I am intending to do one of those spiffy year-end wrap up posts some time soon, but I am suffering from severe post-playoff-partum
depression laziness, and am putting it off. So I’m putting up a little time waster instead.
Before I get to that, I would like to note for those who are interested in such things, that there is still an Ohio team playing hockey out there — the Cyclones knocked off Wheeling in seven games and are now facing Elmira in the second round of the ECHL playoffs. They beat the Jackals last night and go again tonight at USBA. The Cyclones website informs me that tonight is $3 Miller High Life tallboy night. If that isn’t an enticement to go to a minor league hockey game, I dunno what is! If not for the Crew game, and also the difficulty and general illegality of driving back to Columbus after $3 Miller High Life tallboy night, I might go myself.
And now for the time-waster: While trying to get to sleep after Game three of the Jackets-Wings series last week, I was trying to figure out who would qualify as the most-hated Blue Jacket in franchise history (by the home fans, and players only, so Doug doesn’t count). Adam Foote is obviously the most-hated ex-Jacket, but he wasn’t really disliked until after he was gone and all those allegations about forcing the trade came out.
Jan “Captain Hook” Hrdina stands out as a player for whom many fans had a great deal of disdain during his one season in Columbus. Doug signed him to be the first-line center, IIRC. Good lord.
Scott Lachance was another overpaid and oversold Doug signing who attracted some vitriol.
Grant Marshall always used to come up as a player fans saw as useless.
I had the misfortune on a couple of occasions to sit near a father and son duo who apparently came to games strictly for the purpose of heckling Ron Hainsey all night at top volume. But apart from them I don’t recall “Hollywood” being especially loathed.
Nik Zherdev won a lot of enemies, and a lot of insults tossed from the crowd, with his moodiness and at times indifferent play. But he also won a lot of fans with his slick moves, so that was more of a love/hate thing.
I’m going to say Todd Marchant was probably the most disliked by the most fans. Like so many others, Doug signed him to a big, long contract and oversold him in the media — Marchant, a skilled defensive forward, was going to come in and replace the offense of recently-departed Ray Whitney. Which of course he didn’t, and people hated him for it. Then he made some mildly intemperate remarks during the lockout, which got people (not the least of whom — Doug MacLean, who took down his picture from the wall in the Jackets offices, or some such) all frothing at the mouth angry at him. Then he refused to waive his NTC to go to Anaheim as part of the Fedorov trade so MacLean put him on waivers and Anaheim claimed him. That sure showed Todd! That and the Stanley Cup he won with the Ducks…doh!
I never minded Marchant much. If he’d been used correctly and not expected to be a big offensive contributor, he could have been a positive asset in Columbus. I never saw much point to Mike Rupp as an NHL player, but he seemed like a decent enough guy that I can’t say I hated him. Plus he was from Ohio, so I kind of had to like him. The Jacket I never could stand was Lyle Odelein, although that had as much to do with off-ice stuff as anything he did on the ice.
So, your most disliked Jacket of all time? Or the one you think the fans as a whole disliked the most?