by Noemi Nunez, via upload.wikimedia.org
If the 1980s names were starting to get familiar to you, the 90s should really trip your trigger. As the NHL expanded from 21 teams to, like, 50, the new teams demanded the promotion and signings of a number of players that wouldn't have otherwise sniffed NHL action (which, incidentally, smells pretty bad). They brought with them some pretty great names for the purpose of our competition, including a number that didn't quite make the cut (Jergus Baca, Terran Sandwith). I loved them all the same, but you'll have to admit that the 20 I kept around were deserving of their place. To the names (be sure to follow the jump to vote)...
...hockey history is chock full of names that can pique a person's interest, whether it's because it's unintentionally funny to the English sensibility (Petr Pohl), almost regal (Normand Rochefort), or lends itself to entertaining wordplay (Darius Kasparaitis). The criteria for our 'most interesting names' is a bit loose, in that the name can strike you as any one of the above descriptors, or all of them, but ultimately you are going to vote on the name that 'strikes' you the strongest.
Our first group...
- Darius Kasparaitis - The man who inspired a number of inferences that his name was actually a disease was always impressive to me because he could crush Eric Lindros. Don Cherry's favorite European.
- Parris Duffus - Nicknamed "Hipster" (I can only hope).
- Bob Beers - You know you love it. Had a pretty impressive season (64 games, 12 goals, 36 points) for a defenceman on a terrible Tampa Bay Lightning team in 1992-93.
- Mike Hurlbut - Unpleasant name aside, Hurlbut was a pretty serviceable defenceman in the AHL and IHL, though he never really got a regular shot at the NHL.
- Jeff Daniels - His 425-game career was far quieter than this.
- Helmut Balderis - A legend of Latvian and Soviet hockey...I just really enjoy the name "Helmut."
- Claudio Scremin - Probably the prime case of a guy who wouldn't have played in the NHL if a new team (San Jose Sharks) didn't need warm bodies...
- Lance Pitlick - Ditto. Pretty rare to see a clearly defensive defenceman in college still find his way into the NHL, but the mid-90s Ottawa Senators were looking to fill the ranks.
- Jim Carey - "The Net Detective" stormed into the league and just as quickly flamed out after surprising Vezina season in 1995-96.
What name is the most interesting from this group?
Darius Kasparaitis (13 votes)
Bob Beers (6 votes)
Claudio Scremin (5 votes)
Parris Duffus (8 votes)
Mike Hurlbut (3 votes)
Lance Pitlick (3 votes)
Helmut Balderis (3 votes)
Jeff Daniels (0 votes)
Jim Carey (1 vote)
42 total votes