National Hockey League teams might want to stock up on cans of Raid, or Roach Motels.
Why? Because pest season is coming and the most nails-on-the-chalkboard, yappy antagonists are honing their hockey and verbal skills for another assault on high profile players.
Ken “The Rat” Linseman, the Godfather of the modern pest, earned his nickname for how he skated, but with think it was for being as talented with his mouth and lowdown dirty tactics as he was with his stick (807 points in 860 NHL games). He had a reputation for stirring the pot, as well as an infamous incident where he kicked another player in the head.
Linseman has had many disciples since he hung ’em up during the ’91-’92, like notable blabbermouths Matthew Barnaby, Sean Avery and Alexandre Burrows.
The qualities of a true agitator are ability to both get the other team way off their game, as well as contribute to their own team’s play.
Here are 6 of the worst pests known around NHL rinks today.
Ott’s name has become synonymous with “agitator” since he burst on the NHL scene with the Dallas Stars in 2002. Good enough to be picked in the first round (25th overall) there is rarely a time that Ott isn’t yapping at opposing players, or putting stick in their craw. Ott has more to his game than just being a general pain in the arse, as he has racked up 279 points in 774 career NHL regular season games with three different clubs. The Hockey News once described Ott’s game thus, “Gets by on hard work and dogged determination. Excels at throwing opponents off their game with shift-disturbing precision. Can kill penalties, take face-offs, play a scoring role and line up at all three forward positions.” Further proof of Ott’s ability to pester can be seen in the video.