You know those players that you just loathe but secretly wish they played for your team? The guys you hear the “Everyone in the league hates him except for the guys in his locker room” comment about all the time? Well, it’s time we all come clean. This is a short, regular column that will be devoted to these players. First up: Ryan Kesler of the Vancouver Canucks.
May 22, 2011; San Jose, CA, USA; Vancouver Canucks center Ryan Kesler (17) celebrates after scoring a goal as San Jose Sharks center Joe Pavelski (8) reacts during the second period of game four of the western conference finals of the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs at HP Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Jason O. Watson-US PRESSWIRE
Why I hate Ryan Kesler: He was a thorn in the collective sides of the Sharks during the 2011 playoffs. He yells at other players and the refs. He taunts. He photobombs. He’s a massive diver. Amazing and hilarious .gifs made of that same dive here. Finding a picture to include in this column enraged me. Fans hate him, sports writers hate him, players hate him.
Why I secretly wish he was a Shark: He’s tough as nails and puts the puck in the net. If you believe in advanced stats, he’s in the upper quintile for GVT. He can do this at any time and is a playoff beast. He skates back on D and doesn’t mind corner work, front-of-net work, and can dangle with the best of them. Oh yeah, and he can fight and protect his linemates. He wears an A so you know he is a locker room force. How good would he look playing opposite Couture on a line? Amazing. The only tough thing would be that he or Mitchell would have to give up the #17 jersey but then the other one could wear #71 which would look cool in teal. I secretly would be 100% in on them acquiring this guy. But for now, he’s just another player I hate to love.
Want to nominate a player? Tweet it to me @bluelineboomer.
Like, the same way hockey players "enjoy" winning the Stanley Cup. I am a semi-pro list-maker. I am a very good driver of automatic cars. I once lifted a canoe over my head and walked several kilometers. Under the ever-watching eyes of the Hockey Gods, I put my fingers on the keyboard and write.