NHL players who have been charged with serious crimes

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Dino Ciccarelli: One Day For Assault

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There are musicians in the world that have come up with one hit wonders to put them in a good position for the rest of their lives. The number 15 member of this list had a one hit wonder, but didn’t need any instruments to do so. Dino Ciccarelli used to play for the Minnesota North Stars. He was known for his enforcer type play that got a little out of hand at times. He was involved in an on ice fight that got so bad that the other player had to be hospitalized.

He had to spend one day in jail along with a small fine and suspension. Ciccarelli hardly did anything wrong as he was playing the game hard. But in this circumstance, there is knowing when to continue and when to stop. Unfortunately for Ciccarelli, he didn’t know when to stop and it cost him a day in the big house.

Dustin Byfuglien: Two Days For Boating While Intoxicated

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Team captains sometimes need to take some pressure off themselves by having some fun during a day off. Unfortunately, for this current player; a night of too much fun led to some jail time. Winnipeg Jets alternate captain Dustin Byfuglien decided to go out on a boat one night in 2012 for some fun and relaxation. However, he went out on Lake Minnetonka in Minnesota in a boat when he wasn’t supposed to (he was intoxicated). Originally, the Jets defenceman was sentenced to 30 days in prison. However, through pleas and good lawyers; Byfuglien only had to serve two days in prison out of the original 30 day sentence. We commend you for trying to have a normal life Dustin, but next time just be aware of where you can and where you can’t boat. The Jets would probably appreciate you on the ice and not locked up.

Chris Pronger: Three Days For DUI

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The number 13 convict on this list had done it all during his NHL career. He won a Stanley Cup with the Philadelphia Flyers, he won gold medals with Team Canada, and he made multiple All-Star games. Although his playing career was well-respected, his choices off the ice might not have been as much. Chris Pronger was known for his pure goal scoring ability and reputation of receiving multiple game suspensions on the ice. Off the ice, he liked to indulge in some adult beverages to put it delicately.

Pronger was arrested for drunk driving and had to serve a long sentence of three days incarcerated as well as pay a small fine. Once again, not a very long sentence but with someone of Pronger’s presence and leadership; he should have been setting a better example instead of getting pulled over for having a few too many.

Miroslav Frycer: 14 Days For Impaired Driving

via: sportnews.bz

There is a fairly popular expression that goes, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” Well, the number 12 culprit on this list apparently has never heard of this expression or just doesn’t believe in it. Miroslav Frycer played in the NHL for a few organisations such as the Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings, and Edmonton Oilers. Off of the ice, he was known for making dumb decisions when it came to driving like Chris Pronger. Frycer was sentenced to 14 days in prison for a conviction of driving impaired.

The best part about this sentence was that it was Frycer’s 2nd time being convicted of the same crime! It is amazing to think of the stupidity this guy must have had to get the same charge twice in a lifetime and not clean up his mistakes after the first time. Two weeks seems to be very light for someone who is a repeat offender, even if Frycer did participate in the NHL for a considerable amount of time during his playing days.

Nikolai Khabibulin: 30 Days (15 Under House Arrest) For Drunk Driving

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He could stop pucks for a living, but apparently he couldn’t stop himself from indulging too many drinks before getting behind the wheel like some of our other friends thus far. Nikolai Khabibulin enjoyed a modest NHL career, playing for a total of five teams. But even an NHL champion and All-Star goalie can have his fair share of slip-ups with the law. Khabibulin was nailed for drunk driving in 2010 for his role in drunk driving. The twist of this all was his jail sentence. He was sentenced to a 30 day sentence, but it wasn’t served like most offenders serve. His first 15 days were served with a work release and his last 15 were served under house arrest. In hindsight, it isn’t the worst sentence in the world for Khabibulin. But he should have been punished more than 30 days, luckily his lawyers made a save for him to get the sentence that he did.

Bob Probert: 90 Days For Drug Possession

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Just looking at his photograph above, the number ten lawbreaker is a rugged, tough man that nobody in the NHL probably wanted to mess with. Bob Probert was an enforcer for the Detroit Red Wings and an assistant captain as also seen in the photo. While he was fighting players on the ice, he was fighting a life of drugs off of it. In March of 1989, he was arrested for drug possession and sentenced to 90 days in prison. He was also a guy that was in and out of rehab multiple times. So he didn’t really have much of a chance to stay out of prison as it turns out. One can only wish Probert would have been able to overcome his demons. Perhaps he would have still been with us today.

Slaya Voynov: 90 Days For Domestic Violence

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Domestic violence is one of the most volatile crimes out there in the world today and NHL players are no exception to that. The number nine culprit had one night with his wife that I am sure he would like to forget. Slaya Voynov spent the last part of his career with the Los Angeles Kings, which involved a Stanley Cup title in 2012 and again in 2014. With fame and success in a city like Los Angeles, Voynov could have coasted and enjoyed the rest of his career, riding off into the sunset literally. Instead, on October 19th, 2014; he assaulted his wife. After that, his life changed. He was kicked off of the Kings and received a 90 day prison sentence for domestic violence. Voynov has seemed to make a recovery since that tragic incident, but it still looks bad that he had the audacity to put his hands on his wife in a threatening manner.

Rob Ramage: 10 Months For Vehicular Manslaughter

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A key theme that has come up with this list is the former players not knowing when to put the keys of their car down when the situation presents itself. The number eight delinquent follows the line of the culprits so far on this list. Rob Ramage played for the Toronto Maple Leafs and six other NHL teams during his career. His signature moment didn’t come on the ice however. His moment came in 2003 when he crashed behind the wheel of his car and ended up killing one while injuring another. His striking of the two victims landed him a four year prison sentence for vehicular manslaughter. Of the four years he was sentenced, he only served 10 months because of good behaviour. For such a tragic crime committed to the victims of the family, Ramage caught a huge break only having to serve 10 months out of 48, less than one-fourth of the original sentence.

Craig MacTavish: One Year For Vehicular Homicide

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The Boston Bruins have always been known as a team that is “big and bad”. But the number seven male on this list might have taken that concept just a tad too seriously. Craig MacTavish played in the NHL for the Boston Bruins and now enjoys a post-playing career as a hockey coach. But between playing and coaching, he was involved in another crime involving a motor vehicle. In 1984, he was convicted of vehicular homicide and ended up having to serve a year in prison for doing so. Once again, another tragic case of a professional hockey player making a reckless decision to get behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. People have said MacTavish has learned his lesson and moved on in life. But nobody will forget that he was at one time a felon and had to serve time behind bars for his actions.

Patrick Cote: Two And A Half Years For Two Robberies

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During the 1997-98 NHL season, the Nashville Predators were looking for big profile players to put their franchise on the NHL map.

Patrick Cote didn’t have much of an impact on the ice with several NHL franchises, but off of the ice he did more damage to his reputation. Back in 2014, he was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for robbery charges. Cote was being charged with robbing two separate Canadian banks.

In addition to the crimes he committed a few years ago, Cote also was arrested back in 2002 for possessing over 30 pounds of marijuana and according to Montreal radio outlet CJAD, he has armed assault on his record as well. His post-NHL career just has been a disaster.

Mike Danton: Five Years For Conspiracy To Commit Murder

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Fighting used to be a vitally important part of hockey. This is well known.

The number five member of this notorious list took fighting to the extreme off of the ice. Former St. Louis Blues centre Mike Danton received a seven and a half year prison sentence for being a conspiracy to commit murder. He only ended up serving five years of the sentence. The rumour was that Danton hired a hit man for his agent because he thought the agent was trying to kill him as well. This is definitely one of the strangest and cold-blooded crime stories in the history of the NHL. Another relevant saying for this particular situation is, “Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.” Apparently, these two weren’t as close as the public perceived during that time.

Tom McCarthy: 70 Months For Drug Trafficking

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If sports fans have ever watched ESPN First Take, they have probably heard Stephen A. Smith tell professional athletes to lay off of the weeeeeeeeeed! It is a shame Stephen A. couldn’t tell that to the number four entry on our list. Tom McCarthy spent time in the NHL playing for the Minnesota North Stars like Ciccarelli did. Apparently living the life of an NHL player wasn’t good enough for McCarthy as he had to live a double life. His double life involved trafficking marijuana and cocaine. In 1994, it caught up to him as he was arrested for trafficking these drugs from Canada into the United States. He spent up to five and a half years in prison for the charge. Athletes prove time and time again that sometimes being professionals doesn’t take away from temptations in the world and McCarthy was just another tragic example of that.

Tony Demers: Six Years For Manslaughter

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Some athletes are deadbeat fathers. Some athletes are recovering alcoholics. Others like to abuse their wives for unbeknownst reasons. The number three perpetrator on this list is the classic example of a real jerk. Tony Demers spent years playing for the Montreal Canadians, an original six powerhouse. What he did on the ice didn’t get nearly as much attention as what he did with a woman he was having an affair with. He was convicted of manslaughter because he injured his wife so badly that she had to be hospitalized. A few days later, she was pronounced dead from all of the wounds inflicted by Demers. Demers received a 15 year sentence but luckily for him only served six. Demers is lucky he didn’t have to serve the rest of his life in prison for his actions.

Steve Durbano: Seven Years For Smuggling

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Seven is supposed to be a magic number for people. Unfortunately for the number two criminal on this list, seven wasn’t so lucky for him. Steve Durbano played for teams such as the Pittsburgh Penguins and the St. Louis Blues. He was known for fighting as he loved getting into multiple fights and spent much time in the penalty box. When he wasn’t fighting other enforcers on the ice, he was smuggling drugs in his spare time. He was arrested in 1983 for drug smuggling and given a seven year prison sentence. Even after his first sentence, he couldn’t stay out of trouble. He was arrested and put in prison several other times for crimes like drunk driving.

Durbano comes off as a punk that just couldn’t help but stay out of the spotlight for these outlandish crimes. Durbano could be number one on a lot of other lists, but the number one culprit on this list makes Durbano look like a saint.

Mike McBain: 4-15 Years For Alleged Sexual Assault

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The number one culprit is the cream of the crop. He is the most disrespectful and dirtiest NHL player that received a significant prison sentence. He was a part of the Tampa Bay Lightning, but he should be part of prison for the rest of his miserable life. Mike McBain was accused of sexually assaulting a girl for years. He was given a 4-15 year sentence for his partaking in the sexual assaulting and still is in prison to this day. This just defines scumbag. The worst crime ever is putting hands on a child that is under 18. McBain clearly didn’t care about the girl’s feelings or others involved in this whole situation. However, maybe McBain’s jail sentence will make him learn the error of his predator ways. But for now, he sits a top the list with the longest prison sentence in NHL history.

Some champs they forgot:


Kevin Stevens

Kevin Stevens was the life of the party. And unfortunately, that led to his downfall.

Stevens was born on April 15, 1965 in Brockton, Massachusetts and was a gifted athlete. In high school, he played hockey and baseball, and he was invited to try out for the Philadelphia Phillies and Toronto Blue Jays. He decided hockey was his sport of choice.

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Stevens was given a full-ride scholarship to play hockey for Boston College. Over the four seasons he played there, Stevens saw action in 158 games, where he scored 71 goals, had 99 assists, and racked up 182 penalty minutes.

He was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in the sixth round of the 1983 NHL Draft. Several months later, he was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins, a team he played with for eight years. Along with Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr, Stevens won the Stanley Cup twice during their back-to-back victories in 1990-91 and 1991-92.

The following year, though, Stevens suffered a major setback. During a game against the New York Islanders, Steven hit his face on the ice, shattering most of the bones in his face. Doctors repaired them with metal plates.

His production started to decline after that.

During the 1999-00 season, while playing for the Rangers, Stevens, then 34, struggled both on and off the ice. He only played 38 games that season. Off the ice, after a game against the St. Louis Blues, he was caught in a motel in East St. Louis with a prostitute and crack cocaine.

He was indicted on a single Class IV felony count of possession of a controlled substance. He spent two months receiving outpatient treatment at a rehabilitation centre in Danbury, under the supervision of the NHL/NHLPA Substance Abuse and Behavioural Health Program.

He returned to the NHL and played three more seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

In addition to the Penguins, over his 17-year career, Stevens played for the Los Angeles Kings, Boston Bruins, New York Rangers, and Philadelphia Flyers. He ended his career with 874 games, having notched 329 goals, 397 assists, and 1,470 penalty minutes.

After retiring, Stevens worked as a talent scout for the Pittsburgh Penguins, but he left the position in 2011 to spend more time with his family. In June 2015, his son, Luke Stevens was drafted by the Carolina Hurricanes. He played college hockey at Yale University for the 2016-2017 season.

In May 2016, Kevin Stevens, 51, was charged with conspiring to sell oxycodone along with another man, Christopher Alonardo.

Todd Bertuzzi

Not all criminal charges were a result of incidents that happened off the ice. While playing for the Vancouver Canucks, Todd Bertuzzi cold clocked Colorado Avalanche forward Steve Moore and landed on his head on March 8, 2004 after Moore had checked Canucks captain Markus Naslund.

A native of Sudbury, Ontario, Bertuzzi played junior hockey for the Guelph Storm of the Ontario Hockey League for four years.

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Bertuzzi was drafted by the New York Islanders in the first round of the 1993 NHL Draft. He played his rookie season with the Islanders in 1995-96, and after two-and-a-half seasons, he was traded to the Vancouver Canucks. His eight years in Vancouver will be remembered as his most successful. It is also where he landed the vicious hit on Steve Moore, an assault that left Bertuzzi in legal hot water.

On March 8, 2004, the Colorado Avalanche were in town to play the Vancouver Canucks. For Vancouver fans, it was a highly anticipated rematch. Back on February 16, 2004, Moore had laid into Canucks captain Markus Naslund with a hard hit. Naslund suffered from a minor concussion and chipped a bone in his elbow. The hit was deemed legal and no penalty was called. The Canucks and their fans, though, were in an uproar.

On March 8, it was time for revenge.

Late in the third period, Colorado was up 8-2; Moore hadn’t had a shift in a while, so no one could seek revenge for the hit on Naslund. When he finally hit the ice, Sean Pronger of the Canucks pushed Moore, but then skated off.

Bertuzzi then kept close tabs on Moore, grabbing him by the back of his jersey. Moore was trying to skate away, but before he could escape, Bertuzzi unleashed a fierce sucker-punch to the back of his head. Moore dropped to the ice with Bertuzzi and other players piled on top of him.

Moore, who was in his rookie season, was taken off the ice with three broken vertebrae. He never played again.

Bertuzzi was suspended for the rest of the season, which amounted to 13 games. He also missed seven playoff games. The Canucks were also fined $250,000. Bertuzzi was eventually charged with criminal assault causing bodily harm.

He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to one year probation and 80 hours of community service. Because Bertuzzi successfully completed his one year of probation, he never officially received a criminal record.

That didn’t mean he was in the clear. Moore sued Bertuzzi and the Vancouver Canucks, seeking $68.0 million in damages: $38.0 million in lost hockey wages as well as punitive and compensatory damages, plus $30.0 million for lost wages from his post-hockey career.

Moore graduated from Harvard University but said his post-concussion syndrome prevented him from getting work that was equal to what his Ivy League education would have afforded him.

In 2014, a full 10 years after the attack, Moore reached an undisclosed settlement in the Bertuzzi case.

After Vancouver, Todd Bertuzzi went on to play in the NHL for an additional nine years, playing for the Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers, Anaheim Ducks, and Calgary Flames. He retired from the NHL after playing for Detroit in the 2013-14 season.

February 2005 – Dany Heatley

Dany Heatley pleaded guilty to four misdemeanour charges in exchange for prosecutors dropping charges of first-degree vehicular homicide and reckless driving, which could have meant up to 15 years in prison. Heatley was also ordered to make 50 speeches a year for three years about the perils of speeding. His car was also required to have a mechanism to prevent it from exceeding 70 miles an hour. Heatley had been charged with vehicular homicide in the death of Dan Snyder, his Atlanta Thrashers teammate and friend, following a crash in September 2003.

December 1987 – Brian Spencer

Brian Spencer, an NHL player from 1969 to 1979, was indicted for murder and kidnapping. He stood trial in Palm Beach County, Fla., and was acquitted.

A wee bit more in depth on Mike Danton:


Mike Danton

A native of Brampton, Ontario, Canada, Mike Danton started playing junior hockey in 1996 with the Quinte Hawks of the Metro Junior A Hockey League. He spent a number of successful years playing for teams like the Sarnia Sting and St. Michael’s Majors. Danton was the assistant captain of the 2000 Barrie Colts team, which went on to win the Ontario Hockey League Championship. That same year, Danton was drafted by the New Jersey Devils in the 2000 NHL draft.

Between 2000 and 2003, Danton played 19 games with the New Jersey Devils where he racked up two goals and spent 35 minutes in the penalty box. He was actually suspended by the Devils twice for disciplinary reasons, sitting out the entire 2001-02 season. While playing for the Devils, he became estranged from his family and changed his last name from Jefferson to Danton.

Around this time, Danton was at odds with Lou Lamoriello, the Devils’ general manager, which led to him being traded to the St. Louis Blues. It was in St. Louis that Danton played his first full year in the NHL; he played 68 games, had seven goals and five assists, and racked up 141 penalty minutes.

Despite a successful career in the NHL and bright future, this also ended up being his last year in the NHL. On April 16, 2004, two days after the St. Louis Blues were eliminated from the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Danton, who was then just 23, was charged with conspiracy to commit murder.

You only need one word to describe Danton’s case: bizarre.

During his time in St. Louis, Danton was accused of trying on three occasions to hire hit men to murder his agent, David Frost. Danton never denied trying to hire a hit man, but he said the intended target was his father, not Frost.

The first hit man he tried to hire was a bouncer at a strip club. The second hit man ended up being a police dispatcher, who in turn tipped off the FBI. Danton apparently didn’t say exactly who the target was, but he mentioned when the intended target would be at his home.

It didn’t matter. On April 16, 2004, Danton was arrested. Authorities alleged that he and Frost had a dispute over Danton’s purported alcohol use and promiscuity. Others speculated at the time that Danton wanted to silence a friend who threatened to expose him as a homosexual. Frost, meanwhile, said Danton was suffering from depression and other mental health issues.

At the time, Frost denied that the arrest had anything to do with Danton’s sexuality. “We’re going to get him some help, some treatment,” he said in 2004. “He’s had some issues from his younger years that he needs to deal with.”

A November 2005 documentary aired on CBC looked at the friendship Danton had with Frost. The documentary alleged that Frost had a very controlling relationship with Danton. His parents even said that Frost cultivated and maintained a Svengali-like grasp on Danton.

The documentary focuses on a taped phone conversation that Danton had with Frost shortly after being arrested. At the end of the conversation, Frost asked Danton, “OK, you love me?” Danton replied, “Yes.” To which Frost demanded, “Say it!” Danton then answered, “I love you.”

On July 16, Danton pleaded guilty to conspiring to have Frost murdered, and on November 8, 2004, he was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison. He was transferred from a prison in the U.S. to a facility near Kingston, Ontario, in March 2009. There, he was eligible for parole and released after serving five years.

During the parole hearing, Danton said Frost was the not the intended victim, that there had been a mix-up. His father was the one who was supposed to die.

Danton said he became paranoid and believed someone was going to his apartment to kill him. He blamed the paranoia partly on his use of stimulants and sleeping pills.

Danton said he grew up in a dysfunctional home, and his relationship with his parents became so strained that he had to change his middle and last names. At 11, Frost became his coach; he clung to the man as a father figure. Danton claimed that Frost has been unfairly portrayed in the media.

 Since being released from prison, Danton has turned his life around. He played professional hockey in Europe, earned a degree in criminology and psychology from Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and is the proud father of a son.