When you look at the NHL in comparison to other sports leagues like the NBA and the NFL, the league handles itself with absolute class and has nowhere near the problems those other leagues face pertaining to on and off screen antics. Although the NHL isn’t as popular globally, the league holds its brand to a high standard and that has certainly transcended on the ice, with a series of rule changes to benefit player health along with a salary cap that has brought the league closer together than ever before in terms of yearly competition.
Like anything else however, the NHL is not perfect. There still are various issues which the league deals with on a regular basis that don’t seem to being going away anytime soon, like re-location or players playing overseas. The NHL wants us to forget about these problems as they truly don’t want to “face the music.”
This article will feature an abundance of other pictures and issues that the league probably doesn’t want you to be reminded of. The pictures stem from just about everything; from drunken players to a player caught in the act of not giving a damn (Ovechkin). Simply, this is a list the NHL won't be fond of.
With that said, let us begin, here are the 15 pictures the NHL probably doesn’t want you to see, enjoy!
15 He Gets Drunk Like Us
Although the NHL would like to believe that Sidney Crosby is a perfect robot that sleeps in an oxygen tank and was built to represent the NHL, he is, on the contrary, like all of us and enjoys to party during the off-season. He's a workhorse during the year, so I think he’s entitled to a little fun at times and, thankfully for us, this person was able to capture this moment so we can all see it with our own eyes.
There’s no doubt the NHL isn’t all that excited about this old pic, as after all, the league does everything in its power to glamorize Sid Crosby (especially in Canada). He's basically the poster boy for the NHL. He deserves to be though, as he’s a class act on and off the ice and he’s somehow managed to elevate his game to newer heights this past season and during the World Cup of Hockey.
At the age of 29, I think we can expect another decade of elite level play by Sid “the drunken” Kid.
14 Kane The Party Animal
Early on in his career, Patrick Kane had the reputation of being wild outside of the rink. Kane would spend his summers going back home to Buffalo and engaging in some fun with family and friends. At times, however, Kane was having a little too much fun, as you can see in the picture above. It was acceptable at one point, but once he began to be a role model for thousands watching at home, that behavior needed to stop and the NHL was certainly hoping it would.
It took a couple of terrible incidents and charges for Kane to finally stop his crazy lifestyle outside of the rink. The next situation on this list certainly changed everything for number 88, but previous engagements such as the one we just mentioned didn’t help his causeeither.
13 The Kane Incident
We'll change our focus from light hearted fun to a serious matter which saw Patrick Kane land in some serious hot water. Kane was charged with a very serious sexual assault charge pertaining to a 21 year old college student. Now, initially, a red flag was raised considering this was the second time Kane got into some trouble with the law, as a couple years back in 2009 Patrick was arrested for assaulting a cab driver. That, mixed in with his party lifestyle, certainly didn’t help his case when the charges were first brought forward.
Thankfully for him, Kane walked away from the charges a free man. Although the charges were dropped, it was still a dark cloud around both the Blackhawks organization, who were actually rumored at one point to trade the forward away because of the incident, and the NHL as well, who holds their league to a very high standard in terms of conduct off the ice.
We’re all pretty sure the NHL wants to sweep this picture under a rug somewhere.
12 The Stoll Incident
The summer of 2015 was pretty eventful for Jarret Stoll. The good: he hooked up with Erin Andrews. The bad: he was charged with possession of cocaine.
The entire situation was pretty terrible and the timing of it all was even worse. The Kings were dealing with a slew of misfortunes with the Slava Voynov charges of assault and the Mike Richards situation as well. The Stoll situation came out of left field and left both the Kings organization and the NHL with a sour taste in their mouths. Like other sports leagues, the NHL has a nonsense policy when it comes to such acts.
Thankfully for Stoll, the charges were later reduced to misdemeanors. However, his on ice career suffered pretty badly last year with a terrible stint in New York, which saw Stoll score one goal in 29 games. He didn’t do any better with the Wild in the second half of the year either, notching six points in 51 games.
No matter how you look at it, the situation was not good for both the NHL and Stoll.
11 Sean Avery
Who can forget Sean Avery? The NHL can, seeing as they basically blacklisted him after he left the league. Avery made headlines last year for all the wrong reasons and the NHL was surely having none of it, as no major hockey sports station reported the incident which just goes to show you much the league wants us to forget about this guy and all the baggage that came with him.
Last year, the former NHLer was slapped with an arrest after he was throwing objects at speeding cars, so obviously, he was not in the right state of mind. A document was also released on Twitter showing Avery’s prescription drug use and the purchases he had made.
Pretty disgusting I even have to do this but unfortunately it's the same old story.— Sean Avery (@imseanavery) October 6, 2015
Have fun with this one ✌🏻️ pic.twitter.com/OBBzTymwk2
Avery actually posted the document on social media for some odd reason, but one thing is certain; he won’t be getting any type of NHL exposure anytime soon.
10 Hall of Fame DUI
When it comes to league ambassadors, the NHL loves to select players that are not only great on the ice, but equally good off of it. Legendary defenseman Ray Bourque was exactly that, as on the ice, his play was tremendous, winning a grand total of five Norris Trophies along with a Stanley Cup in 2001. Outside of the rink, he was one of the most loyal players in league history, cementing his name in the Boston community as one of the most iconic names in Boston pro sports history.
With all this being said, the NHL and its fans were shocked to find out that the 55 year old had picked up a DUI charge this past summer while driving in Massachusetts. He was released upon bail.
The story was later put to rest and it's one that the NHL hopes its fans can forget about quickly, seeing as he’s pretty important to the game.
9 Ed Belfour
You cannot doubt the legend of Ed Belfour, who was truly spectacular during his better days. He won two Vezina Trophies along with a Stanley Cup Championship in 1999. Which begs the question, why doesn’t the NHL talk about him more among some of the greats? The answer is simple, his off-ice antics.
Away from the rink, Ed was wild and he still is for that matter. I personally saw the goaltender heavily intoxicated in the downtown Montreal area this past summer, so it seems like he still enjoys a “casual” night out. Belfour has a reckless history of going out and has multiple charges relating to being intoxicated. His greatest one came after he was brought into custody for being intoxicated and offered a Dallas police office $1 billion dollars to drop the charges. You can’t make this stuff up folks.
For these reasons, the NHL sadly fails to mention the legendary goalie at times.
8 Mug Shots
All sports leagues have tight policies when it comes to arrests, but the NHL in comparison to other leagues doesn’t face this problem on a regular basis like the NFL, who sees a plethora of arrests per year. The NHL, instead, only gets a minor amount and plans to keep it that way for the foreseeable future. The NHL takes its image quite seriously.
Mug shots have however surfaced to the public in the past, like with Jarret Stoll who we discussed a little earlier, and Semyon Varlamov was another example of a goalie facing some serious problems. The Avalanche goalie was charged with domestic abuse, although the charges were later dropped. Thankfully for him, the Russian was able to resume play quickly and the charges were swept from the record books rather quickly.
7 The YOLO Life
The NHL loves to show the emotions of the players on the ice celebrating a Stanley Cup victory with their families and shedding a tear or two, as that makes for some good family television. What they don’t want you to see is everything that goes on following the team’s departure from the arena and into a club where the team takes the party to another level.
This was exactly the case with the Boston Bruins after they won the Stanley Cup in 2011, by defeating the Canucks in game seven. The two young studs from the team, Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin. took things to another level. dancing on top of the bar shirtless. Some believe, this aspect played a part in Seguin’s trade during the 2013 off-season.
Nonetheless, the league surely doesn’t want children seeing that picture. Although they probably have anyway.
6 Ron MacLean Is Also Human
Hockey fans, you can take a deep breath; Ron MacLean is headed back to Hockey Night In Canada for the upcoming season. To his credit, George Stroumboulopoulos did a decent job, but at the end of the day, he was no Ron.
Ron MacLean is like the Sid Crosby of the NHL’s television media, as the guys a class act and seems flawless. Everyone loves the guy except for maybe Gary Bettman, who has a history of uncomfortable interviews with Ron.
His robotic perfection was also revealed to be a myth when fans caught the hockey host partying it up shirtless while on vacation. You can also view the video which has restored faith in humanity.
5 He Likes To Party
One of the biggest differences between Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin is that the “great eight” loves to party. Since the arrival of the two mega stars, some find it unfair when assessing the treatment Alex has gotten in comparison to his rival Sid. Aside from Stanley Cup victories, the two are pretty much neck and neck and you can even argue that Ovechkin has the better scoring resume. After all, he has 525 career goals along with three straight 50 goals seasons. Some also believe he might be able to challenge Wayne’s 894 goal mark and although that seems like a stretch, it is a possibility.
Which begs the question, why isn’t he getting as much exposure? Is it because of his vodka nights? Or hanging out with Tiesto during the off-season? Or tearing up every club in Vegas? What do you think?
4 Even Ovie Doesn't Care
This situation is like when you tap your dog on the back side for being bad, but he just comes back wagging his tale. This is basically the formula the NHL uses when it comes to the All Star Game. Fans and players both clearly don’t give a damn about the game, but the league continues to come back year after year with a new and “improved” format, which continuously fails to make fans, and even players, care.
This picture also shows exactly that, as we're pretty sure we’ve never seen an athlete bring a phone to a televised event like an All-Star game, but it’s the NHL All-Star Game, so who gives a damn, right?
If the players don’t care, why should we?
3 Life Away From The NHL
Making it to the NHL is tough, but for most average players, staying in the league is even more difficult. The league sheds a light on those in the NHL, but rarely discusses the life and struggle of a player once they leave the high profile league. Unless, of course, the player returns to the NHL, as the league will then make an entire story around the situation.
Generally, the league gives no updates on players who left the league, which forces us to give you that update. Look at a guy like Jonathan Cheechoo, who was playing with a Croatian club at one point. He was later traded to a more prominent KHL team, HC Dinamo Minsk. But you obviously didn’t know that because the NHL could care less about players outside of the league.
2 The AHL Struggle
The league loves to glorify the life of an NHL player, with various reality based television shows like the yearly HBO specials. One things the league certainly does not glorify and never mentions is the state of their affiliate league, the American Hockey League.
Life down in the AHL is pretty miserable for many players, as they're not only relegated to playing in a lower tier league, but the conditions are also quite lousy. Some of the arenas are terrible and finally the Habs and Sens have decided to launch new AHL stadiums. During the 17-18 season, Montreal’s AHL tea, will move to the Laval area, renaming the team, Laval Rocket. The Sens will to do same by moving their AHL team to Belleville, renaming the team, the Belleville Senators.
The NHL will surely discuss these moves, but the outdated venues certainly won’t make television.
1 The Curious Case That Is Glendale
The league continues to protect the Arizona Coyotes and their franchise. The NHL constantly fails to acknowledge the team's internal shortcomings, which has baffled the common fan and those around the league. At the end of the day, it just seems like the NHL does not want to lose another American market.
Just look at this picture though, as the arena is constantly empty. Even poor Jerry Moyes felt the wrath losing millions upon millions. Instead of giving the team to another owner, the NHL opted to take over the team in fear that another owner would demand the franchise to be moves elsewhere, as Jim Balsillie attempted to do a while ago.
Even with the NHL owning the team, this problem will be on-going until the NHL finally decides to re-locate the franchise.