Would you believe me if I told you there was a hockey player who scored 522 career goals, scored nearly 1,100 career points, earned 2,905 penalty minutes, hoisted the Stanley Cup, and has one of the coolest nicknames of all time, but he's not likely to make it to the Hockey Hall of Fame any time soon.
Well that's exactly the situation Pat Verbeek, known to Rangers fans as "The Little Ball of Hate," finds himself in.
No one ever considers Verbeek in the Hall of Fame debates even though he achieved lofty career goal and point scoring levels in a 19 year career. That's partly because he played with a lot of bad teams and partly because the 500 goal plateau has been devalued in recent years.
It is also because never was Verbeek an all star, a trophy winner, or an elite player in any season. What he was was a very durable and consistent performer who always gave his all.
At just 5'9" and 195lbs, Verbeek was a stocky sparkplug who never let his lack of size effect his play in the NHL. In fact, he was one of most ornery and most effective physical players in his era. He was a kamikaze hitter and a real irritant, often drawing many penalties. Though he was rugged and strong, he always played the game on the edge and was prone to taking bad penalties himself.
Here's the full Pat Verbeek biography