Brad Marchand featured in our NHL Greatest Villains

NHL's Greatest Villains Past & Present

We hate them. But we want them on our team. They’re menaces on the ice and sometimes off it, too. The playoffs are when you see them put their annoyance skills on overdrive. For decades, they've scattered themselves around the league. It's the NHL's greatest villains through the decades and a recap of all the chaos they've caused.

Pricks From the past

These guys have retired and moved. But, getting rid of pests is tough, and that legacy will continue to live on.

Chris Pronger

Thanks to eight suspensions, Pronger was forced to sit in 22 games of his career. Why? Just minor, casual things like cross-checking, slashing, sticks to the throat, using his skate as a weapon, jumping off the bench to fight and some headshots. Nothing too crazy, right? No, this man was insane before his career ended in November 2011 after being diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome. 

Sean Avery

Avery was seen more with his gloves off than on. Aside from the fighting, the former New York Ranger pulled antics on netminders, too. The league had to introduce a rule, commonly called the "Avery Rule", which doesn't allow players to wave their sticks in front of goalie's faces. 

He was widely considered the most hated man in hockey for most of his career, including by staff in his locker room. Head coach John Tortorella and Avery certainly clashed.

A year after his retirement in 2012, Torts got canned in New York and Avery took online to share he had "the biggest smile on his face when he heard the news." I mean, I admire the honesty.

Todd Bertuzzi

He wasn't always known to be one of the top villains until he committed one of the dirtiest hits in hockey history. In 2004, the Vancouver Canucks were on a mission to antagonize Colorado Avalanche's Steve Moore after he injured captain Markus Naslund. Moore answered the bell six minutes into the game, fighting Matt Cooke. But, it wasn't enough satisfaction for Bertuzzi. 

Being down 8-2, the winger tailed and provoked Moore around the rink. Eventually, he grabbed him by the collar and sucker-punched him in the jaw. The two toppled to the ice sheet with Moore's head hitting it hard. Moore was taken to the hospital with three fractured vertebrae, a concussion and ligature damage. Bertuzzi had ended his career. 

Modern Day Bullies

Hockey history repeats itself. Unless you're a Leafs fan waiting for that Stanley Cup, then I don't know if the 1960's are coming back. Regardless, there's still plenty of villains in the league today. 

Brad Marchand

Let's start with the obvious. He’s the most suspended player in NHL history, losing over $1.4 million in salary throughout his 13 seasons in the NHL. Brad could’ve bought his family a vacation home, but he chose to lick people instead.

Though he should be thrilled playing for the Stanley Cup favorites, Marchand was a savage on his Twitter before his account was deactivated. Here are some of his tweets over the years:

It's quite obvious the everlasting hatred for the 34-year-old, who is known as the league rat. I don't know how that can be turned into a positive. 

Corey Perry

I was once in your shoes, cringing every time Perry popped on my screen. Until he joined my Habs for a brief stint in 2021, then I fell in love. He's a pest. But, he gets in opposing teams' and their fans' heads. Take the most recent Game 1 matchup between Tampa and Toronto, where he saluted the booing crowd. 

But, mind games work in hockey. Maybe that's why the Leafs are currently 0-6 in elimination games when facing Perry since 2021.

Jordan Binnington

It's not too often you see a goalie being a nuisance. But, the St. Louis Blues goaltender is known for his temper tantrums. His meltdowns are annoying to watch as a fan, I can't imagine what it's like to play against him.

I'm sure his own teammates get tired of babysitting. Put it this way, even Minnesota Wild's Marc-Andre Fleury was fed up and challenged him to a scrum. 

The audacity for the 29-year-old to get frustrated when he gets scored on. Dude, your job is to quite literally stop the puck. It's called accountability.

Matthew tkachuk

He's only been in the league since 2016, but he's already left a lasting impression. The Florida Panther is like a gnat near your ear that won't leave you alone. But, the 25-year-old is crafty. He, like Perry, gets on his competitor's nerves.

In Game 6 against Boston, Tkachuk used his chirping skills off the draw to get entangled with Jakub Lauko. Tkachuk drew a hooking penalty that sparked his Panthers to take the lead and push Game 7. 

Carrying around nearly 1,300 penalty minutes, the Washington Capital winger isn't a stranger to being sent to confined spaces. He's racked up five suspensions, including a seven-game slap on the wrist for a boarding call in 2021. 

The 29-year-old can't even be excused for just being scrappy in important games, earning three suspensions during the pre-season through his career. Seriously, Tom? 


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