We all have that player that has driven us to near meltdowns. Yes, we're Penguins fans and, yes, once that jersey is on we should love every player unconditionally. But for whatever reason, there are some players that piss us off so much we have to be physically restrained from charging the television.
We asked you all to submit some of the players you've hated over the years or simply hate now. We've gathered the lis and put together a poll to see who is most hated Penguins player of all time.
From reader Ryan A.
Mark Recchi (06/07). Not only were there rumors of him being a dick in the lockerroom, but he handled the puck like a hand grenade, he was always slow to get off the ice on line changes and worst of all, people thought he was good. he leeched 68 points off of other people's labor – scoring an insane amount of secondary assists and tap ins on a power play that was a 3 man show – with Whitney and Recchi sitting back and cashing in. Despite playing with our top talent, his even strength scoring that season was on par with Eric Christensen and Max Talbot.
I hate Mark Recchi.
A simple one from reader Ross I.:
Shane Endicott embarrassed me. Not just as a Pens fan; Not just as a hockey fan; but as a human being.
Reader Sunny S. gets the Ryan Whitney hate going:
So it's very hard for me to hate any player in a Penguin uniform, but the ONLY guy worth mentioning…. dun dun dun Ryan Whitney…(so disappointing after he came back from that injury a couple years ago. He was never the same) Seriously they should have given this kid an award for goaltender's worst nightmare defensemen. I remember screaming in rage at my television phrases such as "you make a better door than a window", as he stood in front of the flower blocking his view. His reaction time had just diminished upon return AND on more than one occasion deflecting an opponent's shot into the net with his skate or body part. Ehhh he made my eyes angry.
Chad W. makes a case for Ryan Malone:
It is only after careful consideration that I submit Ryan Malone as my most hated Penguin. The only word that comes to mind when I think of him is LAZY!!!!!!!!! At 6'4" 220lbs he should at the very least be an intimidating presence in front of the net. He doesn't lack skill to compliment his size either (Eric Goddard). The reason I loathe him so completely is the fact that he should score 35 goals every season and average very close to a point a game. Instead, he has a single season career high of 51 points. I can deal with jobbers, hell I even love some of em. I bought a Mike Rupp jersey just out of respect for the mans effort. Ryan Malone is a waste of talent!!!! I hated him even more thanks to the "puck bunnies" and the moronic hometown delusion. His dad played here, that doesn't make Pittsburgh his hometown. Fuck Ryan Malone
Mark J with an underrated one:
I wanted to throw in my 2 cents on who my least favorite Penguins are. Before that, though, I wanted to say thanks for the quality jokes and insight you guys give. I have been enjoying the blog for over a year now, and having just moved to Nashville, you guys will play a paramount role in keeping me in the loop with all things Pens related, as I can't afford gamecenter and can only watch the versus/NHL network games.
OK, to the point. Growing up in the 90's, I don't remember not liking a single member of the squad (at least off the top of my head). However, once things started its downward spiral, one guy really stuck out in my mind:
#43 TOMAS SUROVY: One of the most obscure names in recent Pens history, I hated this guy simply on the fact that he was SOOO BAD at the game of hockey. In my opinion, he represented the culmination of the penguins pre-salary-cap financial woes. Every time he stepped on the ice he vomited on himself and the rest of the team.
In a not so distant 2nd & 3rd, I have to go with JOHN LeCLAIR & ZIGMUND PALFFY (perhaps as a duo?)
Peter G. takes down Billy Tibbetts:
Allow me to state the case for one Mr. Billy Tibbetts. Yes, I realized that he only played 62 games in a Pens uniform, but he's still managed to top the list of1) He had six arrests in five years, including charges for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, witness intimidation and rape.2) Tibbetts got arrested again in 2007, for leading authorities on a scenic chase through Massachusetts.3) Literally every other fan base hates him–including the Flyers.4) Sure, Tibbetts was a fourth-line guy. But almost every video I've seen of him(granted, it's Youtube, not exactly the bastion of integrity) involves him either throwing a dirty shot at another player or getting his ass handed to him by a fighter.There's also a few of him scoring…in the Finnish League/random minor league, but that's another point altogether.5) The cheeseburger incident, which has already been covered by this blog, so I won't rehash it6) Rarely in life can does this happen, but I've never heard one positive thing about Billy Tibbetts, on the ice or off.For example, despite all of the controversy surrounding the Matt Cookes and Ulf Samuelssons that have played for the organization, I've never actually detested a player that the Penguins have employed. Those guys might have crossed a line or two, but they had redeemable qualities, both as players and as people. They weren't bad guys off the ice…they just crossed a line or six a few times on it.Which is fine by me. I can support a guy if he's giving a hundred percent and is one of those borderline players…as long as he does something redeemable.From what I can tell about Tibbetts, the closest thing to redeemable he's had is "God, I can't believe he's wasted this amount of talent."Which brings me to my final point.7) Allow me to wax poetic for a little here.There are hundreds of thousands of Penguins fans around the world. Not Steeler fans, or fans of teams from Pittsburgh. Fans of a flightless bird that, for some reason, has a hold on us from the middle of September till, hopefully, Gary Bettman is being booed of the ice as the Stanley Cup is presented to a giddy Sidney Crosby as Mario watches with yet another victory cigar from the background.And sure, there are now more than a few bandwagoners, but the rest are guys and girls who fell in love with this team, got hooked, had to go through the X-Generation or, god forbid, the '83 and '84 seasons, and hoped and prayed that someday this team would win the Cup. In the meantime, though, they'd talk themselves into Ryan Malone's 50-goal potential or Dick Tarnstrom rocking it from the point on the powerplay. (I was born in 1990, so I can't speak with any credibility about those pre-Mario teams. Looks like they sucked from here, though, so sorry if you had to live through those two.)While I'd like to win the Cup every year, all I hope is that players give a huge effort, realize how lucky they are to be there, be at least decent human beings in public and take care of some community relations things. Do that, and I'll support a player, regardless of what else happens during his career(excluding things like obscene behavior and violent arrests).After all, that's what we'd expect if one of the people who supported the team were allowed to pull a sweater over their head, right?Well, here's the thing about Tibbetts…he had none of those four. More than that, he had the gifts(size, toughness, offensive talent) to become a great hockey player.He never was anything but a hockey player…and that word, "player" might be stretching it. He was closer to a hockey thug.He essentially took the sweater that all Penguins fans would kill to wear in a game, took it off, and used it as a toilet.
Here's to him having to hand it to Gary Roberts