In my time doing The C.I. program, I had to sift through every player’s PR photo. And pretty much every hockey player looks the same. A bad haircut, iffy skin, and vacant eyes. Oh sure, there’s a Patrick Sharp or Vinny Lecavalier or Henrik Lundqvist every so often. Mostly though, you just see hundreds of guys you’d just want to get out of your way in some Canadian bar without another thought.
But every so often, I’d hit a photo and just say, “Whoa, that is an unfortunate looking man right there.” Or straight up Scarsipious, “WHOA GOD, THAT GUY’S UGLY!” And for any of you who get that reference, seek help immediately. And as we ramp up here a bit leading into actual season previews, I thought I’d continue yesterday’s work and present the All-Ugly Team.
So strap in tight, and prepare to feel a little better about yourself. Except, of course, these guys are world-class athletes and millionaires and all that goes with it. But we don’t have to think about that.
Goalie: Devan Dubnyk
The only person to double-up on both teams so far, we present Devan Dubnyk, who is a perfect fit for Minnesota as he’s the type to tell the bartender he’s “looking for some action, if y’know what I mean” in some bar in the woods. Being extremely tall and gangly probably isn’t going to help the cause much either, giving him a demonic wavy-arm ballon guy vibe. And this smile is something you’d see on a toddler when he won’t tell you where exactly he took a shit.
Defense: Roman Polak
It’s not easy to toe the line between “circus bear” and “mug shot of a sex offender” but Roman Polak is able to turn the trick. And that’s the only line he can toe, believe me. Perhaps the only player to appear on this team whose game is actually uglier than he is, which is really saying something. You have to hand it to Polak, though, because this is central casting when looking for a palooka of a defensemen whose play is an interpretation of a sausage belch. You could scour the Earth and not do better than this.
Defense: Charlie McAvoy
Honestly, the Bruins could have made up this whole team, as you’ll soon see. Fifth Feather has made a regular habit, both on the podcast or just in life, of making sure to call McAvoy either a “moon-faced mouth-breathing loser” or “pie-faced, mouth-breathing loser.” Whichever way he goes, his claim of “you can hear him breathing through the TV” is apt. No wonder Bruins fans worship this guy, as their whole city is filled with morons who look like they tried to head-butt a manhole cover.
Right Wing: Patrik Laine
I can’t find the original person to write it, but someone said Laine with the beard looks like he should be making me answer three questions to cross a bridge. At this point he’s probably in on the joke, and in some ways being Finnish is a form of cheating for this because Finland has had a remarkable skill of producing the most curious looking hockey players in recent history. Two words: “Olli” and “Jokinen.” Almost every Finnish player, and really most Finnish people from my experience, have this glaze over their mush that makes it seem like the entire country has just seen too much. Considering all the darkness there, maybe they have. And if they’re consistently surrounded by people who look like Laine and Jokinen, they definitely have.
Left Wing: Brad Marchand
Andrew Cieslak, in an issue of the C.I. in 2015, said of Marchand, “He looks like the lovechild of the last Hapsburg and DJ Qualls.” I don’t think I can say it any better. Marchand was definitely the kid in your school who would run up to anyone from behind and slide his hand up their ass crack yelling, “Credit Card!” In kindergarten he definitely ate worms. He eats worms now, likely. Perhaps the reason he plays like such an asshole is he’s lashing out at the world for making him look like this. All that licking is just a desperation to be loved, because it’s never going to happen for real for a guy who looks like a rat got face-fucked by a tire iron.
Center and Captain: Evgeni Malkin
If an unsolvable algebra equation could be a face, then it would be Evgeni’s Malkin’s. Nothing on this lines up. His mouth looks like it’s trying to escape. His eyes are clearly made of two different materials. Seriously, the Russian national team with Malkin, Datsyuk, and Ovechkin on it was just “Monsters Inc.: In The Gulag Now.” When he screams after scoring I’m sure at least two teammates of fainted or run away in terror and forsaken the lord. Sloth watches Penguins games to feel a kinship. Sometimes Geno’s game forces you to not look away…as long as it’s his number showing.