When you are a part of a team, it is all about teamwork and chemistry. The better those two qualities are, the better the team preforms. No matter the sport, you see different ways of teams building chemistry.
A lot of teams like to do bonding experiences during the preseason to get the new players used to everyone.
In prior NHL seasons we have seen teams do different drills to build chemistry and a friendship. The Vancouver Canucks have had players blind folded playing dodgeball while another teammate helped them out. We have also seen organizations take teams on different obstacle courses.
There is nothing better for an organization than to have a team that gets along. You never want to have that one player who thinks everything is about him.
We have all heard the saying “Teamwork makes the dream work,” well it’s true there is no “I” in team. If a team will win you need everyone to be on the same page.
However, it isn’t always the case, every so often you get that one player on the team who doesn’t know how to be a good team player. They show up late to practice, even miss practices, they cause negative media attention and even blow off the media sessions. These are usually the players the organization tries to get rid of.
If these players are in your organization you usually see them getting fined by the team, suspended by the team or even fined from the league. Sometimes to a fan point they could be amusing and others they could be flat out annoying. Here are the top 15 worst teammates in NHL History.
15. Brendan Shanahan
An NHL legend. Brandon Shanahan, is a three-time Stanley Cup Champion, and has done so many great things for the NHL.
However, there are stories that point to Shanahan not being the greatest teammate. One of the most famous is the story about him sleeping with then St. Louis Blues teammate Craig Janney’s wife. The former Mrs. Janney, Catherine, is now married to Shanahan and they have three kids.
Janney didn’t find out until the team was on a road trip in Florida. Denis Chasse allegedly fought Shanahan in a bar the team was in. When the Blues returned to St. Louis Janney took a leave of absence for personal reasons.
14. Dany Heatley
No, I don’t have Dany Heatly on this list because of the car accident. Accidents happen and he got off with probation, ordered to give speeches on dangers of speeding and had to pay $25,000 to Fulton County for investigating the crash.
Heatley was not using his head while driving his Ferrari 360 Modena as it was reported that he was driving between 55- 85 MPH in a 35 Mph speed zone. However, the family of Dan Snyder, his teammate and passenger in the car, have forgiven Heatly.
Heatly is on the list because in his career he has played for five teams and on two of the teams when he didn’t like how they used him he would request to be traded. Not much of a team player.
13. Thomas Vanek
Thomas Vanek has been a player who shined in the NHL regular season, yet, in the playoffs, he would disappear.
However, it is not just the playoffs that did this to him. Vanek was traded to the New York Islanders in October of 2013. It was clear by his play that he wasn’t interested in playing there. Vanek made it even clearer when he turned down a seven-year, $50 million deal.
The Islanders would eventually trade him to the Montreal Canadiens for essentially nothing. He wasn’t much help to Canadiens cup push and wasn’t re-signed.
12. Eddie Shack
He is a four-time Stanley Cup champion, however, he was not a player his teammates would rave about. From 1959 to 1975 he played for six different teams.
His most noted controversy came after the Toronto Maple Leafs won their last Stanley Cup. The team and their wives where at a victory party at owner Stafford Smythe’s house. The whole team dressed up for the event and Shack found it funny to push Tim Horton and Bob Pulford in the pool. This caused a ruckus where Horton went after Shack.
Following this Shack was traded to the Boston Bruins.
11. Chris Simon
Chris Simon played 15 seasons with the NHL but he was one of those players who whenever he was on the ice his teammates would have to stick up for something dumb he did.
Simon has been involved in numerous on-ice incidents which coasted him to be suspended eight times which equaled up to 65 games.
He swung a stick at the head of former New York Ranger Ryan Hollweg; he stepped on the back of Jarkko Ruutu’s leg and was even suspended during the playoffs for cross checking Peter Popovic in the throat.
The one-time Stanley Cup champion hasn’t played in the league since 2008, mostly due to the fact that no team wanted someone with his reputation on their team.
10. Alexander Radulov
Talk about a bad teammate. Alexander Radulov left the Nashville Predators not once but twice for the KHL over money.
In 2008 although he was still under contract with the Predators, he signed a three-year deal with Salavat Yulaev Ufa of the KHL. He told the Predators he left because he was offered better conditions.
He returned to the Predators in 2012 during the push to the playoffs. Yet, after he violated the team curfew during the playoffs and was suspended the team decided not to extend his contract.
Radulov then returned to play in the KHL. It is now rumored that he may return to the NHL next season, but with his track record does a team take a chance on him?
9. Keith Tkachuk
The 19th overall draft pick by the Winnipeg Jets was the power forward everyone thought he could be. Early in his career he was a prime goal scorer in the NHL. Keith Tkachuk has played in over 1,000 NHL games and over 1,000 points.
However, Tkachuk was one of those players that became lazy if he wasn’t happy with the way things were going. He is known for his big ego, lack of effort when he wasn’t happy and his pouting fits.
His ego got so big that it made many in the locker room start to get annoyed with him.
8. Shayne Corson
Another story of where a teammate goes behind the back of another teammate and sleeps with their wife. That is what Shayne Corson did. Corson was caught sleeping with Alex Mogilny’s wife. This caused the promised player Mogilny to leave the team for a little due to personal reasons.
However, for Corson, ended up in drama with the team that forced him out of the lineup and soon banished him to the press box. After a while Corson walked out on his teammates during the playoffs.
His reputation followed him his whole career. There is also the story of Corson fighting with Edmonton teammate Jason Arnott, over the rewarding of an assist, with Corson trying to get an official to change a scoring play in his favor. Some captain, huh?
An excellent case of a player who is only concerned with what is in his best interests.
7. Billy Tibbetts
A name most probably don’t know in the world of the NHL. Billy Tibbetts he is most known in the NHL for missing four years while he was in jail.
Tibbetts was arrested in 1992 on the charge of rape. Tibbetts, 17 at the time, took advantage of a 15-year-old girl who was drunk and passed out at a party. He took her behind a warehouse and assaulted her.
After his jail time he signed a contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He was a player who traveled between the AHL and the NHL.
The stress of the up and down got to him and he started to flip on teammates trying to help him out.
6. Jonathan Drouin
Involved in a dispute earlier this season with the Tampa Bay Lightning, Jonathan Drouin is still on his entry-level contract that grants him the fewest rights under the NHL’s CBA.
Drouin was suspended by the Lightning for not reporting to the Syracuse Crunch, the Lightning’s AHL affiliate. He was suspended without pay.
Prior to the trade deadline it was made public that Drouin was requesting to be traded. It is never good when a player requests to be traded publicly. However, when a player still in his entry-level contract and requesting a trade, you could only think things are bad.
Drama like this at the age of 20 is not good for your reputation.
5. Evander Kane
A story about a player driven off a team because of his teammates. Last year Evander Kane was involved with an incident with his teammates. After this Kane failed to show up to the team’s game in Vancouver.
Kane showed up to a team meeting in a track suit. The tracksuit was a violation of team policy. After the meeting the teams took part in a brief workout and stretch. It is believed during this time Dustin Byfuglien took his tracksuit and threw it in the shower.
Following the incident the team didn’t see Kane until the charter flight home. Shortly after the Winnipeg Jets put together a trade sending Kane to the Sabres.
4. Nazem Kadri
The 25-year-old has been involved with a lot of controversies in his NHL career. He was selected 7th overall in 2009 by Toronto and has amazing talent.
Nazem Kadri was suspended twice during the 2014-15 season. The first was from the Maple Leafs for showing up late to a team practice. A week after his first suspension he was suspended by the league for an illegal hit to the head of Edmonton’s Oilers forward Matt Faser.
Kadri was also attacked by Brendan Shanahan about his laziness and his attitude. Shanahan was pretty much saying his attitude is not what the Leafs need on their team.
3. Alexander Semin
The Russian-born hockey player was not a big favorite in the locker room. Semin was a player who was very lazy and that caused him to move from team to team. If he wasn’t happy with his role he would barley perform in the game.
Semin was part of the Montreal Canadiens this season, this was until he failed to show up to the AHL and so he and the Canadiens agreed to terminate his contract.
Teammates like Semin only bring the atmosphere around the team down. No one likes to take part of a teammate that doesn’t care about anything but himself.
2. Sean Avery
A player that had a role in causing the NHL to change the rule on how a player is supposed to screen a goalie.
Avery had a reputation on the rink as a dirty player. More than half the time he was on the rink his teammates would get involved with something because they had to defend him.
He was forced out of Dallas after he made the “sloppy seconds” about a player in the league.
However, the New York Rangers seemed to thrive off the drama he brought to the rink. Their record throughout the years he was on the team was better when he was in the lineup rather than when he was scratched.
1. Ilya Kovalchuk
This Russian-born player is known for his 15-year, $100 million deal he signed in 2010. However, only three years into his contract he retired and went to play in the KHL.
During his time in the NHL he was an offensive forward, however, that was it. He was not concerned with his defensive play.
Kovalchuk was named the captain of his KHL team. The captain brings a lot of responsibilities and he was not providing that as earlier this year he was stripped of his captaincy and bench for the team playoff series. He was eventually brought back into the lineup but was benched again on March 13, 2016.
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