Here are some of the most memorable insults in NHL history

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Inspired by Brandon Prust’s comments about Ottawa head coach Paul MacLean — you know, the “bug-eyed fat walrus” thing — we figured now was a good time to look back at some of the most infamous insults in NHL history.

Here they are, in no particular order.

Jim Schoenfeld on Don Koharski:

“You fell, you fat pig! Have another doughnut!”

After Game 3 of the 1988 Prince of Wales Conference Finals between Boston and New Jersey, Schoenfeld went after Koharski, who proceeded to slip and fall, then blame the spill on Schoenfeld — alleging the Devils coach pushed him.

Koharski yelled “you’re done” several times, suggesting Schoenfeld would be suspended for physically attacking an on-ice official.

To which Schoenfeld responded with one of the most unforgettable lines ever.

The league did suspend Schoenfeld for Game 4, but a judge later overturned the decision. As a result, the officials refused to work the game and, after a three-hour delay, three local refs had to be called in.

Schoenfeld apologized to Koharski for the outburst and, four years later, the incident would be cemented in pop culture lore:

Alain Vigneault on Dave Bolland:

“He has a face that only a mother could look at.”

“His IQ is probably the size of a birdseed.”

In Dec. 2011, the Canucks head coach offered this up in response to Bolland mocking Daniel and Henrik Sedin on Chicago’s WGN Radio, calling them “sisters” and suggesting they sleep in bunk beds.

Bolland later apologized for his actions, saying his comments were “a little bit of tongue-in-cheek” before adding he had “the utmost respect” for the twins.

Sean Avery on Dion Phaneuf:

“It’s become like a common thing in the NHL for guys to fall in love with my sloppy seconds.”

Avery dropped this bomb in 2008, prior to a game between his Dallas Stars and the Calgary Flames. The Flames were led by defenseman Dion Phaneuf, who at the time was dating Avery’s ex-girlfriend, actress Elisha Cuthbert.

(The shot also extended to Kings forward Jarret Stoll, who was dating another of Avery’s exes, Rachel Hunter.)

Avery was suspended six games for the incident and never played another game in a Stars uniform.

Dino Ciccarelli on Claude Lemieux:

“I can’t believe I shook this guy’s friggin’ hand after the game. That pisses me right off.”

This was in response to Lemieux’s awful hit on Kris Draper during the 1996 Western Conference finals.

After the Avs dispatched of the Red Wings to advance to the Stanley Cup finals, Detroit forward Cicarelli was visibly upset with the fact he had to embrace Lemieux during the ceremonial post-series handshake line.

John Tortorella on Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin:

“It’s a cheap, dirty hit. I wonder what would happen if we did it to their two whining stars.”

Torts took aim at Crosby and Malkin following Brooks Orpik’s knee-on-knee hit with Rangers forward Derek Stepan in Apr. 2012.

He then went on to rip the entire Penguins franchise.

“It’s one of the most arrogant organizations in the league. They whine about this stuff all the time, and look what happens. It’s ridiculous, but they’ll whine about something else over there, won’t they?

“Starting with their two [expletive] stars.”

Bobby Clarke on Eric Lindros:

“I don’t dislike Eric. I pity him. I feel sorry for him. What’s it like to be 27 years old and have your mom and dad running your life? Can’t even go to the … doctor on your own without your mom and dad coming along.”

Clarke said this in 2000, at the tail-end of a long running saga between him, Philly’s team physicians, Lindros and Lindros’ parents, Carl and Bonnie.

It marked the apex of the Clarke-Lindros feud, which the two eventually buried prior to the 2012 Winter Classic in Philadelphia.

But, if you’re into nostalgia, there’s a full timeline of the Clarke-Lindros feud right here.

Pre-game reading: Bettman insists NHL isn’t ‘anti-Olympics’

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— Up top, members of the Detroit Red Wings and their fans recall some of their fondest memories from Joe Louis Arena, which will host its last NHL game on Apr. 9.

— Here’s NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, speaking Friday in Chicago: “The league isn’t anti-Olympics. The problem is, the clubs are anti-disruption to the season. To disappear for almost three weeks in February when there is no football and baseball and it’s only basketball and … there’s no programming for the NHL Network, for NHL.com (and) all of our social media platforms. … If somebody proposes something dramatic and radically different that gets the attention of the clubs where they say, ‘You know what? We don’t like going but on balance it’s worth it because of this,’ we’ll have to look at it again. But overwhelmingly the sentiment of the clubs is it’s too disruptive.” (Chicago Tribune)

— The players have said they won’t negotiate with the league for the right to participate in the Olympics. But they’ve made no secret about their desire to go, as evidenced by ESPN’s lengthy list of player quotes on the topic. Said Steven Stamkos: “In talking to a lot of players, I’ve yet to hear someone say they didn’t want to get a chance to represent their country at the Olympics.” (ESPN)

— Whether the NHL continues its Olympic participation or not, it’s clear the league is eyeing China as part of its growth strategy. In September, the Canucks and Kings are expected to play a couple of exhibition games in Beijing and Shanghai. And according to deputy commissioner Bill Daly, there may even come a time when an NHL franchise is owned by Chinese business interests. (The Globe and Mail)

— Are the Bruins on the verge of collapse? CSNNE columnist Joe Haggerty saw some concerning signs in last night’s loss to Tampa Bay — a loss that put the B’s in further danger of falling out of a playoff position. Haggerty concludes: “Their next wrong move will cause a nosedive straight out of the playoffs for the third year in a row, and that will spell changes far and wide on Causeway Street for the Boston Bruins.” (CSN New England)

— Islanders rookie Josh Ho-Sang, who wears No. 66, is ready for — and even looking forward to — a hostile crowd tonight at PPG Paints Arena. “For me, Pittsburgh is the one city as a whole where I’m totally OK with them hating me. For wearing No. 66. Mario Lemieux is a hero, a pioneer for them there, and for them to take it as disrespect is completely understandable.” (Newsday)

Enjoy the games!

PS — Lemieux said he was “fine” with Ho-Sang wearing his old number.

In prepping Vegas for draft, McPhee cites ‘outstanding’ record with Caps

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George McPhee is a veteran of the draft process, having presided over nearly 20 during his time with the Caps.

This year, he’s in a unique position — spearheading the first draft for the expansion Las Vegas Golden Knights — and he suggests his past success should set him up well for the future.

“I think we have an outstanding staff,” McPhee said, per the club website. “I think our draft record in my previous job was outstanding.”

Assessments like these are always up for debate — draft success is somewhat subjective, and there are inevitably a bunch of misses among the hits — but McPhee does have a strong history of drafting and developing players, and could point to the current Capitals as validation to his claim.

The active roster has 11 players that were original draftees (Braden Holtby, Philip Grubauer, Dmitry Orlov, John Carlson, Karl Alzner, Tom Wilson, Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Marcus Johansson, Andre Burakovsky and Nicklas Backstrom), with goalies Holtby and Grubauer — both fourth-round picks — emerging as pretty good finds.

McPhee’s strategy? Go big or go home.

“I don’t know if I’ve ever played it safe going to the draft,” he explained. “I believe in swinging for the fences, and trying to find someone who can be a real difference maker. The difference makers are those core guys on your team, those 4-5 players that become elite players are the ones that can really take you a long way.

“They are hard to find. Those are the ones I’d like to swing for.”

At this year’s draft in Chicago, Vegas should have a shot at landing an impact guy. The club will have the same odds of winning the lottery as the team that finishes with the third fewest points this season and, though it’s considered a weak draft overall, there is some serious talent at the top end.

WHL Brandon’s Nolan Patrick, QMJHKL Halifax’s Nico Hischier and OHL Windsor’s Gabriel Vilardi are all considered high-end prospects and — importantly — all three play center. For a team that’s building from scratch, filling that position is of vital importance.

McPhee acknowledged this is a weaker draft, but contended those are the ones “where the best teams excel.” He theorizes that with fewer quality players available, the strongest teams emerge with the good ones.

He also shared how the Golden Knights plan to land ’em.

“We’re really aggressive,” he said. “We try not to play it safe very often.”

B’s ink prospects Fitzgerald, Johansson to entry-level deals

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Boston has brought a pair of talented youngsters into the fold.

Forward Ryan Fitzgerald, who just wrapped his senior season at Boston College, and defenseman Emil Johansson — who spent this year playing in the Swedish Hockey League — have signed their entry-level deals and will begin playing with the club’s AHL affiliate in Providence.

Fitzgerald — who’s father, Tom, is the assistant GM in New Jersey — scored 31 points in 34 games for BC this year, serving as an alternate captain. He was originally taken by Boston in the fourth round (120th overall) of the ’13 draft.

Johansson, 20, was a seventh-round pick in ’14 that’s panned out pretty well. He scored a career-high seven goals and 17 points in 49 games for Djugardens this year, appearing in three playoff contests.

 

 

Ducks send Stoner to AHL on conditioning loan

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Clayton Stoner is going to play some hockey again.

The Anaheim Ducks announced today that the 32-year-old defenseman has been assigned to AHL San Diego on a long-term injury conditioning loan.

Stoner has not played since Nov. 15. He had abdominal surgery in December, at which point the Ducks said he’d miss an additional 4-6 weeks. But a setback in his recovery extended the time frame.

“The setback was kind of just me trying to get back maybe a little bit quicker than I should,” Stoner told the O.C. Register recently. “And I wasn’t ready. Things have been good here for a little while so hopefully I’m just trying to string some days together and earn a spot back and kind of prove that I can be healthy and stay healthy.”