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.
#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.
#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.
#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.
#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.)
#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.
#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?”
#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?