Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Who Is Hockey's Tim Tebow?

Your first thought when reading the headline is, "Great.  Just great.  A Tim Tebow article.  On a hockey blog, no less!"

After Tim Tebow signed with the New England Patriots on Monday the first thought was to mock the signing.  He's not a very good player but he's well known for his off the field antics.  Every sport has one of those.  One could argue that through the years Alex Rodriguez has become that man in Major League Baseball.  The NBA has the likes of Metta World Peace (formerly Ron Artest), whose age is reducing his effectiveness.

Who holds that title in the NHL?
A few years ago this answer was simple.  It was Sean Avery.

I mean c'mon...
Known mostly for who he dated, his comments when someone else started dating them, and his work off of the rink, he really didn't do much on the ice.  He'd score an odd goal, he's make the odd assist, he'd make a goalie mad.

All in all he was nothing more than a glorified pest, better known for his antics off of the ice than the things he did at the rink.  The only other person close to the likes of Avery would have been former Penguin Mike Comrie.

Mike Comrie
Comrie, a former 30 goal scorer, was a legitimate hockey player.  He had skill and ability.  He had talent and drive.  He also had MILLIONS of dollars before he even set foot on the ice.

Mike Comrie's family, a hockey family, were also the people who started the Canadian furniture company The Brick.  He took to hockey out of love and ability to follow it where it took him based on the lack of need for money.  Oh, plus there's his wife.  You may know her.

Given these qualifications, mainly having tangible talent, it's hard to consider Mike Comrie much like Tim Tebow.

The current mantle is hard to find.  There are no talent players who get attention such as Ottawa's Chris Neil, , and some might argue Matt Cooke (though any Penguins fan knows that's not true).

Perhaps the closest one can find in the NHL to the likes of Tim Tebow is current Phoenix Coyote, former Penguin, and NHL Twitter poster boy Paul Bissonnette.  Biz Nasty will never be a top flight, NHL All Star.  He'll be the first to tell you that.  He will be entertaining, he will make you laugh, he will get his brand out there and in the end he'll be more well known for what he does off of the ice than any shift he'll take on the ice.

Paul Bissonnette
The differences between Tebow and Bissonnette outside of those things are vast.  In this current context is the only in which Tim Tebow and Paul Bissonnette will be compared evenly.  Based simply on his Twitter pictures and Vine videos the two will never be confused for each other in a church, behind a pulpit, or on the speech circuit.

However, when it comes to what each brings to the table they are similar.  In a star's world, Tebow and Bissonnette are the outliers.  They are fourth line muckers and back up quarterbacks who get more attention than just about anyone on their teams.  For Bissonnette this is not a bad thing.  For Tim Tebow, this is not a good thing.

Who do you see as the Tim Tebow of the NHL?  Let me know on Twitter at @Nick422 or in the comments section of Facebook.

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