If you’re not up on the concept of beerability yet, go ahead and follow that link to get it figured out.

In hockey, beerability is a crucial metric for measuring how beloved a guy is going to be in the dressing room. Knowing that, we’ve been scanning the NHL over the past few months and trying to figure out which NHLers have the most (and least) beerability.

Being that it’s almost St. Paddy’s Day, we prepared (okay, Derek Snider prepared) the All-Ginger Beerability team, and the All-Irish Beerability team.

The starting line-ups are below – let us know if we missed anyone!


All-Ginger NHL Beerability team (complete with Snider quotes)

D - Brian “Soupie” Campbell – Doing research I saw a pic of his “ginger balls.”
D – Mike Commodore – He looks like Ogi Ogilthorpe, so, BOOM!
F – Scott Hartnell –Suck it Phaneuf!
F – Raffi Torres – Jay-Z anyone?
F – Cody McLeod – Tough, Irish, Ginger…a winner! Great quote: “All I said to Bitz was ‘people sure seem to like that Booth guy’ and he dropped the gloves and started hitting me. What’s his problem?”

G – Corey Schneider – By default.

Head Coach: Mike Babcock with Jim Schoenfeld and Terry Crisp as assistants

Bourne’s take: The first three names on the list are no-brainers. Well, in Campbell’s case, a some-brainer (oo, tasteless joke, sorry). Commodore and Hartnell are ginger all-stars. The only ones we disagreed about on the podcast were Torres (I think he could be alright) and Schneider (what, no Kiprusoff?). Other than that, bang on.


All Irish Drinking team:

D Shane O’Brien – Great quote: “I don’t care what the scoreboard says, any time I can get through a game without being punched in the face is a big win.”
F Chris Kelly
F Steve Sullivan
F Brian Boyle – He went as Buddy the Elf to the Rangers Christmas party.

G Cam Ward - (By default)

Coach – Todd McLellan

Bourne’s take: Shane O’Brien seems like a pretty hilarious guy, so he has to be on there. And Brian Boyle, jeesh, he’s almost #1 on the overall beerability list (ginger Scott Hartnell currently holds that title, closely tailed by Shawn Thornton). Any way you slice it, the selected names are very, very Irish, so kudos to you, Mr. Snider.

(Mini-update: @KeithLHHockey advises Brian Burke be the team GM. We agree.)


So what’s your take? Would you swap out any of our ginger or Irish selections for anyone else?


UPDATE: From Twitter friend @Sir_Earl, there have only been five NHL players that were actually born in Ireland (link takes you to their stats), and there haven’t been any since the 1950′s. The complete list:

Sid Finney
Bobby Kirk
Jimmy McFadden
Sammy McManus
Jack Riley



Oh god I pissed off Owen Nolan. Shortly after tweeting about the update, I got this response from him:

Oh man. (The close-quote is missing – his response to me was “Do your homework.”)

To clarify: Owen Nolan was born in Belfast, as were two of the names on the list above. HOWEVER, due to some “changes” in Ireland over the years, Hockey-Reference (the site used to research this) has Nolan listed as being from “Belfast, United Kingdom.”

Let’s leave it here: Owen Nolan is from Ireland. He was born in Belfast. He played in the NHL. He was very good and I’m afraid of him.

There have been six people born in Ireland to play in the NHL. There. Got it.

Comments (17)

  1. Hemsky should be on the ginger team.

  2. Owne Nolan. Belfast. Born 1972.

    • Was thinking that, not sure if Belfast counts, it’s in the North so technically part of the UK.

      • Two of the names on the list were from Belfast, but obviously things have changed since the ’50′s, so those two “qualified” apparently, while Nolan didn’t. (You’re right, has it as Belfast, UK)

  3. Three of the others were born in the North, not two. McManus, McFadden and Finney.

  4. McFadden & Mcmanus were born in Belfast, Ireland in 1920 & 1911, respectively.
    Ireland was partitioned in 1921 and Northern Ireland became part of the UK.
    Nolan was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland (part of the UK) in 1972.

    In summary, yes I’d go for a beer with Owen Nolan.

  5. This Jimmy McFadden fella sounds like a swell guy! His name sounds like a character from the Simpsons or something.

  6. Any given topic which even looks at the way of Ireland’s history is potentially dangerous and should be avoided.

  7. Is Sir_Earl not including Owen Nolan because he was born in Northern Ireland?

    • Yes. Although I just took my list from hockey-reference.com, which (technically correctly, I suppose) has Owen Nolan born in the UK.

  8. No Giroux on the all ginger team? Seems like a good guy, and could play well off Hartnell at the pub and on the ice. Plus he’s inclusion would actually make that a formidable NHL line.

    Maybe he lost ginger credibility for dying his Movember stach?

  9. No Sedins on the all-ginger team? Really?

    • They seem like great people, but I don’t know about beerability. Both a bit too quiet. Would be fascinating to talk hockey with them though.

      Off topic: how is it that the Sedins have lived in Vancouver since 2000, and still have strong accents and some language issues (pronunciation and word usage can still be a bit off) and yet Landeskog sounds like he grew up in Ontario? Linguistics are interesting…

      • Age: I dont know how old the Sedins were when they moved to Canada, but Landeskog moved to Canada at 16. At that age, its a lot easier for your accent to change, and he may have been making more of an effort to ‘blend in’.

        Additional speculation may also be how much English he spoke in Sweden before moving over and where he learnt it (I know people who speak English as a second language, have never been to America, but have American accents because their English teacher was American.)

  10. Torres over Giroux? Ugh.

    Interesting “Irish” stramash. Did you know that Ulster natives could use Irish or UK passports (things might have changed under EU auspices, I don’t know), or be eligible for either Olympic team? Not that my husband (born and raised in Belfast) would deign to carry a Brit passport.

  11. No Steve Ott? That would seem like a no-brainer for such a prestigious team!

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