If you missed it last week, here’s a link to our column last week that explains what “beerability” is. In sum, it’s the totally-made-up index you use to rate how much you’d love to sit around a pub for a dozen straight hours with a person. Laughs, great stories, and general likability all factor into “beerability.”
I’ll be doing one of these posts every week (most, least, players, teams and beyond) until we’ve ranked everyone who matters, because hey: this is a hockey, and being a good dude to sit down with over suds is important (it doesn’t necessarily have to be alcohol – pretty sure you could sit down with Shawn Thornton over green tea ice cream and still have an awesome night).
Beerability: The Top-10 Coaches
10. Dan Bylsma
I’ll admit, he’s doesn’t fit the purest definition of “beerability” – he’s kinda nerdy, but I think in an endearing way. But between his Cup win, his behind-the-scenes info on the Sid years, the personality we saw on 24/7 and his career in the NHL, I’m pret-ty sure the guy would be fun to go out with.
9. Kirk Muller
To go from an amazing NHL career to NHL coach takes a smart and talented person, which Muller clearly is. A name can get you a (created) job with your old organization, but not the head coach position (…I say as the Canadiens drool over Patrick Roy). I’d love to hear him get chatty.
8. Joel Quenneville
A reminder: Joel Quenneville rocks a wonderful, not-remotely-ironic mustache, and rocks it with pride. Can’t you just see the beer glistening off that beauty? He’s won a Stanley Cup. He’s exactly the type of likable, stern, and gruff dude you’d like to see loosen his tie and start the lips a-flappin’. He also kinda looks like a Muppet, which is sweet.
7. Kevin Dineen
Kevin Dineen is a badass. Not sure if you remember the “cranberry juice” scene in The Departed, but I could see Dineen making short work of any potential dust-up in a bar in a similar manner.
6. Mike Yeo
Ayy-Yeo! Anyone who knows hockey and people well enough to run an NHL team at 37 is a dude I want to hang out with. Like Dineen, I’m confident nobody is messing with us when he’s around. He won a Turner Cup in the IHL, a Stanley Cup with Pittsburgh, and just generally seems like a cool cat.
5. Dale Hunter
Dale Hunter would be a front-runner in the game I just made up called “All 30 NHL Coaches Sit At A Table And Drink Beer Until There’s Only One Man Functioning Like A Normal Person.” While I’m sure he could drink me under the table, his NHL experience, coaching experience, and his general everyman way make him super interesting. I’d sure like to take the time to find out if I could hang.
4. Lindy Ruff
Lindy may be a tad gRuff (hahaha), but that’s mostly in his dealings with the media. He’s got a heart of gold, and like a few other names on this list, he’s a smart hockey name with a ton of NHL experience. I want to listen to Lindy get drunk-enough-to-sing-karaoke level drunk. (….then leave.)
3. Mike Babcock
Ah. The hardened, battle-scarred hero. Quite possibly the smartest man in the NHL. The only reason he’s not higher up is because I’ve heard the story of this alleged exchange with him.
In 2010, someone I know was at a party with Babcock. In the background, a TV was playing a re-run of a Stanley Cup Final game that the Babcock-coached Red Wings win. He’s watching intently. The Red Wings take a penalty.
“That’s a bullshit call.” - Genuinely angry.
“Mike, you guys win that game…and the series. Why are you even watching that?”
“….Still. Total bullshit.” – Doesn’t flinch, continues watching the game.
Ooookay. Dude may take hockey a little too seriously.
2. John Tortorella
I mean, this one sort of speaks for itself, doesn’t it? You saw him on 24/7. You’ve seen him in press conferences. He barely holds back under those conditions. I’d love to see him a little loosened up, increasing the f-bomb-per-minute average to 11.6. Helps that he seems like a genuinely good guy, too.
1. Jack Capuano
Get outta he-ah if you think anyone other than Cappy should be number one. He’s everybody’s best friend in college. Or maybe Tawmmy from Quinzee, I dunno. He’s the guy who drinks a 30-pack (serious rival for Hunter), wears the box on his head, gives you a hug then starts chanting “Cappy’s number one! Cappy’s number one!” I’d love to hang out with that guy.
(Honorable mention: the Ottawa Senators coach, Wilford Brimley.)
Like last week, I’m totally open to suggestions here. Did I nail the list? Who else would you have included?