Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta remains suspended this week, ineligible to return to action until next Sunday after his dangerous hit from behind on Brad Richards. The incident led to renewed debate over whether Kaleta now deserves the title of the NHL’s most despicable player.
There’s not exactly a shortage of competition. Whether it’s Matt Cooke, Raffi Torres, or Daniel Carcillo, there are plenty of players these days who can leave fans tearing their hair out. Whether you’d prefer to call them agitators, pests, flat-out dirty, or just stains on the game, chances are you’re not alone in screaming at your TV whenever their smirking faces appear.
But this post isn’t about them. After all, each of today’s NHL villains is simply following in the footsteps of those who came before them. So today, let’s pay tribute to the previous generation. These 10 players may no longer be in the NHL, but their legacies helped lay the groundwork for players like Patrick Kaleta, who make the game what it is today.