Friday the 13th belongs to horror movie legend Jason Voorhees. Who are the 10 scariest Jasons in NHL history?
Full disclosure: it’s Friday the 13th, and I want any excuse to link (again) to this 20-minute chronological montage of every Jason Voorhees kill in all his movies. Viewer discretion strongly advised. NSFW.
Only on a calendar anomaly like today can we squish an immortal horror movie villian and “hockey news” into one topic. Who are the scariest Jasons ever to play in the NHL? Honorable mention to Jassen Cullimore!
10. Jason Ward
The 6-foot-2 power forward flashed plenty of potential as a goal scorer with a mean streak in the OHL during the late 1990s. He played on two Canadian world junior squads. The Habs thought highly enough of Ward to draft him 11th overall in 1997. The scariest thing about Ward is the guy who went one pick after him: Marian Hossa. Oops. Nightmare fuel for Montreal. At least it got Marcel Hossa. Hm, more nightmare fuel.
9. Jason Pominville
So the Jason list isn’t off to the scariest start. Pominville has received Lady Byng votes for nine straight seasons, which should disqualify him. But he’s scary because he’s so sneakily productive as a seven-time 20-goal scorer.
8. Jason Allison
Few things scared Leafs fans more than an Allison shootout attempt in 2005-06. But he was an underrated point producer and, uh, he was strong. Did you know he could rip a helmet in half with his bare friggin’ hands?
7. Jason Bacashihua
You try pronouncing his name.
6. Jason Garrison
Garrison is the hardest-shooting Jason in NHL history. His toughness doesn’t match his size, but his howitzer sure does. Here’s one from his 16-goal season with the Florida Panthers:
5. Jason Chimera
The big, scrappy Capital can play the left wing or center, he can chip in some offense in a secondary role, and he’s never been afraid to get his hands dirty, having tussled with the likes of Brent Seabrook, Willie Mitchell, Ryan Malone and even Tim Thomas. Chimera gets under guys’ skin.
4. Jason Spezza
Spezza takes the “scary-good” crown among the League of Jasons. Injuries have held him back throughout his career, but he’s delivered on the promise that made him 2001’s second overall pick. And he still boasts one of the dirtiest goals of this millennium. Watch this overtime winner against the Habs and tell me he wasn’t frighteningly good with the puck on his stick in those days:
3. Jason Wiemer
Wiemer is the top enforcer among Jasons, with nine seasons of 100 or more penalty minutes. He wowed the Tampa Bay Lightning in 1994, scoring 45 goals and amassing 236 PIM with the Portland Winterhawks, so the Bolts drafted him eighth overall. Wiemer didn’t deliver as a big-time scorer in the NHL but chipped in more offense than your average tough guy. He was like an early version of Chris Neil. Here’s Wiemer dropping Jeff Cowan and classily holding back after he knew he had Cowan down for the count, while still cockily standing over Cowan.
2. Jason Smith
The big stay-at-home defenseman was a hard hitter and fearless shot blocker. He burst into relevance after coming to Toronto in the Doug-Gilmour-to-New-Jersey trade. Smith enjoyed his best years as an Edmonton Oiler, captaining them for five full seasons, including their run to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final in 2006. Only Wayne Gretzky has worn the Oilers ‘C’ for more games.
1. Jason Arnott
Everything was intimidating about Jason Arnott in his prime. He was a tank at 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds, kind of a poor man’s Eric Lindros, drafted during the same era. Arnott racked up 417 goals and 938 points over a 1,244-game NHL career. He leads all Jasons in every major statistical category, including PIM. In his prime as a New Jersey Devil, he centered one of the NHL’s most dominant lines with young Patrik Elias and Petr Sykora on either side of him. And, of course, he scored the Stanley Cup-winning goal in 2000. He haunts the Dallas Stars’ dreams.
Matt Larkin is an associate editor at The Hockey News and a regular contributor to the thn.com Post-To-Post blog. For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, subscribe to The Hockey News magazine. Follow Matt Larkin on Twitter at @THNMattLarkin