15 Former NHL Teammates That Still Hate Each Other Today
Rivalries are traditionally amongst opposing teams and players, but can sometimes be found amongst teammates. During certain situations, two players can grow apart in the same locker room as we have seen before with Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’neal, Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez and most recently, Kyrie Irving and LeBron James. A rivalry amongst teammates can cause a distraction from the organizations overall goals and the teams best interests.
Hockey at its core, is one of the fastest paced games on the planet and requires hard work, teamwork and dedication. Although the sport allows for an amazing amount of grace, it can also draw crowds with the legal fighting allowed between two players from opposing teams. Fights are a very popular and favored part of the NHL as a whole, but what happens then when two teammates fight?
15. Brian McGrattan and Chris Neil
Brian McGrattan and Chris Neil were teammates for the Ottawa Senators. McGratton felt he had to protect Chris Neil as teammates before McGratton’s move to the Boston Bruins in 2010. McGratton was tired of being Neal’s protector, and let his words do the talking in a 2010 interview. “I had to protect that guy for three years when I was there.” McGrattan was referring to a fight Neil had gotten into with Boston Bruins Defenseman Dennis Seidenberg. McGrattan was also recorded during an interview saying “He’d (start fights) and I’d have to fight all his battles for him”, a clear jab at Neil for not fighting his own battles. Neil would initiate fights during games and expect McGrattan to back him up no matter what. McGrattan wasn’t fond of Neil, so when the two were no longer teammates, McGrattan was able to focus on hockey more to make himself a better player.
14. Troy Brouwer and Alex Semin
Throughout Alex Semin’s career, the productivity of his play was always up in the air. Semin was a top notch goal scorer with a low class work ethic. Semin played for the Washington Capitols for his first seven seasons where he played along side Troy Brouwer before signing with the Carolina Hurricanes in the summer of 2013. Brouwer, a Canadian winger who currently plays for the Calgary Flame, said in a 2013 interview “It was tough to lose his scoring ability when he wanted to play, but all in all I think we’ve been doing well without him. Some nights you didn’t even know if he was gonna come to the rink. It’s tough to play alongside guys like those because you don’t know what you’re gonna get out of em.” From the conversation, the understanding that Brouwer was glad when Semin left is an understatement.
13. Saku Koivu and Mike Ribeiro
When Saku Koivu and Mike Ribeiro were both Montreal Canadians, the two teammates were anything but friends. The two athletes were fighting over a top position on the team, once getting to such heated levels the two fought in a practice in 2004. Ribeiro has been well known for attitude issues throughout his career while Koivu was a captain and a known vet who was not going to put up with anyone on the roster combating his position. To this day, Koivu and Ribeiro do not speak, but that seems to be a common trend amongst NHL players as Ribeiro disappeared in recent months. His agent has come out and said that even has has not been able to contact the former Canadian. Ribeiro had a rough career with Montreal, as well as any team he had played on. Koivu, on the other hand, was able to play 13 seasons with the Habs, and has gone down in history as one of the franchises most beloved players.
12. Ryan Kesler and R.J. Umberger
Ryan Kesler ad R.J. Umberger were teammates together at Ohio State University and were both selected by the Vancouver Canucks through the draft. Umberger was taken with the 16th overall pick in the 2001 draft, while Kesler was taken 23rd overall in the 200 draft. Umberger was unable to secure a more lucrative contract with the team with the team in 2003, and tried to use Kesler’s contract as a way to improve his own, but failed. He sat out the entire season. Kesler didn’t like that attempt, and felt betrayed by long time teammate Umberger. Any tension between two former friends in a locker room is a cancerous situation for any team. In a 2009 game where Kesler and the Vancouver Canucks player Umberger and the New York Rangers, the two former Buckeyes got into a fight during the game. To add insult to injury, Umberger spoke in an interview in 2014 where he announced he wouldn’t welcome back old teammate Ryan Kesler to the Columbus Blue Jackets.
11. Brendan Shanahan and Craig Janney
A large majority of teammate disagreement make both parties look ridiculous, but Craig Janney of the St. Louis Blues might have the upper hand in this fight. Both Janney and Brendan Shanahan were on the St. Louis Blues roster in the 1990’s. The story goes that Shanahan was sleeping with Janney’s wife while the two were teammates. The story was leaked and both players were traded away in an attempt to save any chemistry the rest of the team might have had throughout the process. Craig and his wife got a divocre, and Shanahan married her not long after. To this day, the two former teammates have still not spoke to one another. Shanahan was left off the ballot for the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2012 and speculation arose that his locker room antics were his undoing. Creating such a locker room division and ruining a marriage can have that affect on one’s career.
10. Tie Domi and Neil Wilkinson
Domi and Wilkinson were teammates in Winnipeg when they duo got into a fight during a practice in the 1994-1995 training camp. During the scuff, Wilkinson broke Domi’s thumb. When asked about the fight, Domi was quick to say that he was play fighting while Wilkinson was certain that it was for real, saying “I wasn’t play fighting.” In a 1995 interview while Domi was on the Leaf’s, he was asked if he would be afraid to fight anyone on his old team and he replied with a stern “No”.
In a home interview, Domi recalled his time with the Jets saying “I’ve never had more confrontations with teammates.” To this day there hasn’t been news if Domi has ever spoke with his teammates after his time in Winnipeg. The bad blood between Domie and Wilkinson still hasn’t been discussed between the two former teammates.
9. Dion Phaneuf and Robyn Regehr
Some rivalries in sports can push both parties to the brink of success. Dion Phaneuf and Robyn Regehr were extremely competitive teammates during their time playing for the Calgary Flames, but this type of rivalry put a divide in the team as opposed to a friendly competition. When Dion Phaneuf was traded by Calgary in 2009, many people questioned the move.
Later it would come out that Phaneuf and Regehr would have fights in the Flames locker room. Calgary’s head coach Mike Keenan told NBC Sports in a 2012 interview that the fights between the two teammates were never ending in the locker rooms. “…There’s been fighting in the locker room between Phaneuf and Regehr at the time and you settle those things out as a coaching staff.” Although not every teammate is meant to be best friends, this duo had a hate for one another.
8. Sean Avery and Brenden Morrow
Sean Avery and Brenden Morrow played along side one another for the Dallas Stars. Although not well known, Morrow had a distaste for Avery the moment he stepped foot into the locker room.Sean Avery’s time in Dallas was short due to his drama with his ex-girlfriend saying another skater, Dion Phaneuf. The controversy was too much for a locker room, and Avery was sent on his way.
Morrow was completely against getting to know Avery in any way. This type of conflict is a guaranteed locker room disease. Avery has been in the midst of conflict during every step of his NHL career, so the hate from Morrow would be well placed for many players in the NHL. Avery was quoted as saying “I didn’t adjust to Texas as a whole”, in a 2011 interview. He was also quoted as saying he didn’t like some of the guys in the locker room in Dallas.
7. Jeremy Roenick and Patrick Marleau
Jeremy Roenick and Patrick Marleau were teammates on the San Jose Sharks from 2007-2009 and were unable to see eye to eye during their years together. Jeremy Roenick was quoted in 2016 saying “He has some of the best talent ever. I don’t think he brings it on a day to day basis, and thats my opinion”, proving he had some issues with Marleau’s style and work ethic. Marleau responded to the comments saying “He’s got his own agenda. He’s saying stuff so people watch. I understand that. I don’t have to like it or agree with it, but he’s trying to get viewers, like you’re trying to get people to read the paper. I don’t take it personally or anything like that.”
In 2011, Marleau called Roenick “gutless” after the Sharks lost a two goal lead against the Detroit Red Wings. To this day, the Shark’s teammates still haven’t resolved their differences.
6. Kevin Bieksa and Fedor Fedorov
Most rivalries come from starting positions on a roster or locker room disputes, but Kevin Bieksa and Fedor Fedorov had a dislike for one another over a spilled drink. Bieksa went to tryout for the Vancouver AHL Affiliate team, the Manitoba Moose. Bieksa and Fedor were at a restaurant when Bieksa bumped into Fedor, knocking over his beer. Bieksa offered to buy Fedor another beverage, but he refused and wanted to fight Kevin outside instead.
Beiksa would knock out Fedor, and would get called up for the 2005 season, while Fedor would be traded before the 2005-06 season. To this day, it isn’t certain if these two players have made peace with one another. In Vancouver, Bieksa scored 241 points and played 10 seasons with the team. Fedorov, on the other hand, only scored two goals with Vancouver before leaving the NHL after the 2005-06 season.
5. Steve Downie and Akim Aliu
Steve Downie and Akim Aliu were at each other’s throats from the beginning of their time as teammates. The two skaters fought when they were playing together for the Windsor Spitfires. Downie cross checked Aliu during a practice, and Akim went after him. After the incident, Aliu was quoted as saying “we’re here to play hockey, it’s not part of the game or the team.”
Downie went one to score 196 points throughout his NHL career, while Aliu only produce three points. While it was always Downie’s job to drop the gloves for his teammates, this was one scenario you have to assume he would regret.
4. Todd Fedoruk and Joni Pitkanen
During a losing streak for the Philadelphia Flyers, Todd Fedoruk and Joni Pitkanen went at it in a fight during practice. The team had, in Fedoruk’s words, “lost its identity.” Todd would go on to say “We need to create an identity.” Although a common phrase in sports, an identity traditionally doesn’t involve fighting teammates.
Pitkanen was traded in July of 2007 and it is still not common knowledge if the pair has made up. Pitkanen was a big disappointment for that Flyers team and became a scapegoat for the teams inability to succeed during his time there.
3. P.K. Subban and Max Pacioretty
Max Pacioretty and P.K. Subban were expected to be the strong core of the Montreal Canadians for years, but after Carey Price went down with a season ending injury in the 2015-2016 season, the Haps locker room fell apart. There was a tension brewing in the locker room to the point where Pacioretty reportedly tried turning the whole locker room against Subban. P.K. would reportedly miss the teams curfews and would be late for team meetings. Pacioretty made an attempt to take matters into his own hands to try and corral Subban in, but would deny reports of his attempts. When the Hap’s captaincy was vacant, one former teammate of Subban’s said he would “Never be a captain” for the team.
In a 2016 interview, Pacioretty was asked if there was still bad blood between himself and P.K. Subban. Max responded with “What do you want me to say? P.K. Subban came tony wedding. I think you guys are looking way too far into this.” The duo seemed to do a good job of covering up the locker room disagreements in the media.
2.Brandon Dubinsky and Blake Comeau
Both Brandon Dubinsky and Blake Comeau played for the Columbus Blue Jackets in the lockout shortened season of 201. The two were at each others throats from the start, exchanging word in practices that would lead to in practice fights. The fight caused a distraction in the locker room as Comeau was traded in the 2013-2014 season.
The tension between the two is still unsolved due to the trade to send Comeau away. Although no reports broke out about the two fighting in the locker room, the coach at the time Todd Richards said “There was intensity in practice and some passion, sometimes, it bubbles over.” He seemed to be downplaying the fight so it wouldn’t become a larger distraction than it already was.
- Eric Lindros and Rod Brind’Amour
In the perfect example of poor sportsmanship, the hate between Eric Lindros and Rod Brind’Amour started due to a relationship gone wrong. Lindros was the face of the Flyers franchise at the time, and used his stardom to sleep with Brind’Amour’s wife. When Rod found out about the affair, Brind’Amour reportedly knocked our Lindros in the Flyers locker room. Since Lindros was the Flyers elite player, Brind’Amour was traded away the same season.
this day, the former Flyer’s have no relation with one another. Brind’Amour had 1,184 points in his career, while Lindros had 865 career points. Cheating scandals are almostalways a sudden end to any friendship and a negative distraction to the team as a whole.