Opinion: What Is Up With These Dirty Players In The NHL?


While at work the other day, my brother brought up a valid point that I wanted to share my opinion about. Somehow we got talking about good NHL players. But as far as the word good goes is in the stats. He brought up one name that got me thinking of a few others. We will first start out with Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews.

Oct 1, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) makes a save in front of center Jonathan Toews (19) and Washington Capitals center Mikhail Grabovski (84) during the third period at the United Center. The Blackhawks beat the Capitals 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

Toews is arguably one of the best forwards in the league. Lifting the Stanley Cup twice in Chicago is amazing. He led the team in 2010 and also this past season in 2013. But as my brother pointed out, he isn’t the nicest player. Over the past few seasons, Toews has turned into a dirty player. He roughhouses players who aren’t part of the play, and I’ve seen him lay a couple of dirty hits. He is a prime example of a good/bad player. He isn’t the only one though.

Sep 19, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber (6) against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Tampa Bay Times Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Griffith-USA TODAY Sports

Shea Weber is another one on my list. Being a Detroit Red Wings fan, I was against the situation that happened in the playoffs between Nashville and Detroit when Weber smashed Zetterberg’s face into the boards. He plays dirty and is a skilled player. Weber can lead a team, but he sure can make a dirty play. He is another good example of a good/bad player.

Sep 23, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Milan Lucic (17) defenseman Zdeno Chara (33) and center David Krejci (46) celebrate a goal during the third period against the Washington Capitals at TD Banknorth Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

My third choice is Zdeno Chara. He is a huge powerhouse defenseman who is almost impossible to get through. Much like a brick wall, Chara can stop a lot of shots. His play on the other hand is a little dirty. A big example is the hit he laid on Max Pacioretty a few years ago. There was no way that he didn’t know where Pacioretty was going to hit before he carried on with the hit. He made a bad decision, and even had to hear from the police in Montreal. He is a good/bad player.

October 4, 2013; Raleigh, NC, USA; Detroit Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk (13) looks on against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Center. The Red Wings won 3-2 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn’t hard as a Detroit fan to think of a skilled player who plays clean all the time. The name is Pavel Datsyuk, and he is the best example I could think of. He has a great amount of skill, and he is never in trouble because of making bad hits or fighting a bunch. He is a role model when it comes to hockey players, and he is a great player. If anyone needs to learn sportsmanship in the league, I would say to look at Mr. Datsyuk.

But why do players with great skill play so dirty? I think it’s a bit of cockiness in them. They feel that since their name is near the top of the list, they are entitled to strut around and play how they want to. That’s just my opinion, but I’d like to hear yours. Why do players (Like Toews, Weber, and Chara) play dirty the way they do? Comment below, e-mail us at tmmots@yahoo.ca and tweet us, either at @TMMotS or @NardoneDylan.