Anaheim Ducks defenceman Toni Lydman is in the running for Revolver Magazine’s 2011 Golden Gods awards in the category of ‘Most Metal Athlete’. Lydman’s homeland of Finland is known throughout music circles as a hotbed of heavy metal. Some of the heaviest, sludgiest metal bands your parents never wanted you to hear hail from Finland – Swallow the Sun or Shape of Despair, anyone?

Lydman’s fellow nominees in the athlete category include Jeremy Shockey of the NFL’s New Orleans Saints, MMA’s Dan Hardy, pro skaters Chris Cole and Mike Vallely, and The Miz of WWE and reality television fame.

If you’re surprised by Lydman’s affinity for ear-splitting headbanger music, you’re probably not alone. We would have figured the NHL’s most well known metal fan would be a player known for his head-crushing, face-smashing, body breaking play. Lydman’s style is much more akin to heavy metal’s calculated and precise classical music roots. Whatever the case, we’re voting for Toni Lydman!

Lydman’s love affair with metal was highlighted in a past episode of The Sabres Show: