NHL’s Dirtiest Teams Since Bettman

If you live in a major US city or around the world, there is no doubt that you have heard the term “NHL’s dirtiest teams”. This is not directed towards professional ice hockey players but those that call themselves pro-athletes. It seems as though these so called hockey “fighters” have more respect than anyone else and that is probably because they fight so hard. They should be ashamed of the terrible things they do to innocent people and their families.

There are three leading teams that I think are considered to be among the NHL’s dirtiest teams. The New Jersey Devils are the only team in the NHL that does not wear an orange sweater. These guys primarily wear white and black, and their fights have inspired many youngsters to want to fight. Also in the Top Five is the New York Rangers, who have the worst regular-season schedule in the entire league! Their fight record is also second-worst in the Eastern Conference.

These three teams have instigators who spend most of the penalty box games, and they are considered to be among the NHL’s dirtiest teams. Who are the dirty players on these teams? Some of the names made to the headlines include Tampa Bay forward Vincent Larin, Boston Bruins centre Milan Lucic, and the Montreal Canadians’ Alexander Ovechkin. Each one of these players is known for instigating fights and getting players from the other team involved. On a positive note, these three stars have helped their teams to win three Stanley Cups and their overall winning percentage is higher than any other player in the history of the league!

(above graphic taken from a research piece by Betway)

Let’s face it, in today’s league; fighting has become part of the game. Players realize that they can’t win a game without fighting and they enjoy being involved in all types of fights. It is insane to see players on a team with a reputation of being “classy” fight like children. There are only two franchises in the entire league that are known for instigators. The New Jersey and New York Rangers have some of the most challenging fighting majors in the NHL.

There are a few reasons why these fights occur in the NHL, but it has to do with the type of players that are put in the lineup. Teams with good players tend to have a lot of fights over the last 10 seasons or so. Even with some of the great players that have been put into the lineup, there are just not enough confrontations to go around. That is why you often see one guy on a team to go into an altercation and then be followed by ten or more guys coming his way.

There is no better example of this than with the New Jersey and New York Rangers. The Rangers were recently eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs after suffering a series defeat to the Boston Bruins in five games. Even with stars like Rick Nash, Mats Sundlage, and Derrick Brassard, the Rangers couldn’t overcome the superior talent that was present and winning was never in doubt. After that series defeat, things seemed to fall back to normal as the Rangers once again struggled through a series of low-calibre players and coaching situations. It seems that no matter what they try, nothing can be a solution to their struggles.

As you may have noticed, the most popular fighting team in the NHL is the Montreal Canadians. They have an annoying reputation of brawls with other players that end up in ugly fights outside of the rink. This has earned them a reputation as some of the dirtiest teams in the league. When players are constantly brawls with each other, there is no place for kindness. Luckily, there are still teams that will go to extreme lengths to win and even have a “No Fun League” where players are punished for being naughty.

In some cases, fighting will simply not be tolerated by a team. There are several teams in the NHL that do not tolerate fighting at all. These teams include the Edmonton Oilers, Washington Capitals, Tampa Bay Lightning, Phoenix Coyotes, and Chicago Flames. The New York Rangers has a tradition of brawls between some of their players, but they do not tolerate fighting on any level. Unfortunately, this is the case with many teams since it is against the rules, and they do not want to be embarrassed on any level. Hopefully, one-day hockey will be a better game because of the no-fighting policy.

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Igor Burdetskiy

Igor Burdetskiy

Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & CEO at Hooked on Hockey Magazine
I grew up playing Ball and Roller Hockey day and night somewhat religiously throughout elementary and middle school. The two don't compare though when I lace up the skates and hit the ice. I live and breathe hockey beyond the perspective of "it's just a game" and I will gladly talk hockey for hours with anyone. Hockey is more than just a lifestyle, it's a culture of passionate people who make memories every time the puck is dropped. Hockey has not only helped me get through some of the hardest times in life but has created some of the best memories to date. Want to talk hockey with me? Shoot me an email: iburdetskiy@hookedonhockey.com and let's talk some hockey!
Igor Burdetskiy
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