For those of you who missed Backhand Shelf’s introduction to the concept of “beerability,” you can find out everything you need to know by checking out the lists of the 10 players and 10 coaches who have the most (and you can find the thorough definition of the term there too).

Basically, the more you’d like to sit at a pub over pints with a guy and bullshit, the more beerability he has.

The funny thing with beerability is, the more you get to know about someone, the more their beerability changes. And, it can go in either direction. I’m sure there’s been plenty of athletes and celebrities that made you think “hey, he seems like a pretty cool dude,” that also made you think “what a tool” the second you heard him talk.

Well, here’s the first of our weekly updates on who’s moving up the list, and who’s free-falling down it.


From #15 to #1 Scott Hartnell

Yeah, I said it. I think that since the creation of the original beerability list, Hartnell has climbed all the way into first place.

When I originally composed the list, I went through every team, picked the guys I’d most like to sit down for pints with, and paired it down to #15. Hartnell managed to avoid the initial cuts, coming in at 15th.

But since then, we’ve had the final episode of 24/7, and most importantly, the All-Star game. He could not have been more genuinely happy to be an all-star, and could not have had more fun with it. He was hilarious when mic’d up, and he even dropped the now infamous “Suck it, Phaneuf.”

All in all, I think he edges out Shawn Thornton because he seems less, I guess the word is “mean,” and possibly a little smarter.

Either way, big strides for Scott Hartnell.


Carey Price‘s performance at the All-Star game was fantastic. Now, not a lot of young guys have great beerability, because they don’t have a lot of great stories yet (which is why once again, ex-players like Bill Guerin have so much), but I have a hunch Carey has come across a decent tale or two over the course of his years in Montreal.

He seems sharp, and stuff like goaltending while facing the glass on a Sean Couturier breakaway in the All-Star Game make me think he “gets it.”

Also on the radar: Dean Lombardi.

I tend to enjoy talking smart people over meatheads, and his malfunctioning clock explanation proved he likely knows a few things I don’t. And I secretly hope that he had no idea what he was talking about there, and could tell me the story about fleecing the whole hockey world with big words because none of us knew enough to call him on it.

And he definitely, definitely looks like Dustin Hoffman

Also on the radar: Claude Noel.

Noel seemed like just about the least likely candidate to have beerability when I looked all the coaches and made up that top 10 list, but then I had a Twitter follower send me this video, and hey…tell me you wouldn’t wanna sit down for a couple with this guy (it’s six minutes long, but I think it’s worth it).

Remiscing on his “Slap Shot” memories:

…right? Total Canadian hockey encyclopedia.


#7 to #99 Tim Thomas

Okay, the list doesn’t go to 100, but I wanted to drop him as far as possible without taking him out of the top 100.

I still think there’s a good chance we could BS about hockey and have some laughs, but this week Thomas revealed himself to be a different person than the guy I thought he was. Something about his actions this week came off as selfish, and at the same time, made me realize something else – that mustache isn’t to be ironic or funny or anything at all. He means it. What IS that?

Far be it for me to drag specific politics into a hockey-beer blog, but let’s just say there’s a chance that instead of ordering a second mug, we’d be clubbing each other over the head with the first one.


Every Friday we’ll be sitting down together like this to talk about the guys gaining (and losing) ground on the beerability index.  Who else would be noteworthy for the list?

Comments (14)

  1. Spotted Hartnell at a bar during the All-Star weekend. He was hamming it up with locals/barteners. He seemed to be quite… “beerable”?!?!

  2. No Scott Hartnell beerability deliberation is complete without mentioning his mocking jersey story.
    You’re welcome.

  3. I think everyone became a bigger Hartnell fan at the All Star weekend. He was brilliant.

    I can guarantee Price has good stories. He grew up in what I understand was a pretty rough area (I’ve never been there, can’t confirm but a friend grew up close by) and managed to come out pretty level headed. His Dad used to fly him into Williams Lake for hockey practice. Also, he rides bulls in the offseason.

  4. When the whole Thomas affair came out, all I could think was how you ranked him in your top 15 for beerability, and wondered if you still felt that he was a cool guy to have a beer with.

    Nice to see he dropped out of the top and is dwelling near the bottom.

    I bet he’s fun to go hunting with though…or march with at an anti-gay marriage parade , or other bad republican activities…

    • clever there james

    • I didn’t realize hunting was a Republican activity, let alone a bad activity (whatever the hell that is).

      Thomas is still high on my beerability list. I may not agree with his politics, but he stands up for them, and that is ok in my book.

  5. Good God the Noel Chiefs story is golden! Which reminds me, we haven’t watched it yet this season…

    And speaking of Slap Shot I nominate Brent Johnson (“They wouldn’t dare try that with Johnny.”), the guys really love him and were crushed that they couldn’t get the win for him in Toronto. He’s gotta have great beerability.

  6. Crap, didn’t get that quote quite right…

    “He wouldn’t dare pull anything like that on Johnny.”

  7. That Claude Noel clip was pure gold, would love to hear more of his stories.

    And I hate to admit it, but Hartnell is kinda awesome

  8. Nobody wants to have a beer with a guy who cares so much about politics that it affects what he will and won’t do at work

  9. Justin, Please do not, ever again, give me the slightest reason to like anything about the Jets ever again. Its too uncomfortable. Thanks.

  10. Ever sat down for a beer with your blog followers, Bourne? I feel like you’ve got a lot of “beerability.”

  11. what do you have against mustaches?

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