This week’s THN.com Top 10 has a year-in-review feel to it. We’ve pored over articles, video segments and press releases from our archives to find the Top 10 Quotes of the Season.
We’ve limited the entries to one quote per person or issue, meaning despite his proclivity for pugnacious post-game proverbs, Sean Avery will have just one entry here, which is where we begin.
10. From the ‘Did You Have Any Takers?’ folder:
“You guys are all great. I love you all, but I have to go and take my teammates to dinner while they still like me.”
– Sean Avery, while still with the Dallas Stars in October, speaking to a large gathering of New York media surrounding his locker stall after an early-season game versus the Rangers.
9. From the ‘Are You Even Old Enough To Be In Here?’ folder:
“I just like being the youngest guy on the line.”
– John Madden, 35, on New Jersey linemates Brendan Shanahan, 40, and Brian Rolston, 36.
8. From the ‘Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is’ folder:
“What’s so special about (Crosby)? I don’t see anything special there. Yes, he does skate well, has a good head, good pass. But there’s nothing else. Even if you compare him to Patrick Kane from Chicago, (Kane) is a much more interesting player. The way he moves, his deking abilities, his thinking on the ice and his anticipation of the play is so superb.”
– Washington’s Alexander Semin in November, beginning a still-running feud between Crosby and Capitals players.
7. From the ‘I Needed To Get Outta Dodge’ folder:
“Mike Babcock was without a doubt an obstacle in my career. I wanted to prove him wrong – I’m not going to lie. I used him as big-time motivation. I thought he put his best foot forward to bury me.”
– Columbus defenseman Mike Commodore, who was a member of the Anaheim franchise for eight months when Babcock was coach of the Ducks.
6. From the ‘Me, Me, Me, And I?’ folder:
“Quite frankly I haven’t really been watching games. I’ve been following the scores, but I haven’t been watching games. From my perspective, I just really need to focus on how am I feeling, how everything goes with me and then if everything goes good, I’m going to jump in to play. Definitely the pressure is on, but first of all I want to feel confident in my body and…so far everything is going well.”
– Minnesota’s Marian Gaborik prior to returning at the end of March from missing 38 games with a hip injury.
5. From the “Quick Mom, Duck!’ folder:
“They were throwing stuff at my family. It was pretty wild. My mother-in-law got hit in the back of the head with a beer towel.”
– Columbus center R.J. Umberger discussing the reception he and his family received during a game against the Penguins in Pittsburgh, back when he was a member of the Flyers.
4. From the ‘Well, It Wouldn’t Be That Surprising’ folder:
“Al is sort of like a spaghetti salesman. He just throws so much against the wall and hopes something sticks and it usually doesn’t stick. It’s b.s., and Al thrives on b.s. It’s total lies.”
– Former Tampa Bay coach Barry Melrose in response to reporter Al Strachan’s comments on an October broadcast of CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada that Lightning co-owner Len Barrie drew up plays for the team in the dressing room.
3. From the ‘Did He Really Just Say That?’ folder:
“If I were in (Alex Kovalev’s) skates, I’d have played my last game for the Canadiens. No player with his talent would accept being humiliated like that. I don’t know what (Bob) Gainey is trying to prove in front of everybody.”
– Former Montreal player and current Canadiens community ambassador Guy Lafleur after Kovalev was sent home from a road trip in mid-February for lackluster play.
2. From the ‘OK Guys, Play Nice’ folder:
“I think he is not Belarusian now, he is French because I never fight with Belarusian guys. I don’t know why he wants to fight with me. If he wants to fight, we’ll go in the street and every minute of every day I’ll wait for him and we’ll fight.”
– Toronto’s Mikhail Grabovski on fellow Belarusian Sergei Kostitsyn after a fight-filled game against Montreal in January.
1. From the “Suzy, Cover Your Eyes!’ folder:
“I knew I had to get to the bench because I didn’t know how much blood I was actually losing. It was dripping. I was scared. I needed some help…I just didn’t know if my brain was sticking out of my head.”
– Tampa Bay’s Martin St-Louis on being cut on the forehead by linesman Derek Amell’s skate blade in December.
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