I was piddling around on Twitter the other day when the incomparable Chris Roberts of Litter Box Cats (@NoCoChris) took one of those hashtag games in a new direction. What had been #FavoritePlayerOnEachNHLTeam became #HatedPlayerOnEachNHLTeam. I loved it. And I realized that even though some of my choices would be easy (and those who know me will know without asking who's on my list), for most teams I'd have to think long and hard to find a player to "hate." Mostly it's not nearly that intense. And for some teams, I honestly don't think about them enough to even kinda dislike them.
This was, in other words, a challenge I couldn't resist. I mean it's August, right? What else to I have to do? Well, rather a lot, actually. So I'm putting it to you guys, the readers, to come to a consensus. I'll put my two cents in where I have an opinion. The rest is up to you.
The rules: there has to be at least one but no more than two players from each and every team, even the Lightning. The players don't have to be currently on that team's roster, but they have to have been there at least some part of last season, and the precipitating incident (if any) has to have happened while that player played for the team he's listed under. Got it?
St. Louis Blues--Despite watching the Blues play the Predators six times a year for the past ten years, no one really stands out as someone I'd hate.
Nashville Predators--Right now it's Ryan Suter, but that's a personal problem I'm going to have to deal with.
Detroit Red Wings--Has to be Todd Bertuzzi, right? I mean, I hate seeing Datsyuk line up against either of my teams, but who can hate Pavel Datsyuk?
Columbus Blue Jackets--Derek Dorsett and Jared Boll.
Vancouver Canucks--Max Lapierre and Alex Burrows. Rats, both of them.
Calgary Flames-- uhhh....
Colorado Avalanche--I got nothing. I honestly think about Steve Downie when I think about the Avalanche.
Minnesota Wild--If not for the "had to play w this team last season rule" I'd go with Zach Parise, but his offense came in free agency.
Phoenix Coyotes--Raffi Torres.
San Jose Sharks--riiiight.
Los Angeles Kings--???
Dallas Stars--Steve Ott or Mark Fistric
Anaheim Ducks--See this is my problem. I'm obsessed with the Duckishness of the Damn Dirty Ducks and there's not enough room for real hatred of other teams. Out of all the damn Ducks, though, the worst are Corey @#$% Perry and Ryan "All Ye Are Fallen" Getzlaf.
Pittsburgh Penguins--Evgeni Malkin. Ugh.
Philadelphia Flyers--Chris Pronger. Double Ugh. Also Wayne Simmonds.
New Jersey Devils--(see Minnesota Wild, above)
New York Islanders--who?
Boston Bruins--Milan Lucic? No, Brad Marchand. No, Nathan Horton. No, wait. Lucic. Yeah.
Ottawa Senators--what, now?
Buffalo Sabres--Ryan Miller. Really.
Toronto Maple Leafs--Colton Orr, I guess, though that's as much because of the Marlies' series against the Admirals as anything.
Montreal Canadiens-- Brian Gionta, goalie killer.
Florida Panthers--Erik Gudbranson
Washington Capitals--Matt Hendricks
Carolina Hurricanes--Jeff Skinner?
Tampa Bay Lightning--This one's really hard. Brett Clark and Pavel Kubina both drove me up the wall, but I don't hate either one of them.
And now it's your turn, Bolts Nation. Of all the players in all the league, who are your most hated from each team?