There’s an expectation that all NHL players have to live to their performance on the ice. Then there is some who go the extra mile by building rapport with fans, media and sometimes other players. They are the guys who are perceived to be the masters of charisma; full of antics, charm, grace, flow and style. Each of these players that are listed below are unique in their own way. Some are loud, some are bombastic, they say what they think and they say what they feel. It doesn’t matter how skilled they are on the ice, the players listed in this top 10 leave an impression in our mind that not only stick out, but leaving an everlasting impression as well.
This list is comprised of PLAYERS who played in the NHL for about the last 20 or so years dating back to the late 1990’s. Iconic figures like Don Cherry and Brian Burke will be excluded only because they’re more well known for their personality displays off the ice. This article is about new school personalities rather than old school, but don’t get me wrong, old school is great too.
The list is rated as a top 10 so that means some players will be honourable mentions if you provide who they are in the comments plus everybody’s opinion of who should be on the list is different. If you don’t agree, vote or comment on your case constructively in the comments section as long as your argument is worth taking into consideration.
#10 – Jaromir Jagr
The dude still hits it off with young models.
Remember when Jaromir slept with that 18 year old model? Most fans know the story behind this but in case you didn’t, I’ll tell you. This chick tried extorting Jaromir for $50,000 by threatening to post the picture you see above on Instagram thinking that it would jeopardize his career. Well unfortunately for her it backfired. Jagr simply said “I don’t care” when confronted with the potential blackmailing. So what the girl did was post the picture on Instagram anyways and all what that did was build Jaromir’s rapport as a legend – a god to some. All what it did for the girl was…well….make herself look like a blackmailing puck-slut.
Jaromir is not just 2nd all-time in points by NHL player, he’s also funny, a prankster and overall just a cool guy. People think he has a fountain of youth in his backyard because he still plays tremendous hockey even at 45 years of age.
When Jaromir played for the Pittsburgh Penguins, he used to have an insanely huge mullet back when it was popular in the early 1990’s. A lot of players had the mullet back in those days but Jagr wore it best.
#9 – Paul Bissonette
As Don Cherry would phrase it; “Someone’s hot dogging.”
A big dude (6′ 4″, 220 lbs) with a big personality, @BizNasty2point0, as he is known as on Twitter is the type of guy who will give it to you straight. He answers questions during interviews in a raw, thought-provoking fashion that will sometimes shock people and that’s what makes him stick out. He chirps a lot and a good example is when he did an interview for Michael Landsburg in 2011. He called the Edmonton Oilers an AHL team. Of course this was during the Pre-McDavid era when they couldn’t draft or sign free agents for the life of them because, well, Edmonton is too cold play in (cough, cough, Chris Pronger) and they had a management team that was just made up of former Oilers players who had pretty much no knack for managing a hockey team.
To add more about Paul, he has a dirty mind plus he loves junk food, alcohol and women. He uses junk food as a mantra to build rapport on his Twitter (Japanese Kit-Kat bars) plus he uses the topic to enrich conversations during interviews. He mostly uses this when he talks to men. When he talks to women he sometimes uses alcohol to keep the conversation going but he’s mostly just outright flirtatious with most girls, even on camera. He always refers women he talks to as “future ex-wives” and sometimes “puck bunnies”. He builds his image up by saying he scores a lot of goals on the ice but in reality he was just a plug that scored 7 career NHL goals in over 202 games played (shots fired!!!). It doesn’t matter though because he scores women more than he does goals and that’s more important in life. Or is it? I don’t know, maybe not when you’re a diehard I suppose.
When observing Paul’s hockey profile, I’ve noticed that he was named captain of the Saginaw Spirit during his junior days back in 2003. Players mostly get named captain because they lead by example on the ice. Remember when I said that Paul doesn’t score a lot of goals? Well he didn’t score a lots back then neither. Not even in Junior. He was only 9th in team scoring during the season he was named captain and he was a forward to boot. So the question remains. Why? Simple. It was because of his larger than life personality. In life, a personality that people adore gets you anything you want in life and it was the reason because Paul made it so far in his NHL career.
#8 – Sean Avery
He does this **** all the time. Believe me.
Remember when I was talking Paul Bissonette’s personality and how it was so attractive and magnetic. Well, uhh Sean Avery is not like that. He is the exact opposite. He is mischievous, outspoken and crafty. He is out to become notorious in what he does and has certainly achieved that during his NHL career. Sean has pulled some outrageous stunts over the course of his NHL career including the infamous “sloppy seconds” interview that ultimately got Sean kicked out of the Dallas Stars. What he was trying to do was shift the attention of the upcoming game against the Calgary Flames toward his favour by making Dion Phanuef (Star player for the Flames at the time) a victim of a bombastic comment about his current girlfriend, Elisha Cuthbert, who once dated Sean. Sean said that he was honestly wondering why NHL players were falling in love with his “sloppy seconds” but I think this was just another one of his antics. He was definitely jealous and he tried to use this type of drama to gain an edge. Of course, that interview made headlines around the sports world and it backfired on Avery as he got suspended for 6 games by the NHL because it was beyond trash talking, it was downright piercing. He was eventually kicked off the Dallas Stars for the incident.
If you haven’t watched the interview yet, YOU MUST! It is definitely shocking!
Sean is not only mischievous off the ice, he’s just as mischievous on it and there is no better way to prove it than to have the NHL make a rule made after you. Avery was screening New Jersey Devils’ goaltender, Martin Brodeur by waving his stick in front of Brodeur’s face during an important NHL playoff game. Nobody has ever screened a goalie like the way Avery did before. Whether you think it was a tactic or an antic it proved to be effective as he scored the goal during that play.
Sean has definitely done more than what I described above. He got into a shouting match against Darcy Tucker of the Maple Leafs during a pregame skate when there were no refs on the ice. He also has a history of heckling at fans, posted videos on Snapchat bullying homeless people plus there were rumours of him being engaged to Andy Cohen but that turned to be fake news.
There is yet another side to Sean that is very interesting and it’s that he has a flair for fashion. He served as an intern for Vogue Magazine starting in 2008. He has since entered in modeling, acting and business, mostly with restaurants. Sean retired from the NHL in 2012.
Despite all of the controversy he has faced throughout his career, there is absolutely no denying that his story is one of a kind and has gone the distance with his controversy.
#7 – Roberto Luongo
Roberto acting like he’s in space wearing a “Spacey in Space” hoodie
Once again, we have a personality that is in no way in comparison to the last. This time we have someone who is a little milder but still makes his presence known, especially on the Twitter. What makes Roberto so great is that he’ll take any situation that is negative, turn it around to make it positive. He lifts the pressure off of himself to make the atmosphere around him lighter. He mostly does this in the locker room but I’m sure he does this everywhere he goes as well. This is something he is very clever at doing plus he does in a very subtle fashion.
A great example of one of these situations is when Roberto was in a competition with Cory Schneider for the starting position when they both played for the Vancouver Canucks. Normally this would of been a tense and uneasy situation but instead of being at odds with each other, they both decided to have a little fun with it by making a little comedic stint on TSN by having a friendly competition with each other. It made the situation better for both Cory and Roberto as they have become better friends after the saga. Not to mention the fans enjoyed this too.
There is no doubt about one thing and it’s that he is the master of the Twitter. He has posted some cheeky stuff on there that makes you think; “Yepp , Bobby Lou has done it again with the Twitter.” He’s one of the few athletes to have their tweets make the news on multiple occasions but Roberto has done it the best. What makes his Twitter unique is that he has profile picture of a goaltender figure with a question mark on it. It is believed that nobody really knew that Bobby Lou ran the @strombone1 twitter handle at first until people started to catch on. That is great because that adds mystery to his online presence. The common theme with most of his posts is that he makes fun of himself. He is comfortable with making himself the butt end of his jokes and its a hit with fans. He is also a master with emoji’s as he can send out tweets that make a huge impact just by adding a couple of smiley faces.
This Tweet is a tremendous example and I’ll explain why:
For those that don’t know, this tweet caused a flurry of trade rumours that he has going to be traded to the Florida Panthers. Once again, he loves to add mystery and it’s all because of this simple palm tree emoji. It was only a few hours later that it was confirmed that indeed Roberto was traded to the Florida Panthers. Who knew a palm tree could build so much hype??
Hopefully there will be many more tweets and cheeky antics coming from Bobby Lou in the future as he is far from done from playing in the NHL.
#6 – Brent Burns
Ladies and gentleman, here is the most badass hockey samurai.
A fan favourite in San Jose, Brent Burns is one of those guys who just attracts abundance by his fun-loving, happy-go-lucky personality. He is very loose and relaxed off the ice plus he also plays like that on the ice. He’s an offensive defenceman that plays with a lot of flow in his game and that’s definitely a match to his personality. He is especially famous for his beard, lack of teeth and tattoos he has all over his body. While some might think he is ugly, a lot of people think he is quite masculine because of his physical features. Women love it.
Burns is like a dynamic character in a great fiction novel. He started off as a player who was relatively unknown when drafted by Minnesota years ago but when he got traded to San Jose, more of his true colours came out. The more he became famous from his personality, the better he played and his stats show that. It’s as almost as if somebody brought the the best of him when he arrived in Northern California or maybe it was just the culture in the Sharks locker room. Whatever happened, it was for the best.
Another interesting note about Brent is that he is an animal lover. He owns everything from dogs, cats, iguanas and snakes. He literally has entire rooms in his off-season home dedicated to just one type of animal. He has an aquarium room, a reptile room and he has many dogs running around his home as well. He loves all of his pets equally.
Not only is Brent a fun-loving animal lover. He is also a very generous and charitable person as well. In fact he won the NHL Foundation award in 2015 for all of his charity work that him and his wife has done. He earned that award by supporting the Sharks Foundation, Defending The Blue Line and other charitable causes through his participation in numerous events. Back in 2009 when Brent played for the Wild he even purchased a suite at the Xcel Energy Center in Minnesota so that members of the military can watch the Minnesota Wild games. He is very much a class act who is full of heart.