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NHL

Most Likable Player on Every NHL Team

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Most Likable Player on Each NHL Team

Henrik Lundqvist
Kirby Lee - USA Today Sports

In all facets of life there are people who transcend their respective fields and are just universally loved. NHL players are no exception, as every team in the league has at least one player who is loved and admired by opposing players and fans alike. The love shown to many of these players across the league is part of what makes hockey and the fans who enjoy the game so great.

Anaheim Ducks: Ryan Getzlaf

Ryan Getzlaf
Kelvin Kuo-USA Today Sports

Anaheim Ducks: Ryan Getzlaf

Ryan Getzlaf
Kelvin Kuo-USA Today Sports

The giant center is one of the best offensive players in the game as he always finds himself in the upper echelon of league scoring. Fans also love and respect the snarl and tenacity he brings every night to the rink. The fact that he played in the playoffs after taking a puck directly to the face says all that needs to be said; good luck finding anyone who doesn’t like Getz.

Arizona Coyotes: Shane Doan

Shane Doan
Gary A. Vasquez-USA Today Sports

Arizona Coyotes: Shane Doan

Shane Doan
Gary A. Vasquez-USA Today Sports

The aging veteran has been with the Winnipeg/Arizona franchise since he was drafted in 1995, and despite the team’s ups and downs he has never left. His loyalty coupled with passionate style of play makes him impossible to dislike.

Boston Bruins: Patrice Bergeron

Boston Bruins v Montreal Canadiens - Game Six
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Boston Bruins: Patrice Bergeron

Boston Bruins v Montreal Canadiens - Game Six
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For a team as hated as the Bruins, there is not a player more universally loved than “Saint Patrice”. Bergeron scores big goals, plays a full 200-foot game and just does everything the right way. Fans around the league see these qualities and echo the love shown by Bruins fans to the two-time Selke Trophy recipient.

Buffalo Sabres: Matt Moulson

Moulson
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Buffalo Sabres: Matt Moulson

Moulson
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The former Cornell winger is one of the most intelligent and classy players in the league. Moulson also climbed the ladder as a late draft pick and earned his spot in the NHL after scratching and clawing his way through college and the minors. If there’s one player who deserved the massive contract the Sabres bestowed upon him this summer, it’s Moulson.

Calgary Flames: Johnny Gaudreau

Johnny Gaudreau
Eric Hartline-USA Today Sports

Calgary Flames: Johnny Gaudreau

Johnny Gaudreau
Eric Hartline-USA Today Sports

“Johnny Hockey” has one game in the NHL under his belt (he scored in it) and won the 2014 Hobey Baker Award for best player in college hockey with the Boston College Eagles. At 5-foot-7, Gaudreau shows that little guys can play and play well making him hard not to love.

Carolina Hurricanes: Jeff Skinner

Jeff Skinner
James Guillory - USA Today Sports

Carolina Hurricanes: Jeff Skinner

Jeff Skinner
James Guillory - USA Today Sports

Skinner skates like an Olympic figure skater and scores like an NHL All-Star, making him one of the most exciting players in the NHL. Skinner is also a huge Taylor Swift fan and even gave T-Swift a Canes jersey at a concert in Raleigh last fall; you have to respect the power move there.

Chicago Blackhawks: Jonathan Toews

Jonathan Toews Injury Chicago Blackhawks
Rob Grabowski-USA Today Sports

Chicago Blackhawks: Jonathan Toews

Jonathan Toews Injury Chicago Blackhawks
Rob Grabowski-USA Today Sports

“Captain Serious” plays the game the right way and is the ultimate winner with two Stanley Cups and two Olympic Gold Medals. Fans in Chicago and around the league respect Toews and his high-level approach to the game.

Colorado Avalanche: Matt Duchene

Matt Duchene
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Colorado Avalanche: Matt Duchene

Matt Duchene
Colorado Avalanche: Matt Duchene

Duchene won a Gold Medal with Team Canada at the Olympics in Sochi and brings a unique skill set to the rink night in and night out. Factor in that he’s friends with country music star Jake Owen and it shows people of all walks of life love the former Brampton Battalion center.

Columbus Blue Jackets: Nathan Horton

Nathan Horton
Matt Kartozian-USA Today Sports

Columbus Blue Jackets: Nathan Horton

Nathan Horton
Matt Kartozian-USA Today Sports

Horton was a big part of the Boston Bruins revitalizing their franchise and winning the Stanley Cup in 2011. He also showed the Blue Jackets were legitimate players in free agency when he inked a massive deal with the team last summer. If he can stay healthy this season fans will truly see how the power forward can be an absolute game changer.

Dallas Stars: Jamie Benn

Jamie Benn
Jerome Miron-USA Today Sports

Dallas Stars: Jamie Benn

Jamie Benn
Jerome Miron-USA Today Sports

Benn is the face of the franchise and helped the Stars return to the playoffs last season after a six-year absence. He also elevated his teammate Tyler Seguin on and off the ice, and the two will be entertaining fans around the league for a long time.

Detroit Red Wings: Pavel Datsyuk

pavel datsyuk
Rick Osentoski-USA Today Sports

Detroit Red Wings: Pavel Datsyuk

pavel datsyuk
Rick Osentoski-USA Today Sports

The two-time Stanley Cup champion has some of the best one-on-one moves in the history of the league and plays with an unrivaled level of poise and class at all times. The future Hall of Famer has earned that love and respect from hockey fans all over the world.

Edmonton Oilers: Taylor Hall

Taylor Hall
Ron Chenoy-USA Today Sports

Edmonton Oilers: Taylor Hall

Taylor Hall
Ron Chenoy-USA Today Sports

Hall is a unique player who combines skill and grit and has been a bright spot on an awful Oilers team since entering the league as the No. 1 overall pick in 2010. There’s something to be said about a young man carrying a team in a hockey-crazed market like Alberta through its worst times.

Florida Panthers: Roberto Luongo

Roberto Luongo Florida Panthers
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Florida Panthers: Roberto Luongo

Roberto Luongo Florida Panthers
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Once among the most despised player in the NHL, the power of his Twitter account (@Strombome1) has shown Luongo to be a great guy with a record level of self-deprecating humor. He’ll be even more likable if he can miraculously drag this weak Panthers team to the playoffs; in fact he’d be almost a miracle worker.

Los Angeles Kings: Anze Kopitar

Los Angeles Kings Kopitar With the Stanley Cup
Richard Mackson - USA Today Sports

Los Angeles Kings: Anze Kopitar

Los Angeles Kings Kopitar With the Stanley Cup
Richard Mackson - USA Today Sports

Kopitar is the first Slovenian to play in the NHL, and he has made quite the impact, winning two Stanley Cups with the Los Angeles Kings. The 6-foot-4 center plays a two-way game and has some of the best moves in the league in the shootout, making him amazing to watch. He’s also shot pucks to raise money for cancer research on the Ellen show, a positive twist on “Going Hollywood” for sure.

Minnesota Wild: Charlie Coyle

Charlie Coyle
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA Today Sports

Minnesota Wild: Charlie Coyle

Charlie Coyle
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA Today Sports

The Weymouth, Mass. native is a physically effective player who plays hard but plays clean and is already earning respect from around the league. He’s also great with kids as his viral video making a young fan’s day was the talk of the hockey world for a while. There aren’t too many nicer people inside or outside the game of hockey.

Montreal Canadiens: Alex Galchenyuk

Canadiens USA Galchenyuk
Jean-Yves Ahern - USA Today Sports

Montreal Canadiens: Alex Galchenyuk

Canadiens USA Galchenyuk
Jean-Yves Ahern - USA Today Sports

The “International Man of Mystery” plays in Canada, was born in Russia and is an American citizen, so all the demographics are covered. Galchenyuk’s ability to handle playing in a pressure cooker like Montreal is commendable and the best is yet to come for him.

Nashville Predators: Mike Fisher

Mike Fisher
Don McPeak-USA Today Sports

Nashville Predators: Mike Fisher

Mike Fisher
Don McPeak-USA Today Sports

Fisher is married to the Queen of Country Music and gets to call himself Mr. Carrie Underwood. Nothing more needs to be said.

New Jersey Devils: Jaromir Jagr

Jaromir Jagr Critical of Devils Despite Win
Eric Hartline-USA Today Sports

New Jersey Devils: Jaromir Jagr

Jaromir Jagr Critical of Devils Despite Win
Eric Hartline-USA Today Sports

Jagr was one of the most dominant players of all time during his days dominating the ice alongside Mario Lemieux with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1990s. All these years later the 42-year-old Jagr is still getting it done as he led the Devils in scoring last season. The only way Jagr could be more likable is if he brought the classic mullet from his Pittsburgh days back.

New York Islanders: John Tavares

John Tavares
Joe Camporeale - USA Today Sports

New York Islanders: John Tavares

John Tavares
Joe Camporeale - USA Today Sports

Not only is John Tavares truly one of the elite players in the league, but he is also incredibly loyal as he re-signed with the woeful Islanders for less than market value. As the team’s best pure goal scorer since Mike Bossy, Tavares’ skill is undeniable and fans around the league surely recognize that.

New York Rangers: Henrik Lundqvist

Rangers' Lundqvist Wins 1st Game In Montreal Since 2009
Jean-Yves Ahern-USA Today Sports

New York Rangers: Henrik Lundqvist

Rangers' Lundqvist Wins 1st Game In Montreal Since 2009
Jean-Yves Ahern-USA Today Sports

“King Henrik” is one of the biggest athletes in the biggest market in the world and recently took the Rangers to their first Final since 1994. Factor in that he plays guitar and tennis with Johnny McEnroe and has an appearance that can best be described as “not ugly”, and it’s easy to see why “Hank” is among the most beloved athletes in the world.

Ottawa Senators: Mika Zibanejad

Mika Zibanejad
Marc DesRosiers-USA Today Sports

Ottawa Senators: Mika Zibanejad

Mika Zibanejad
Marc DesRosiers-USA Today Sports

Zibanejad is the first player of Iranian descent to play in the NHL and has an almost unfair mix of skill and size. As the Sens look to move past the Jason Spezza era, the Swede will take on a bigger role and his image and likability around the league will surely increase.

Philadelphia Flyers: Matt Read

matt read may be in lineup vs buffalo sabres
Eric Hartline-USA Today Sports

Philadelphia Flyers: Matt Read

matt read may be in lineup vs buffalo sabres
Eric Hartline-USA Today Sports

Read played at the hockey hotbed known as Bemidji State and was an undrafted free agent when he hooked on with the Flyers as a 25-year-old in 2011. That kind of road to the NHL coupled with his innate ability to score awesome goals makes Read the most beloved player on a team that prides itself on being hated.

Pittsburgh Penguins: Beau Bennett

Bennett
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Penguins: Beau Bennett

Bennett
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The California native oozes skill, and if he can stay healthy he could be a mainstay with Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin next season. For a kid to come from an area known for its surf to play with some of the greatest players on the planet is at the very least an amazing story.

San Jose Sharks: Tomas Hertl

Tomas Hertl
Robert Stanton-USA Today Sports

San Jose Sharks: Tomas Hertl

Tomas Hertl
Robert Stanton-USA Today Sports

The Czech rookie infused a high level of excitement into the league when he lit up the New York Rangers for four goals, including one all-timer between the legs goal that was hockey at its best. Having a young kid with that kind of skill and love for the game really is all that is great about hockey.

St. Louis Blues: T.J. Oshie

NHL team in Seattle? Team USA success in Sochi could make it happen.
Scott Rovak-USA Today Sports

St. Louis Blues: T.J. Oshie

NHL team in Seattle? Team USA success in Sochi could make it happen.
Scott Rovak-USA Today Sports

“T.J. Sochi” became a household name for his Olympic exploits, leading Team USA to a win over Russia in dramatic fashion with four amazing shootout goals. The former University of North Dakota sniper is an integral part of the Blues’ success and has almost unmatched likability. Coming up aces for your country on the world’s biggest stage will do that.

Tampa Bay Lightning: Steven Stamkos

Steven Stamkos Returns To Tampa Bay Lightning Lineup
Kim Klement-USA Today Sports

Tampa Bay Lightning: Steven Stamkos

Steven Stamkos Returns To Tampa Bay Lightning Lineup
Kim Klement-USA Today Sports

The former Sarnia Sting star is not only one of the elite snipers in the game, but he also brings a boyish enthusiasm to the rink every night. The combination of skill, class and love for the game makes Stamkos one of the most popular players in the league.

Toronto Maple Leafs: Trevor Smtih

Smith
John E. Sokolowski-USA Today Sports

Toronto Maple Leafs: Trevor Smtih

Smith
John E. Sokolowski-USA Today Sports

Smith is a grinder who plays the game hard and does it the right way going back to his college hockey days with the New Hampshire Wildcats. He’s also the cousin of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model Kate Bock, who is easy to like herself.

Vancouver Canucks: Ryan Miller

Ryan-Miller-St.-Louis-Blues-San-Jose-Sharks.jpg
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Vancouver Canucks: Ryan Miller

Ryan-Miller-St.-Louis-Blues-San-Jose-Sharks.jpg
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Miller backstopped Team USA to the Silver Medal in 2010 and was the face of the Buffalo Sabres for a long time before coming to British Columbia this summer. In addition to being an Olympic MVP, he’s married to a Hollywood starlet and is friends with Charlie Sheen, it doesn’t get much more likeable than that.

Washington Capitals: Joel Ward

Joel Ward
Geoff Burke - USA Today Sports

Washington Capitals: Joel Ward

Joel Ward
Geoff Burke - USA Today Sports

Ward faced a long road to make the NHL as undrafted player out of the Canadian college ranks and has carved out a very nice career for himself. Factor in the dignity and class he showed after being on the receiving end of racist tweets upon scoring an overtime goal in Game 7 against the Boston Bruins in 2012, and it’s easy to see why Ward is so beloved.

Winnipeg Jets: Andrew Ladd

Vancouver Canucks v Winnipeg Jets
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Winnipeg Jets: Andrew Ladd

Vancouver Canucks v Winnipeg Jets
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The way fans around the league defended Ladd after he was criticized for missing a game for the birth of his child this season shows the respect and admiration the Jets’ captain has earned. The two-time Stanley Cup champion epitomizes class and is clearly one of the better leaders in the league.