Sporting News hockey writer Jesse Spector is working on a project for his personal blog and is crowd-sourcing responses. Full details can be found here, but the premise is to find out who the least favorite players on people's favorite teams are. The project is named after Yankees relief (or in this case, hindrance) pitcher, Chad Qualls.
I submitted my vote yesterday and some around here won't like it, but let me explain. Here's what I wrote to Spector:
I'm sure he's already in the running for the top spot on the Project Qualls Top 40 without my help, but my least favorite current player on my favorite team has to be Rick DiPietro.
Here's the thing, though. I like Rick, or at least, I want to like Rick because he seems like such an earnest, likable dude who's had just about the worst run of bad luck of any pro athlete ever. The problem is that every time I see him start in goal for the Islanders, I get this sick knot in my gut that reaches from the pit of my stomach right up into my throat. Every time the puck is dumped into their zone I find it hard to breath. Every time he touches the puck, I get sicker and sicker until he gets rid of it and I can relax. Every goal feels like a back breaker. A win feels like a dodged bullet.
I may have exceeded GMail's metaphor limit there. Bottom line, watching DiPietro play is no fun. Other than that, the Islanders have a pretty likable (if not supremely talented) roster right now.
All time is a tough one. Kirk Muller is obvious. Oleg Kvasha's up there. Anh, I'l punt and say Ron Hextall.
Anyway, check out his blog and fire away if you're interested. Doesn't have to be a hockey player or team, either. Can also be current or all-time.
Have fun. Could be a neat little item in the future.