Beerability – All Star Weekend Edition
Beerability rankings were originally produced by Justin Bourne, formerly of The Score but now part of the Toronto Marlies coaching staff. Justin has kindly allowed One Puck Short pick up the the format.
For those unfamiliar with the term, beerability it is defined as:
Beerability (BEER-ah-bill-ih-tee): A measurement that quantifies how much fun it would be to sit at a pub with a person and drink a bunch of beer. They should seem likable. Subjective.
Ever wanted to sit down a sink a few beers with your favourite player? Of course you have, we all have. But I think it’s fair to say some personalities lend themselves to that sort of situation better than others.
Paul Bissonnette has always seemed to be more of an ‘in da club’ kind of guy, and while Jarome Iginla always seems like an intelligent and well spoken fella, it’s hard to see that professional exterior breaking. As such, the Avs’ veteran seems like someone it’d be nice to talk to, but probably not someone you can really sit down with at the bar for a Banana Bread Beer or three.
Fortunately the NHL provided the perfect opportunity to re-examine the ‘beerability’ of some of the sports best known players this weekend, as Nashville played host to the 2016 All Star Game.
And so, after three days of country music and surprisingly entertaining hockey (not the skill’s contest relay though, ditch that please Gary), here’s seven guys I’d really quite like to share a pint with.
The pantomime villain who became a cult hero. Who doesn’t want to share a beer with John Scott after this weekend? Perhaps no player has ever embraced the All Star experience like Scott did this weekend.
From his nomination to his controversial trade out of Arizona, Scott seemed to become more and more popular with every turn, creating more buzz around this year’s All Star game than the last twelvty* combined.
(*set your own marker for how long ago you stopped caring about the All Star Game)
The 33-year old pulled no punches (no pun intended) in his Player’s Tribune piece, while his first class sense of humour helped to raise smiles wherever he went during the past 72 hours.
It helped turn an awfully sour situation to one of unbridled joy for the tone deaf NHL, helping make Nashville arguably the most successful All Star weekend for more than two decades (ever?).
Oh, and Scott’s entered ‘instant classic’ territory with this put down of Jeremy Roenick:
John Scott was clearly the happiest guy in the hockey world to see John Scott at an All Star game, but Burns came a close second.
The 30-year old was all in on helping former Sharks team mate Scott, but also produced two other highlights during Saturday’s skill competition when he first unleashed not one, but two children on Cory Schneider before donning a Chewbacca mask (complete with proceeding montage) during the breakaway contest.
Add on top that Burns is the kind of guy who literally throws his teeth in a draw and forgets about them until spring, and seems to be the master of getting liquored up and cutting his own hair, and the 30-year old is a bizarre but ideal candidate to kick back with.
The only fear is he’d drink you under the table then ride off in to the sunset in some kind of natty sequin jacket and leather trousers combo…
As an aside, Burns and Joe Thornton must make San Jose one of the top ranked beerability teams on their own?
Subban may border on ‘club-ability’, but the Canadiens defenceman re-affirmed his status as one of the NHL’s most vibrant characters this weekend.
Incredibly, this was his first All Star appearance, though it’s unlikely to be his last following a stint dressed as Jaromir Jagr during the skill competition and the sheer joy with which the 26-year old approached the whole weekend.
It really makes you wonder what the heck is wrong with those who are down on the Toronto native given how infectious his lust for life is.
Olympic gold medallist, Stanley Cup finalist, choker – the Panthers #1 carried many labels before returning to his spiritual home in Florida during the 2013/2014 season, where he has undergone something of a reinvention.
If the 36-year old’s winning sense of humour wasn’t apparent enough already, he spent the All Star weekend ‘helping out’ Jaromir Jagr:
Masterminding the Atlantic Division’s line match ups:
And, perhaps best of all, trolling both Tampa Bay and Toronto fans in one go:
After a roller-coaster career of highs and lows, and a wicked, often self depreciating sense of humour, Luongo confirmed his credentials as one of the NHL’s most likeable members this weekend.
Jagr has hit that point in his career where he simply does not care. He plays because he wants to and is not shy about speaking his mind – first imploring fans not to vote for him, then worrying about lining up against John Scott before freely admitting he’d be on the first plane out of Tennessee if the Atlantic lost their semi-final game against the Metropolitan Division.
Once the games best, now the elder statesmen, there is a reason his Atlantic Division team mates were clamouring for a spot on his line this weekend, and after failed blackmail attempts, Stanley Cups, a stint in the KHL and his share of dollars lost at the bookies, Jagr seems like the kind of guy who’d have a story or two to tell, probably with unflinching honesty.
He’d probably also take the piss out of your shirt.
This one might be specific to Nashville, what with Duchene being a huge country music fan and guitar player, but the Colorado Avalanche star was another who seemed to embrace the weekend and have a heck of a lot of fun being in the ‘Music City’.
A source of seemingly endless enthusiasm for the game, sometimes it’s good to sit down with someone who just loves being somewhere at a certain time – like a kid in a candy store. Because that’s kind of what Duchene was this weekend.
Once charged with ‘boating under the influence’, the Jets blueliner admitted he hates 3-on-3 earlier this season, but found himself in Nashville representing Winnipeg this weekend none the less.
The 30-year old always seems a little buttoned up during interviews, unsure what to say, perhaps for fear if he opens up he’ll end up calling another player a jack ass or something – which the NHL clearly would not know how to handle.
But after playing a role in Evander Kane’s departure from Manitoba, how can one not want to try and unlock Big Buff (Byf?) and see what he really thinks about the world.
So there we have it, that’s one full table at the nearest bar and a round of six of drinks.
An ‘Honourable Mention’ needs to go to Evgeni Malkin as well – mainly because I think he might be bat shit crazy and would like to find out.
As always, beerability is somewhat subjective, personal. Other were considered – Malkin obviously, but Tyler Seguin too (who still might be more club than pub to be honest) – but these seven were, without doubt, the one I’d most like to sit down with a shoot the breeze.
Which NHL All Stars would you want to sit down for a beer with? Post a comment below or tweet me @RobMcGregor35