October 13, 2008
Top Ten Worst Hockey Players Of All Time
Okay, so I've done the greatest players of all time. Now it's time to do the worst players of all time. I know, it's mean, and only meant in fun. Here we go...
#10 - Doug Berry - Doug Berry was a useless hockey player. That's not my assessment, but the assessment of his NHL coach - Don Cherry.
"Apart from being a useless hockey player, the kid had a distorted idea about the work ethic; he didn't think it existed!"
Berry was a member of the Colorado Rockies more because of his tie-ins with the city of Denver. Berry starred at the University of Denver for 3 seasons from 1975 through 1978. The Rockies manager Ray Miron selected the local star 38th overall in the 1977 Entry Draft.
#9 - Two Eyed Mitch Babin - Mitch Babin played 8 games with the St. Louis Blues, but his career highlight came in 1997 when he was playing in a re-enactment game of the 1905 Dawson City Nuggets Stanley Cup challenge against the Ottawa Senators alumni team.
The highlight of the event for Babin - playing on the same line with the immortal Laurie Boschman.
"You get a chance to play with Laurie Boschman, well it's like I won the lottery out there. It seems like every time I turned around he was making that same move and laying a pass right on the tape of my stick. It was a lot of fun."
#8 - Jay Caufield - Jay Caufield was a linebacker on skates. Literally. But that doesn't mean he was any good. He played in 208 games, and when he was not accumulating his 759 career penalty minutes, he defined the NHL term "designated sitter." The only reason he lasted in Pittsburgh as long as he did was he was Mario Lemieux's good friend.
#7 - Rick Jodzio - This guy was a complete disgrace to the world of hockey. I know some people who actually berate the 1970s NHL because of the inexcusable violence. Then they turn around and praise the WHA with revisionist history about how beautiful the play was in the WHA. Rick Jodzio was primarily a WHA "player," and he had some company as a thug on skates. His attack on Marc Tardif was particularly shameful.
#6 - Bill Mikkelson - In 1974-75 the Washington Capitals only won 8 games out of 80. Bill Mikkelson played defense in 59 games, and registered a NHL record -82 defensive rating.
#5 - Jack Lynch - Minus 82 in 59 games was bad. Washington tried to shore up their blue line and one late season acquisition was Jack Lynch from Detroit. He proceeded to post a -54 in the final 20 games of the season! His silly "Stork Shuffle" he did when he scored a rare goal wasn't worth nearly a -3 per game average!
#4 - Andre "Red Light" Racicot - Can a goalie have a worse nickname that Andre "Red Light" Racicot?
# 3 - Warren Skorodenski - The answer to the Andre Racicot question above is yes. Meet Warren "Score Against Me" Skorodenski.
#2 - Steve "The Puck Goes In-ski" Buzinski - With a nickname like "The Puck Goes In-ski," it should come as no surprise coach Frank Boucher described Steve Buzinski as "one of the worst goalies in NHL history, but he was also one of the funniest."
#1 - Joe Pelletier - Seriously folks, it is completely unfair for me to tag any of these players as the worst players of all time. They all devoted their lives to the game and they all reached the National Hockey League. They contributed to their teams in varying ways both on and off the ice, and they should be appreciated for more than their infamy. I encourage you to read all the various links and learn more about their under-appreciated contributions.
Despite my top ten list today, one of my biggest pet peeves is when people, especially the experts we see on TV and radio and newspapers and now online, who criticize NHL players. So many of the experts and 99.9% of the wannabe experts like myself have never made it anywhere close to NHL ice without purchasing a ticket.
In fact, my wrist shot could be stopped by a fly, I can barely skate and I can only turn to the right. Who the hell am I to criticize these guys!
Mind you, I do ultimately suffer from the same fate as Claude Lemieux's crazy come back: sinus conditions. Neither of us can find a team to sign us!