Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Grantland: The NHL players nobody hates, and why we should hate them

Here’s a general rule about hockey fans: They hate just about everyone.

If you’re an NHL player, it doesn’t take much for hockey fans to turn against you. Sidney Crosby? Too whiny. The Sedins? The whole twin thing is creepy. Alexander Ovechkin? Once he scored a goal and then looked happy about it, so screw that guy. Basically, if a player has ever signed a big contract or won a fight or expressed an opinion, some large bloc of fans has already added him to their enemies list.

But every once in a while, a player manages to stick-handle through the neutral zone trap of hockey hatred and break in alone on the goaltender of positivity and — holy crap, that was a terrible metaphor, but I’m leaving it in because you get the point.

Anyway, here are a dozen of the NHL’s most universally admired active players, the reasons why we love them, and a suggestion for why we should all just turn against them now and get it over with.

>>Read the full post at Grantland


  1. Good stuff as always. Have been a long time Grantland reader, I am so glad it led me to DGB.

  2. Great read - laughed 'til I cried a little.

  3. You have a great and wonderfully successful blog!

    I hate you.

  4. If I was building an internet sports writing hall of fame, my introductory class would be:
    Bill Simmons
    Down Goes Brown
    John Buccigross

    Those 3 have been go to must reads for me over multi-year periods and produced work that has been refreshing, original, well-written, well thought out, and established the internet as the new frontier of sports journalism.

    Just missing the cut would be Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy. Solid all-star level production there, but not quite hall worthy.

    Up and coming on the radar is Katie Baker at Grantland. She is off to a solid start, but hasn't quite put together the total hall of fame package just yet. If she keeps it up she will be inducted in a few years for sure.

    1. What is the criteria for admittance into this Hall of Fame? Because DGB is not really a "journalism" blog, it's a comedy (mostly) and Leafs (sometimes) blog. And Simmons himself is not really doing journalism most of the time; he is usually writing commentary, along with comedy. (He's also completely ant utterly clueless about hockey, but that wasn't mentioned as a criterion.) They are both good at what they do, but it's not "journalism". If you want hockey journalism as part of this HoF, Pierre LeBrun is probably one of the better NHL journalists (who also does his own commentary).

      Buccigross is just an awful writer. It is merely more evidence that ESPN does not care about its NHL coverage (though they also have LeBrun; maybe they feel that one legitimate staffer covering the NHL is enough to provide a facade of legitimacy).

      Wyshynski is really wonderful, and if you were to drop the "journalism" aspect of your HoF, I'd nominate him to replace Buccigross.

      I find that Baker is still somewhat uneven. Sometimes her pieces are really wonderful, and sometimes they fall flat. I find it frustrating that apparently the Grantland editors think there's not enough hockey to go around that they feel Baker should write fluff pieces about the New York Times wedding section. DGB, if Simmons ever asks you to write a piece about the Globe and Mail's wedding section, please do us all a favor/favour and quit then and there!

  5. I am using "journalism" in the looser Hunter S. Thompson sense then the dry and stayed "just the facts m'am" of newspapers and such. I appreciate writing on current topics that is not just reporting (which definitly has its place, don't get me wrong) and takes a side, makes me laugh, or ponder, or appreciate something in a new light. That is what I am looking for in this Hall of Fame.

    I have to respectfully disagree on Bucci with you. His 'blogum' was the only reason I kept going to after the prior lockout. His hockey writing was refreshing and entertaining, and what put him over the top and into the hall for me was his work on the "If you can play, you can play" background on Brendan Burke.

    My other favorite of his was his rules for hockey parents that ALL sports parents MUST read.

  6. I'd let anyone who plays for Edmonton give me advice for lottery picks, they seem to have a good handle on it

  7. I'd let anyone who plays for Edmonton give me advice for lottery picks, they seem to have a good handle on it