As with every Friday, it’s time to take a look at the NHL and assess beerability.

This week we’re looking at the other end of the scale. These are the guys that, if given the opportunity to go out for beers with them, you’d say “Meh, I’m alright thanks. Dude kinda seems like a dud.”

Of course, few of us know these guys personally – I certainly don’t – so we’re going strictly off the impressions we get from how they carry themselves in the media. And, since we don’t see many borderline-NHLers in a lot of interviews, the guys I selected happen to be great players - all have appeared in at least one all-star game (that was by random chance).

For the purposes of this series of posts, just pretend we’re in Alberta so young guys can be included (drinking age: 18. Hurray!).

And as a final reminder, it doesn’t matter if these guys don’t drink, or if they used to drink too much and quit, or anything like that – it’s not about actually going for beers. It has nothing to do with alcohol. It’s the concept of who seems like a good person to spend some time with and have some laughs.

So without further ado, the bottom seven players on our Beerability Index.

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#7 Jonathan Toews

I know “Captain Serious” likely isn’t that serious all the time. He’s not always at the arena, after all. But he’s shown zero chinks in his uninteresting armour. He seems like one of those guys who’s devoted his entire life to hockey and only hockey, and cares about nothing else. That’s admirable, but it doesn’t make for a very well-rounded person. In fact, it makes for a person with low beerability.

His saving grace: Stanley Cup champion and Olympic gold medalist. At least we could talk about that.

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#6 John Tavares

Honestly, you can barely tell him and Toews apart in interviews (again, Toews Cup/medal gave him a beerability bump). There’s been a few flare ups of personality, he smiled that one time, and he’s really good at hockey and all, but overwhelmingly, I find myself wanting to wave smelling salts under his nose.

I have a problem with “conversation lag.” You know when you ask someone a question and they do the smart thing – pause, reflect, think, and answer wisely? I hate that. I want to snap my fingers and give the “move it along” hand roll. I have things to do, why don’t you? And to me…that’s JT.

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#5 Tomas Kaberle

No disrespect to the wily ‘ol veteran, but when I think of Kaberle, I think of unkneaded dough. Not just his looks (okay, those too), but like…everything. He’s a loaf of unbaked break. I don’t live in Canada, so maybe I’ve missed some sharp, snarky interview where he’s had some cutting insight on something, but from what I’ve seen….just, dough.

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#4 Jason Blake

I don’t want to go for a drink with Jason Blake because I think he hates me. We’ve never met, mind you, but I feel like I’m wasting his time. I feel like he hates you, and you, and you. I feel like he’d get drunk and say mean things and hurt my feelings and make me cry. I feel like we’d end up in a fight. And to me, that doesn’t sound like a very good night.

(* I have zero basis for the claims that I think he’s a surly guy, just a hunch.)

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#3 Eric Staal

Staal is a big name NHLer, which means he’s been given ample opportunity to show he’s able to have a little fun with life. In particular, I think about the NHL’s first ever “fantasy” draft where he was a captain, and conducted it like it was an actual draft. He just didn’t seem to….”get it.” So if I’ve gotta sit face to face with a guy for an extended period of time, I don’t really feel like having to turn off sarcasm, metaphors, and other things that need to be explained when missed.

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#2 Phil Kessel

I feel like he’d sit down on the bar stool facing the wrong way, order something off the “specialties” menu that costs $7.50 and has a pun for a name (after asking about several of them), and we’d sit in awkward silence.

“How’s the drink Phil?”

“Yep.”

“Rrrrright onnnn.”

***

#1 Jay Bouweester

Jay Bouwmeester is very special type of Canadian. To the Americans reading this, if you haven’t met his type, let me explain it. (Caveat: my Dad’s side is from Kindersley, Sask and my Mom was born in Moose Jaw, raised in Saskatoon. Not hating on farm boys.)

There’s this certain type of Canadian farm boy who is slow in everything they do. Conversation, yes, but also tying their shoes, eating a bowl of cereal, whatever. They’re not dumb (quite the opposite, often), they’re just…dull. They’re in no hurry. Yet on the ice, they function just fine. They were born into the game, so they know that doesn’t work there.

But Bouwmeester’s expressionless, slow, farm boy demeanor would give me that stuck-in-traffic-while-late, road-rage knot in my stomach. TAKE THE FIRST SIP OF THAT DRINK ALREADY.

I didn’t live in New York for too many years, but I sure picked up an appreciation for speed. So yeah, beers with Bouwmeester? I’m washing my hair that day.

***

Those of you who responded to my “low beerability” query on Twitter had some great suggestions for the list: The Sedins (though a certain Kurtenblogger has argued against that), Sidney Crosby (too many accomplishments to include), Duncan Keith, Andy Sutton, Jamie Benn (multiple votes), Lidstrom, Christensen, Alzner, Gonchar (“he’d just sit there texting his wife the whole time,” from @JoNana) and more were all thrown out there.

So who did we miss – any other NHLers out there with low beerability?

Comments (30)

  1. I take it you haven’t seen that Towes cellphone commercial with Kane. I could fill an entire night in a bar with Toews just asking him about that, and inquiring about the truckloads of money they must have driven to his house to get him to appear in that unintentionally hilarious bit of cellulose.

    The rest = yes. I would have added Phaneuf though. Mainly for the same reasons as Kessel.

  2. Hah, nooo, I’ve seen that. And I’ve seen the pic of him beer-bonging in college. Neither lead me to believe we’d put together scintillating conversation.

    • He willingly leads Cinco de Mayo pub crawls through Wrigleyville. I think he’d be okay to talk to in a bar, if only to ask him why his team bestie always seems to be a guy like Oshie and Kane

      • True. Suddenly this reeks of “hidden beauty.”

        • Bourney you missed it on Jonny, he’s a beauty when you’re hanging out in the small town pub (like a Judy’s in Grand Forks, just ask Robbie Bina)..

          Also he has a lot more to talk about than just hockey (not Tim Thomas style, though, so you won’t get into a fight or blow a gasket Facebook style) also he almost won the beloved “Bermuda Cup”.. (especially for a kid who entered college at 17, that’s admirable)

          As for the Jason Blake, he was the life of the party at the hockey parties when he was at UND, from what my sister tells me & some of her pictures with her boyfriend & him, (but of course UND/Grand Forks is the #2 binge drinking city in the U.S.A.).. Can’t say for certain how he’s acting these day’s it’s been a while since I’ve ran into him at the rinks…

  3. Definitely starting a band just so I can call it “Beers With Bouwmeester.”

  4. Wasn’t Toews also busted for being in a bar underage at UND? And all the Staals got busted for what, illegally crossing the border into Minnesota? …Okay, if that’s their idea of a swinging bachelor party, you might have a point, but if someone’s been busted for drinking related things, they’ve got to have a few other good stories, right?

    But I’m pretty sure picking a goalie first in an All-Star game draft can’t be counted as treating it as a real draft.

  5. In the same vein as Bouwmeester, I might include Brad Stuart. Main problem with him is that he talks so softly, you’d constantly have to ask him “What?” Seems to be a nice guy, but if you can’t hear what he’s saying, it would be hard to know.

  6. The only thing “unbeerable” about Bouwmeester is his adam’s apple. Unless he is donning a turtle neck, there is no way I’d be able to enjoy a beer with him. Too distracting.

  7. Blake didn’t seem too surly when I saw him out practicing with a kids’ team last summer… unless pulling out the spin-o-rama on a 10 year old goalie counts as surly.

  8. HA! Well done. I said on twitter the whole Red Wings team. I want to also add Jonathan Quick, Daniel Alfredsson, Brad Richards (although Olivia Munn apparently found something interesting about him) and Steve Stamkos.

  9. Yeah, I get the feeling that Toews would be a giggly drunk. Most of those uptight sorts are. At the very least, it would be fun to find out. ;-)

  10. Personally didn’t mind Staal at all during the fantasy draft. But thats just me.

  11. Jason Blake…just saying “hi” to this guy at a Starbucks is a no-no apparently…dude has a stick up his …

  12. Olli jokinen. He has the same blank stare as my cat. And autocorrect changes his last name to jokiness. ‘Nuff said.

    • Ollie looks like he should be on Dexter.

    • Nah, he’s a Fin, so he’s born with a high probability of being full on insane and a guarantee of being fit for psychiatric evaluation. Plus, if the conversations wanes you can just tap him on the head and watch that melon bobble around for a while.

  13. I think having a beer with Kessel would be fun. Even if it did devolve into a late night session of Dungeons & Dragons & Drinking.

  14. Has your opinion on Tim Thomas’s beerability changed at all since White House-gate?

  15. I’m all in on Blake. I believe that when he played for the Leafs Grabovsky physically attacked him for no apparent reason during practice on two separate occasions. I think I might do the same.

    Kessel is pretty damn awkward but I think if you brought along Tyler Bozak he might be able to draw Phil out enough to be a bit of fun.

    One guy I could not have a beer with is Jason Spezza. I find him really creepy in the worst way, and that giggle is unbearable.

    I hate to say it but one creepy guy I would have a beer with is Pierre McGuire, if only to ask him what the hell he was thinking when he referred to Dutchyshen as a reporter with a big stick, and to get him to say Byfuglien. If I did have drinks with Pierre though Id always want to have an escape route.

  16. Were you not involved with the Isles while Blake was there?

  17. Sorry, but I have trouble with the concept.

    Boring beer tool. Okay.

    But it should have been: guys that will get me arrested. There’s a list.

    Belfour. (God bless him.) Byfuglien. (Honest, officer, I was steering.) Any Russian in Montreal (They was HIS friends. They said 18.) Kane. (All I wanted was proper change and a receipt.) The other Kane. (He said he would pay, and I’m Evander.)

    There’s more. But how is any of this relevant to fantasy hockey? I stick to the Belfour example: stats only.

  18. Dont agree with Toews being on this list. As mentioned in previous comments, his beerability is probably mid range to high, he just hides it very, very well. Some of the behind the scenes videos of Blackhawks TV (particularly some from the Blackhawks convention) show that he has quite a sense of humour and comments from teammates indicate that he’d be really fun to get drunk and then rile up :D

  19. Oh man, Jay Bouwmeester. Is that guy ever boring. Plain shredded wheat. Put it this way: the guy drive an old Chevy S-10 when he lived in Florida. Who drives a freaking S-10 in the city in Florida? North Florida, sure. You probably have some lumber to haul or something. But in South Florida?

    Kessel’s got the whole socially awkward thing going, but I bet he’d be fun in a small group once someone got him going. Has to be the right situation, though. At least he’d get the jokes and laugh. Jay Bo you’d probably just get that blank stare and “Oh.”

  20. Alex Edler? I haven’t got much to back this up since it’s immediately obvious.

    • If I recall correctly, Pass It To Bulis said he has a reputation for being quiet and reserved, among Swedes. That’s pretty quiet.

  21. In defense of Eric Staal, at least he knows how to swindle in fantasy hockey:

    http://youtu.be/doL7FROBoic

  22. What about Dwayne Roloson? He’s always seemed pretty sour to me. He definitely fits the grumpy old man in the locker room stereotype.

  23. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xV0tOEb9BhI I watch this and I want to like tavares, I do, I really do, but if it wasn’t for Stefan Legein that’d be another boring interview..

    Side note: on a scale of 1 to “I just pissed my pants and I wasn’t even wearing any” how funny is Stefan Legein? Just gold from start to finish. “So John, last season you had 72, this season you’ve only got 24, does that bother you a lot? Did you just lie to us John?”

    another side note: To this day I still can’t understand Claude Giroux’s “potato and egg” but all I can possibly think of is he’s got one of the fruits swinging lower than the other? If that’s what it is, Tavares goes from least beer-able to average with one home-run swing..

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