Beerability (BEER-ah-bill-ih-tee): 1) a measurement that quantifies how much fun it would be to sit at a pub with a person and drink a bunch of beer. They should seem likable. Subjective.
2) What Bill Guerin has in spades.
Fittingly, it was over beers with a few co-workers where the question was posed: which NHL teams and players have the most “beerability,” and who has the least? Our content manager Derek Snider proposed that the Vancouver Canucks have the least beerability in the League, so we started to break it down. Turns out he might have been right about that.
Name a handful of guys on the Canucks that’d be fun to sit down at an Irish pub with for hours and just BS: ……
…..maybe Kevin Bieksa? Okay, one.
Maybe Chris Higgins? By beerability standards, that’s reaching.
Annnnd we’re already out of names with positive beerability rankings on that team (contrary to the wonky logic of Pro Hockey Talk’s Jason Brough, who insists that the Sedins have beerability. He does not understand beerability).
Fittingly, their Stanley Cup Final foe, the Boston Bruins, probably have the most.
For example, you can’t spawn a “Shit Shawn Thornton Says” tumblr and not be perfect for a sitdown at a pub. Tim Thomas has high beerability. Chris Kelly has some. Ference, Lucic, Horton, Lucic, Campbell, Boychuk….this team has depth in a number of ways – I’d say they all have positive ratings.
So without further ado, here’s my top-10 beerability list for individual players – next week we’ll look at teams as a whole. I’ve also added some honorable mentions and notes as well. Keep in mind that I don’t know every player in the league personally, so the more well-known guys have an edge.
Beerability Top 10: Players
10. Mike Rupp
Mike Rupp is an old school guy who’s played pro hockey for over a decade, touching eight different teams including the Danbury Trashers of the UHL during the lockout (I’ve heard they paid under the table quite handsomely that year). There’s a 4000% chance Rupp has a ton of stories, and I’m ballparking the number of beers he needs to drink to get a buzz is 206.
9. Mike Knuble
There’s sort of a theme that runs between a number of players on this list - combine a long career with a certain level of grit and a decent personality…. boom. You strike me as a fun guy to go out for pints with.
8. Douglas Murray
Murray cracks the top-10 for being A) likable, B) a bruiser on the ice, and C) being an actual viking. I feel like we’d go out and drink mead out of mugs with lids.
7. Tim Thomas
Thomas is a no-brainer pick - he’s had a roller coaster career (interesting), he’s an opinionated guy (interesting), he carries a happy demeanor (happy!)….there’s just no way that doesn’t end up being a good time. Judging by his mustache, I’m guessing he drinks PBR.
6. Adam Burish
I played against Burish in college, and have pretty good idea of how funny his chirps are. Hell, we heard him call Chris Pronger an idiot the second after winning the Cup. Combine that with a Madison, Wisconsin drinking education, and you’re hanging with a seasoned pro.
5. Mike Commodore
Remember his picture with the money? Any guy who ends up in that situation probably isn’t afraid of a good time.
4. Jarome Iginla
The likability factor is strong with this one. Take that, then add the “no reporters around to force a guy to say the right thing” factor, and I’m personally guaranteeing you a good time.
3. Scott Gomez
If you’ve never heard Gomez and his subtle little barbs, you’re missing out. Gomez is the rare one on this list that I’ve actually seen him in action (Alaska during the lockout). If he’s around, everybody’s having a great time.
2. Brian Boyle
I mean…you saw him as Buddy the Elf on 24/7, correct? He’s larger than life.
And as I mentioned earlier in this post….
1. Shawn Thornton
“I’ve always been a social coordinator first and foremost.” is a quote of his, leading me to believe I got number one bang on. A live version of his tumblr page plus a few beers? Yep, I’m in.
* I didn’t intentionally avoid European players – you’ll note that Douglas Murray is the only player not from North America – it just sort of happened. Honestly, that’s probably because I think of European players as more intelligent, and jamming alcohol in your body isn’t.
* As I mentioned beside Knuble, it really does seem to be a certain type of player that has beerability. They’re all dudes you’d want on your team in playoffs, that’s for sure.
* At #11, I’d like to add every player from the Maritimes in the NHL. Those guys rule, and all have crazy beerability.
* Tim Thomas would probably also be the only goalie on the list if it were a top-100.
* I know, I know – Paul Bissonnette. But nope. BizNasty has clubability – you’d like him to organize your night in the VIP section of some place too loud to talk, but sitting and chatting….it’s just not there for me.
* Patrick Kane – Obviously he likes a good night out, but did you see NHL: 36? He embodies “uninteresting” until he’s wasted enough to punch a cab driver.
* Tyler Seguin – Too young, too clubby.
* Mike Richards – While he’s not afraid of a good time, I feel like he’s more the guy who would take you to some celebrity’s hush-hush house party in Hollywood.
* Ilya Bryzgalov – As someone said when this initially came up, I think he’s more a guy you’d do hallucinogens with.
* Alex Ovechkin – He’s not afraid to party, but an Irish Pub is hardly the same setting as a boat in Russia with models and a speedo.
So that’s your top-10 beerability list! Who’d I miss, and who got too much love?