Every NHL Team’s Most Controversial Player
Hockey is a physical sport whose fans can be just as passionate as the players. For agitators and enforcers, earning a spot on a “most hated” list is a mark of pride; for others, the distinction may be more dubious. Nonetheless, as we start in on the 2015-16 season, let’s look at the players you’re going to love to hate.
Anaheim Ducks: Ryan Kesler
Kesler didn’t earn any points with fans when he said he hated Canadians while playing for Team USA in the 2010 Olympics—while he was a player in Vancouver. He lost the rest of the city’s love when he demanded a trade in 2014. It doesn’t help that Kesler’s difficult to play against, with a particular talent for goading opposing players into taking stupid penalties.
Arizona Coyotes: Steve Downie
Downie’s first full NHL season started with a 20-game suspension after he left his feet during a hit in a pre-season game. Since this inauspicious start, his name has become synonymous with cheap shots and dangerous hits.
Boston Bruins: Zac Rinaldo
Fans of his own team called Zac Rinaldo an embarrassment after he gloated about injuring Pittsburgh defenseman Kris Letang last season. As of the end of the 2015-16 season, Rinaldo had a career total 1,486 minutes of penalty and suspension time—almost as much time as he’s spent on the ice.