NHL Blog Beat – June 9, 2012.

Hockey’s lack of personality, a young Kings fan experiences joy and heartbreak, how the Bruins fared under the “Shanabans”, Don Cherry’s top ten quotes, and a New Jersey Devil’s guide to overcoming a 3-0 series deficit.


Are NHL stars like Kopitar too bland?

BACKHAND SHELF: Chris Lund suggests hockey has a “personality disorder”, in that too many players, especially its marketable stars, tend to be stoic and bland.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Chris is right, as that hampers the expansion of the game in the American market, but that’s what hockey fans want. We celebrate the stoic heroes, and slam the outspoken personalities. For as much as some complain how much they miss flashy personalities like Jeremy Roenick and Brett Hull, the bottom line is hockey fans don’t want a league full of those type of players. For right or wrong, good or bad, we admire and celebrate the stoic. We want our hockey heroes to be quiet, “aw shucks”, team-first guys in spite of their standout talents.

GRANTLAND.COM: Bill Simmons on how his young daughter, a Kings fan, is experiencing the highs and lows of following her team through this season, and learning to cope with disappointment. Ulimately, as Simmons points out, coping with disappointment is a large part of being a sports fan.

CAUSEWAY CROWD: When it came to “Shanabans” this season, the Boston Bruins didn’t fare as badly as other NHL teams.

GREATEST HOCKEY LEGENDS: Joe Pelletier presents his top ten Don Cherry quotes. “Beauty”, “Caught in the trolley-tracks” and “Good Canadian boy!” aren’t among them, but those would be more like exclamations than quotations.

DOWN GOES BROWN: A New Jersey Devil’s guide to rallying from a 3-0 series deficit. Here’s a taste of the comedic deliciousness:

DO: Explain to younger teammates that while coming back from 3-0 is difficult, it has been done in the past by teams like the 1942 Maple Leafs, 1975 Islanders and 2010 Flyers.

DO NOT: Be surprised when those younger teammates just stare at you in stunned silence, since it will be the first time they’ve ever heard of the Leafs or Islanders winning in the playoffs.


  1. It’s funny how everyone tried to shut Brett Hull up, but now he’s exactly what the NHL is lacking.

  2. To say there are no personalities is just another generalization that’s somewhat true. It seems the lesser skilled players are allowed to be personable, BizNasty and Shawn Thornton for example. While stars like Bryzgalov and Ovechkin are reviled. And Tim Thomas has definitely shown his personal side this year. Conversely, Loungo is being lauded for his strombone tweets and even Bruins fans enjoyed Price’s antics at the allstar game this year. Scott Hartnell is both hated and loved by opposing fan bases.

  3. gravitymike: true, but look at how Thomas was pilloried this year. And your point about the “love/hate” regarding Hartnell is another indication how hockey fans frown on players with personalities, especially if they’re on other teams.

  4. Lyle, yes Thomas was made the villian. I didn’t want to take a stance on him so as not to offend anyone’s politics. Personally, I think it’s Hartnell’s play that has fanbases against him, but it’s his personality (Fartsmell, “suck it Phaneuf”, and his hair) that endear him to non-Flyer fans. My larger point is that their are some characters out there. Maybe not recognised by the more casual fan, but they are out there. I also agree with your point that the Toews-types are a result of the modest, credit-sharing culture of hockey. Thanks for the reply.