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The Most Interesting Men In The NHL



First things first:  My latest USA Today bit – basically, media members complain about cliches, but go holier-than-thou when Burrish says he hates Pronger, or Kane says he loves cabbies. Don’t beat the fun out of guys (or cabbies).


Good morning!  Let’s start by talking about an imaginary trade.  Yay!

The rumour that was mentioned yesterday was Spezza to Columbus for their fourth overall pick and Brassard, which I hadn’t heard. 

I like grinning. Yep, I "grin", not smile. Grin grin grin.

If that were to be true (and there’s already an “it’s not” comment following it up, but lets bat it around because it’s June), I could understand it. 

The fourth overall pick is probably going to be a good one, but picks are never a lock to pan out.  There’s plenty of stories about NHL busts.  So if you can turn that pick and a good player into one of the top forwards in the league, Columbus could justify getting that aggressive.  Especially since they’d like to be good sooner than later.

And, it would make sense for Ottawa.  You’re not going to get a better return on the goofy-faced Spezza than that, and while it’s a gamble, you never know – there’s plenty of successful 4th overall picks, too.  That’s part of the fun of trading for draft picks.

So who knows.  The best part of debating that imaginary (and unlikely) trade, is it brings me to this point I wanted to make:

Individual players sell more tickets than teams. 

Scary good.

If you’re Columbus, having two heavyweight stars for your fans to enjoy night in, night out takes the pressure off the usual ”if we’re not winning this isn’t fun to watch” mindset.  At least it buys you some time and shows you care about the fans.  I know it’s part of the reason I didn’t wanna go to Coyotes games (like, at all) when I first moved here.  Who was I going to watch?  Hate to break it to you Coyote loyalists, but Doaner isn’t exactly a thrill-a-shift.

Aw, man, you see that?  He just totally worked hard, finished his check and kept his stick in passing lanes!  How fundamentally sound CAN YOU BE?!?

Of all the teams I saw here this year (seven or eight?), Pavel Datsyuk stood out the most – can’t wait to watch him the next time he’s back in town.  I WILL be in the building.

I don’t want to watch the Buffalo Sabres, a team that wins without a star (Vanek is slo-mo ’til he gets a chance). 

I’m just not entertained by quality team play.

Are you?


Like, I wanna know what he's saying right now.

I tweeted this last night, but it’s an awesome question: Who are the most interesting people in the NHL?  Who is it that, when they talk, you listen?  Who’s got personality, who do you always want to know what they’re up to?

So far I’ve got: Brian Burke, Patrick Kane, Chris Pronger, Adam Burrish (yes, he’s that good of a quote machine already), Sean Avery, and Alex Ovechkin.

Twitter responses included Ilya “what is love” Bryzgalov, Alex Kovalev, Ryan Kesler, and actually, Avery.  I missed him at first, but he’s a must-include.

To quote PTI…. who ya got?


Yesterday the Toronto Maple Leafs unveiled their old new jerseys, and announced Dion Phaneuf as their captain.  And I liked it all.

Pic by Pension Plan Puppets (Also Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers

First off, you can’t EVER change the Leafs jersey, or folks in Toronto would revolt.  Fans of that franchise have a crazy sense of grandeur and history, which is somewhat insane, since they haven’t won a Cup in well over four decades.  And don’t get me wrong, I’ll say it with pride - I like the Toronto Maple Leafs.  But god help us all if they ever win another cup.  That city will become insufferable. 

Ahem, anyway.  They jersey’s are nice, in that they look like all their older, also nice ones.

As for Phaneuf, you can’t deny he’s the right choice for captain, and that team needs one.  I thought his “speech” was HORRRRRRIBLE though.  It reminded me so much of the Tiger Woods “prepared statement”, only Phaneuf looked far more guilty than Tiger.  It looked like he didn’t think he deserved to be captain or something.  C’mon Dion, embrace it! 

You’re officially Captain Maple Leaf.



33 Responses to “The Most Interesting Men In The NHL”
  1. Hooks Orpik says:

    Max Talbot
    Every shirt he has is a minimum 5 colors, “translating” for Marc-Andre Fleury (and by translating I mean making things up), dressing up in Crosby’s gear/sweater and skating in Toronto to trick the fans, he lives in what used to be a funeral home and it’s about 1 block off the main party street in Pittsburgh.

    Never a dull moment with Talbot.

    Some other HMs not mentioned yet: Steve Ott, Byfuglien, Zenon Konopka is a character too….Also might have to throw in Mike Fisher and Mike Comrie. Everyone’s sure interested in their lives.

  2. jtbourne says:

    By the way, I think I’m gonna profile the top two or three guys in tomorrow’s blog. Should be fun.

  3. mikeB says:

    I love the fact that you probably picked to oldest Jason Spezza photo on the internet. In a jersey that is ancient, and a number he hasn’t worn since the Alexi Yashin era in Ottawa.

    Most interesting… Kovalev isn’t a bad start. Ray Emery, met him a few times around Ottawa. Definitely a character.

  4. kitten fister says:

    Mike Commodore is a stright character. See him out living it up at college bars in Columbus (OSU) quite often. Usually with a handful of the Jackets youngsters (no shortage of em). Never a dull moment with that duster.

  5. jtbourne says:

    MikeB – Ha, sometimes I get lazy. I was torn between going the other way and putting a junior picture up, or going more recent, but the newer one came up first. So there you have it. A more current Spezza, stolen from who knows where, with no credits given, once again. So professional, I am.

  6. jtbourne says:

    Commodore! Good one. I think Kovalev is a horrible call. I could care less if he caught fire and went shopping at Target for picture frames.

  7. mikeB says:

    thought maybe you were dreaming back to the days when the islanders didn’t still have to pay alexi yashin a salary.

  8. KarenfromRochester says:

    How about Scott Hartnell. I just want to know if the hair is an all-year thing or just hockey season?

  9. iggy says:

    its good to know that you don’t need more than a 4th grade education/reading level in order to be a team captain in the nhl. Also i love it when dany heatley give press conferences. but just because i can look forward to watching the ottawagh0st dub on youtube later

  10. Hooks Orpik says:

    “How about Scott Hartnell. I just want to know if the hair is an all-year thing or just hockey season?”

    I could be wrong, but I heard he does locks of loves for the cancer support. Other than being a Flyer and a supreme pain in the ass while playing, Hartnell seems like a cool dude and has a good sense of humor.

  11. Jordan says:

    I sports hate him with a passion and hope that his team will never win anything while he is still at the helm, but even I can’t deny that John Tortorella is one of the most interesting people in the NHL.

  12. ms.conduct says:

    I dunno. I’m very skeptical about Phanny with the C. He’s brooding and creepy and clearly a vampire. He’s not a guy I’d want to follow. I think they just gave it to him because they’re frightened of him. (M3)

  13. Alanna says:

    I realize this is totally “pot-kettle”, but Adam’s last name is spelled BuRish. One R. I only mention it because I’ve seen you misspell his name a half dozen times now and I’m nervous that I’ll see you do it on Puck Daddy and all hell will break loose.

  14. Nadeau says:

    Scotty Bowman!!! Maybe not for the quote machine but that guy has masterminded what like a dozen cups now???

  15. mikeB says:

    This should make you happy.

  16. Sherry says:

    Tangential to your “most interesting man” thing – but how about a little inside dope on Billy G?…

    Love the Talbot pick Hooks – and I have to agree about Hartnell, I actually like the guy.

    I second the choices of Brian Burke and Tortorella too.

  17. Dougie says:

    After the recent Stanley Cup finals, I have to go with Pronger. Although for overall interest, I think everytime Avery opens his mouth I sit on the edge of the chair waiting to tell the TV how much of an idiot he is…the waitress down at my favorite pub went to high school with him, and apparently he doesn’t need to worry too much about buying all his friends tickets when he plays in Toronto…he doesn’t have any.

    Anyways, that’s my 2 cents…love my daily dose of internet “Bourne”

  18. Hooks Orpik says:

    Yeah you have to give some Guerin notes, Bourne. Well the ones safe for the internet anyways.

    I bet like 15 years ago, before he got all old and domesticated, Guerin would be the most interest guy in the league.

  19. Marc says:

    Most entertaining in the NHL? Well… define “in” first I suppose because Don Cherry and Bettman are always a whole barrel of inane quotes and discussion points in their own right.

  20. Madeleine says:

    “WELL” over four decades? C’mon, it’s only 3 years more, that’s not well over.

    I have no issue with Phaneuf being our captain, except he needs a better haircut.

  21. yurbud says:

    Yeah, yeah, its easy to trash the CBJ, but Nash and Voracek easily provide 2 or 3 jump out of your seat moments per game. As soon as Jake figures out he doesn’t need to go wide on every one and one it should be even better. And if Brassard and Mason get their confidence back maybe the Jackets surprise everyone this year.

  22. Bluliner says:

    Most interesting players in the NHL? Easy…goalies. I have yet to meet a goalie who was well adjusted whereas defensemen tend to be the alpha male type and generally pissed off as individuals. Forwards…umm….I got nothing, they’re all over the place. But if you’re looking for someone who is ‘interesting’ to write about, would be a great interview if the teams PR didn’t muzzle them, and would make a great candidate to do science experiments on…look between the pipes.

    Most of my near death and near felony experiences from my youth involve a goalie, alcohol, prostitutes in Santa hats (going to hell for that one), followed up by the words, “…run!!!”.

    And this was only my freshman year ;)

  23. crushasaurus says:

    Marty Turco has always been a fun guy, Sean Thornton is always yapping, Jaakko Ruutu, all of the agitators are interesting, they have character. I know you hate them Justin, but share in my vision of a permanently annoyed NHL if every player was an agitator…

    What a haven that would be…

  24. KForbes says:

    I like Shanahan a lot.

    When he was a player, he was a bit of a goof and was always having a bit of fun and now that he’s retired, he’s dedicating himself to improving the game and that can only be good too. A lot of his ideas seem to be pretty solid.

  25. Matt says:

    Bourne, sorry for the 20x twitter response. If he doesn’t get over-coached, PK Subban has got real potential. I feel as though Mike Green HAS a personality, he’s just too dumb to show it. Maybe Mike Ribeiro?

    But the guy you’re REALLY forgetting…Jay Bouwmeester. Seriously. (Kidding.)

  26. Anna S. says:

    How about Hank Lundqvist for the list of interesting men in the NHL? Gotta love a goalie whose social life is Page Six material.

  27. Steve says:

    I’ve got one for you…. Christian Hanson of the Leafs. His dad was in Slap Shot, and he inherited his dad’s gift for telling stories. He was always the one the local reporters went to when he attended Notre Dame for a quote.

  28. Char says:

    Shawn Thornton is hilarious and wonderfully self-deprecating, and Aaron Ward is smart, articulate and funny.

  29. jtbourne says:

    MikeB – mixed feelings on that signing at best.

  30. Four to Five says:

    I find Kris Versteeg very interesting. I want to know how much he really raps!

  31. nightfly says:

    His press conferences air on TMZ.
    During games, the refs call him “Sir.”
    The CBC has him live-mic’d… in church.

    He is… the Most Interesting Man in the NHL

    “I usually drink beer, ya know, and when I do, it’s a Moulson, eh?”

    Stay thirsty, my friends.

  32. WWPKD says:

    Dustin “Big Buff” Byfuglin, Jeff Carcillo, TJ Oshie, Hank and Dan Sedin


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