As training camps get underway, and with the World Cup of Hockey wrapping up, hockey fans across North America are gearing up for what looks like could be a great NHL season in 2016/2017. As a hockey fan myself I’ve noticed that the media seems to be quick to jump on the bandwagon of certain players (see Connor McDavid, Carey Price, Sidney Crosby et al) and is quick to overlook some other key performances or performers in the NHL.
I often find it annoying when the media sings the praises of the darlings of the NHL and overlooks the efforts of those players who work just as hard and are making the game of hockey a better game yet rarely get the credit or spotlight they deserve. We though that it would be fun to take a look at some of the NHLers that seem to get no respect.
10 NHLers That Get No Respect
Well our list actually contains 11 you will see why as you continue to read on. Here is a look at some of the top NHLers that seem to not get the respect they deserve.
- Phil Kessel – Pittsburgh Penguins – This goes back to a few NHL All-Star games ago when Phil was the last player selected in the player selection process. He took a lot of ribbing during the weekend, but not as much as he did during the time he spent in Toronto. Most recently the media made out that Kessel’s tweet was self-serving as he indirectly expressed his feeling about not being selected to play for Team USA at the World Cup of Hockey. Another long list of slights against Phil Kessel.
- Taylor Hall- New Jersey Devils – speaking of slights, Taylor Hall is still stinging after being dealt from the Edmonton Oilers for Adam Larsson. A few seasons ago when Hall had a career season and should have been named to the NHL’s second all-star team, he missed out as Alex Ovechkin was named to both the first and second all-star teams. Didn’t make sense then and doesn’t make sense now. Taylor Hall has been piling up the points and is arguably one of the top wingers in the game. He still has resentment towards the Oilers for being traded. Think about it, Hall was playing on a team with Connor McDavid, with Jordan Eberle, Leon Draisaitl, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and others, a team that might well become a force in the NHL. He had put his all into that team for six years through a lot of poor personnel decisions. The team was also moving into one of the coolest new building and training facilities in the NHL. Hall himself was also coming off a year where he played the best two-way hockey of his career… and he gets traded to New Jersey for of all people Adam Larsson? See no respect, Taylor Hall deserved better.
- Ryan Nugent Hopkins – Edmonton Oilers – for those that follow the Edmonton Oilers, The Nuge is often the brunt of trade rumors or comments that he is soft etc. Looking at the play of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins at the World Cup of Hockey, I would suggest that he has one of the strongest 200 foot games of anybody in the NHL. He was passed over for the Calder trophy a few years ago, he continues to be the subject of trade rumors out of Edmonton yet this guy was arguably the best player on Team North America at the World Cup. Show the kid some respect people. This guy is a great hockey player and from what I’ve seen RNH carries himself well of the ice.
- Corey Crawford – Chicago Blackhawks – this guy is the real deal when it comes to his play. Every year he puts up great numbers, lots of wins, lots of shut-outs and only recently is he finally getting some respect that he deserves. The last three seasons this guys has post 99 wins. How many other NHL goalies can boast that record? Back to back season with a 0.924 save percentage. It is only fitting that he was named to Canada’s roster at the World Cup of Hockey. This guy definitely deserves some respect.
- Daniel and Henrik Sedin – Vancouver Canucks – for some reason these two guys have never gotten the respect from the League that they deserve. Both great on-ice talents these guys are always there for the fans and often put up with ridicule and trash-talking from other players, media and fans across NHL cities. The Sedins have been leading the Vancouver Canucks for years and yes they have had their struggles (especially in playoffs) but they too deserve respect for all of the entertainment value that they have brought to Canuck and hockey fans across the world. As Rodney Dangerfield always says, “I get no respect”. Truer words were never said when it comes to the Sedin Brothers.
- Sidney Crosby – Pittsburgh Penguins – after last season, I myself have a new found respect for Sidney Crosby. I was never a big fan, but what this guy deals with night in and night out is crazy. He’s always having to defend himself, but watch this kid play. He has some unreal hockey skills. He always has time for the media and always has time for his fans. Sidney Crosby is still one of the best, if not THE best hockey player in the World today. He has accomplished a great deal in his career and as a result deserves respect. Sid is not a Kid anymore. Maybe his nic-name should be updated to Sid-the-Man.
- P.K. Subban – Nashville Predators – this guy is a dynamite player, yet rumors persist that he was not good in the dressing room, or that he rubs his teammates the wrong way. You know what this guy has what the NHL is missing a lot of these days. He’s got personality. He’s creative. Yes he takes chances, but that is part of being creative. Everyone knows that he is one of the best d-men in NHL, yet they question his character. Listen when you donate $10M to a children’s hospital you should get some respect and not a little but a lot. I won’t even get into how Bruins fans treat Mr. Subban…. P.K. Subban for my money is one of the best talents in the League today. He’s earned it. He should be respected for the great and creative talent that he is. Never change P.K. never change.
- Alex Ovechkin – Washington Capitals – how fitting that the Great 8 is number eight on our list? Most recently in the World Cup of Hockey, on a russian team that seems to lack some passion there is consistently four or five forwards who are receiving more ice time that Alex Ovechkin. What gives? Many of Ovechkin’s past coaches must not like him, as Ovie has gone through plenty of them, but many hockey fans are also detractors of Alex Ovechkin. Media has commented on his goal celebrations or that he occasionally dishes out a dirty hit, Ovechkin’s another superstar with plenty of haters. The fact is The Great 8 brings entertainment value to the rink. He has surreal skills and can celebrate his goals with the best of them.
- Roberto Luongo – Florida Panthers – this guy is still one of the best goalies in the game. I don’t know what goes on behind closed doors, but Roberto got some poor treatment in Vancouver. I would take this guy on my team any day. Glad he’s back in Florida but I would have preferred if he would have went to Edmonton.
- Nail Yakupov – Edmonton Oilers – there is a lot of pressure that comes with being a first overall selection in the NHL draft. Nail Yakupov has not yet lived up to the hype surrounding him. Playing in Edmonton has been difficult for Nail. The Oilers who tried to accommodate Nail’s trade request from last season have had no takers. Looks like Nail is stuck starting the season with the Oilers in Edmonton. Sure his play has not been great, his plus/minus is brutal, but he tries and wants to contribute. Off the ice, how many of you know about Nail’s efforts with the homeless, or the stories of him giving money to the less fortunate. His off-ice training is spectacular. This guy loves the game, he just has not been able to break through… yet. A fresh change of scenery could change that. He does deserve more respect than he gets. Earn respect, give respect.
Which NHL players do you think deserve more respect? Drop us a line or tweet us and we’ll consider them in a future version of this post.