With a greatly anticipated Christmas only three days away, I thought it’d be appropriate to help good old Saint Nick compose his annual “NHL, Naughty or Nice” list. With almost three months of hockey already in the books, Santa Claus and I had no problem picking out the NHL’s top “bad boys” and the “hero’s”. The list is decided by the way the players construct themselves on and off the ice, whether it’s to cause havoc or to create excellence.
Andy Sutton-It had been about ten years since a player from the Edmonton Oilers had been suspended for illegal play on the ice. That was until the Oilers traded Kurtis Foster for the ruthless Andy Sutton on free agency day, and their clean streak suddenly ended. On October 31st, Sutton was given a 5 game suspension for an illegal check to the head on rookie Gabriel Landeskog. A month later, he was handed yet another suspension but this time, it was an eight game suspension for charging Carolina’s Alexei Ponikarovsky. Andy Sutton is known for none other than his large size and his barbarous ways on the ice. Below are a few video’s to show you all why Mr. Sutton is at the top of Santa’s naughty list.
Zac Rinaldo- Rinaldo’s tough character has yet to get him a suspension in his 29 NHL games played, but it has given him a whopping and league leading 110 penalty minutes. The Flyers tenacious rookie isn’t afraid to get physical up against the boards, and he certainly isn’t afraid to fight tough guys such as, Brandon Prust, Zenon Konopka, and Cody Bass.
Zenon Konopka- Many Ottawa Senator fans were skeptical when Bryan Murray took a chance on signing free agent, Zenon Konopka. With two tough guys already on the Sens roster (Chris Neil and Matt Carkner), it seemed as if a 3rd enforcer was taking it a little overboard. But Konopka brings a different type of power and energy to the line-up every night, whether it’s dropping the gloves, or getting his nose dirty. Aside from taking the occasional stupid penalties, the majority of Zenon’s penalty minutes are five-minute fighting majors. Although Santa and I have heard that he is a “great locker room guy”, 106 penalty minutes (2nd in the league) does not get you at the top of the “Nice” list.
Steve Downie- Bottom line, Santa Claus has never liked this guy.
Jordin Tootoo- I really don’t know how a person could hate the Nashville Predators as a whole. Their arena is in a great location, Shea Weber is the man, and Carrie Underwood goes to every game. But there is one problem within in the Predators organization. And his name…. is Jordin Tootoo. Although Ryan Miller is a complete wimp and can’t rough it out on the ice, Jordin Tootoo was suspended for two games for what looked like an accidental fall, into Miller. But due to his excessive malicious acts on the ice, year after year “Shanaban” decided to give him the boot. And so did Santa.
Milian Lucic- It’s about time Lucic was suspended for his continuous foul play on the ice. As much as I dislike the Flyers and everyone on that team, I’m glad that tough guy Zac Rinaldo drew Lucic’s much overdue suspension, (So hopefully he’ll kick the crap out of him next time they play). Milian sat out Monday’s game against the Canadians for hitting Rinaldo from behind into the boards during the Bruins 6-0 victory. Talk about a sore…winner? Lucic was given a 5 minute major, a game misconduct, and later, a suspension. Below are a few videos of vulgar hits that Santa did NOT approve of.
Andrew Brunette- Out of the 778 people that have been recorded playing one or more games so far this NHL season, 71 have recorded zero penalty minutes. But only one guy has recorded zero PIM’s in 34 games played and that is why the Chicago Blackhawks very own good boy, Andrew Brunette is at the top of Santa’s Nice list.
Henrik Sedin- Some players see hockey as the gift that keeps on giving. And Henrik Sedin has no problem “giving” all his talents to his teammates. NHL’s former MVP made Santa’s list, NOT for how talented he may be, or for how naughty he can be (32 penalty minutes), but for his generosity on the ice. The captain of the Vancouver Canucks leads the NHL with a selfless 31 assists in 34 games, but only 9 goals. Selfish? I don’t think so.
Matt Cooke- No, this was NOT a mistake. Matt Cooke has FINALLY found his name on Santa’s “Nice” list. I’m sure many of you are staring at the screen completely baffled that the Boss and I would even consider putting Cooke’s name on the list. Well, let me tell you what. He deserves it. If I were going by the past five years, he would be right next to Andy Sutton on the “Naughty List”. But I am going by strictly THIS SEASON. And so far, the Pittsburgh Penguins previous enforcer has only received 12 penalty minutes in 34 games played. FUN FACT: In 26 less games played than Matt Cooke, Sidney Crosby has only 4 less penalty minutes. I think it’s safe to say that Matt Cooke is trying to change his way. That, or he’s terribly scared of getting the Evander Kane special again. If you don’t know what I mean by this, please click play on the video below. You won’t regret it.
Craig Anderson- Although the Ottawa Senators haven’t been terrible this year holding the 8th spot in the Eastern Conference, Craig Anderson’s Goals Against Average has been quite dreadful. In 29 games played, he currently holds a 3.33 GAA, making him the worst goalie with 20 or more games played. Now I’m sure you’re asking yourself, “Why is he on Santa’s Nice List?” Well, letting in about 90 goals in just 29 games is pretty selfless if you ask me. I’m sure Craig Anderson doesn’t like it, but we sure do!
Pierre Gauthier- Santa loves this guy for firing Jacques Martin! Enough Said.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!!
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