
BisNasty has seven NHL goals in 202 games. He's not a jerk or anything. In fact, he's one of the most beloved players in the league.
But his Twitter account is one of the best humanity has ever witnessed. Bissonnette should be kicked out simply so that he can pay attention and focus on his real skill.
Do it for your fans, Paul.
6 Zack Kassian
Kassian was shockingly traded to the Montreal Canadiens by the Vancouver Canucks in the summer, despite being a highly characterized player.
No one knew, except possibly the Canucks, that he was a troubled player. Kassian was in a vehicle accident and sustained a broken nose and left foot, according to CBC.
Kassian is now in a rehab program for substance abuse, and this is another troubled player the NHL does not need. They're better off cutting ties with him and letting him fix himself.
5 Slava Voynov
Slava Voynov was arrested and charged with domestic violence on his wife. He spent 90 days in jail and was sentenced to probation for three months.
He has left the team and is now in Russia, but he isn't officially done in the NHL.
Voynov's a very troubled player who can't leave a bad mark on the NHL. They should do the right thing and ban him for life, simply because he probably won't ever play another NHL game anyway. May as well end this situation gracefully.
4 Brad Marchand
Marchand is that player everyone hates unless he plays for your team. The consistent 20-goal scorer is a key player to the Boston Bruins, but he's also as dirty as it comes.
This dirty and dangerous hit on Daniel Sedin is one play . His repeated punches on Sedin is another, and this hit on Sami Salo is as cheap as ever. Let's give you another fresh reminder why everyone hates Marchand.
Marchand seems to want to break players legs instead of playing hockey. The NHL should probably pick up on that soon.
3 Matt Cooke
Cooke is no longer the dirty NHL player he once was, but sometimes it's hard to forget all of the pain he's caused. It's like that one ex you had that you never got over. But you can't go back cause they hurt you too much.
Cooke's head shot on Marc Savard in 2010 was the most disgustingly illegal play I've seen and his stomping of Erik Karlsson was just terrible.
He's nearing the end of his career at age 37, so why don't we just cut him loose now?
2 Raffi Torres
Torres has been a repeat offender of many dirty hits in his career, and the NHL made it clear when they handed him a 41-game suspension for this:
But Torres loves to head hunt. His blindside hits are as unsafe as they can be, and it's just completely illegal.
His hits on Jakob Silfverberg and Brent Seabrook have totally crossed the line.
That doesn't belong in sports, let alone humanity. Just get rid of him, NHL.
1 Milan Lucic
Lucic hasn't given the dirty hits that Torres, Cooke and Marchand have, but he's been such a whiner that it's exhausting to see him anymore.
From threatening Dale Weise during the 2014 NHL playoffs to chasing Logan Couture down to give him a dirty hit (after Couture checked him cleanly,) Lucic has been such a whiner whenever he doesn't get his way.
Getting into altercations with a fan from your city won't buy any points, either.
Unless Lucic shows he can lose gracefully, he needs to go. The NHL wasn't meant to be made up of whiny grown men.