Big Question: Worst fan burn?

This week’s Big Question: What’s the worst thing a fan has ever said to you?

Steve Ott, Montreal Canadiens: “Geez, I’ve had a lot of shallow things said to me [laughs]. You know what? The funniest thing ever was that I remember I got absolutely cranked in the face by Kip Brennan. He just punched me in the face as hard as he could, and I ate the thing. Some fan yelled over the glass in the penalty box, asked me how it tasted. All I remember is that it was hardest sledgehammer I’d ever taken in the face. I didn’t have much to say. That pretty much shut me up for the first time in my life.”

Eric Staal, Minnesota Wild: “I remember in Winnipeg once the whole crowd was chanting ‘Jor-dan’s bet-ter.’ That was fun, I actually liked it. That was cool.”

James Neal, Nashville Predators: “When we came off the other night in Philly, one of the fans said that Ribby’s [Mike Ribeiro‘s] hair was greasier than a Big Mac. I was dying laughing. It was pretty funny. There’s stuff you can’t repeat. You get it all there.”

Dave Poulin, retired: “At Madison Square Garden, I got cut a couple of times there really bad, in two different fights. I mean, bled a lot. They called me Captain Blood there, which is really funny, right? … So, I was Captain Blood at MSG, and it was well deserved. But I think the funniest thing ever said to me was in Long Island. I had to go get a skate sharpened, so you’d have to leave the bench and go to the locker room, and I was coming back and you’d have to stand and wait until the play was whistled so you could come back on the ice. I was standing there, the Islanders of course were a really good team, the fans were just thrashing me, every name in the book; it was like for two minutes, I couldn’t get a whistle. One fan said, ‘Hey, Poulin, shave your neck.’ It was so ridiculous. I mean, after every f-bomb and expletive you can think of and then that comment? I actually stated laughing when he said that. I was like, ‘Yeah, that’s a good point, I guess I got to shave my neck.'”

Matt Martin, Toronto Maple Leafs: “The worst one might been in my hometown [of Windsor, Ontario] in junior [when he was playing for the Sarnia Sting]. I think it was during Game 3 of a Sarnia-Windsor playoff series, we had a huge brawl. The ref grabbed me, and I kind of got rag-dolled by the referee. I had to have been sitting in the penalty box for like 15 minutes. In old Windsor Arena, the glass was low, the fans were right on top of you. The game was like 5-1 and fans started leaving and they were all leaning over the glass and giving it to me on the way out. I don’t want to tell you what they were saying [laughs], but I was just sitting there for like 15 minutes hearing it. I was hoping somebody would send me to the dressing room. There was just like 20 seconds left in the game, but I guess the refs wanted to put me through some misery. That’s the one that comes to mind the most.”

Brad Marchand, Boston Bruins: “To be honest, you can’t really hear what fans say. I’ve never really heard anyone say anything that made me like, ‘Oh, man. You got me.’ Fans might chirp me about my nose, but that’s the last thing that would ever offend me. Fans call me ‘dirty’ and stuff like that, but that stuff doesn’t bother me. I could care less what any fan thinks, so no one’s really said anything that has ever gotten to me.”

Brian Campbell, Chicago Blackhawks: “Worst thing a fan has ever said to me? ‘You’re going to die tonight.’ I’ve heard that before. Yeah, that’s probably the worst one.”

Anton Khudobin, Boston Bruins: “Probably ‘You suck.’ I’ve heard a lot of things, but most of the time you don’t really want to hear them when they start chirping at you. Imagine if I’m going to be thinking about every single fan on every single road trip, or even at home, like your mind will probably blow up or something. You just block it out.”

Tyler Seguin, Dallas Stars: “The ones that cry, crying fans. I always find that kind of odd.”

Ryan Johansen, Nashville Predators: “I had a girl, I think she was 19 or 20, in Columbus come up to me — it was an autograph signing. And she puts this thing on the table and said, ‘Can you sign this, please?’ I said, ‘What is this?’ And she said, ‘Oh, that’s my birth-control kit.’ And I was, ‘Excuse me?’ She said, ‘Yeah, it’s my birth-control kit.’ And it was like a big line, crowded area, and I was like, do I sign this? So I ended up signing. It was funny. We were laughing.”

Connor Carrick, Toronto Maple Leafs: “Someone told me I was AIDS. They said, ‘Connor Carrick, you’re AIDS.’ I got the point of what they were trying to say. It wasn’t a positive thing — it was a negative. That was probably the most vulgar. It’s hard to top that. It was on social media. I didn’t even go looking for it. They mentioned me and everything. They wanted me to see it and I saw it. Part of you is like, that’s out of a control that someone would say something like that — it’s a hockey game. You laugh it off, talk to other guys who have stories worse than you.”

— Pierre LeBrun, Scott Burnside, Craig Custance, Joe McDonald

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