Let’s start out with a question. What makes hockey entertaining in your opinion? There are numerous answers to this question based on what interests you.

It can be the thrill of the action. It can be cheering your team on no matter what happens to them over the course of the season. It can be everything involved with going to a game live. We can go on for hours about entertainment value in hockey. The key is that there’s a lot of entertainment available.

But you know what? I think there’s an element of entertainment that can be improved upon in hockey. I’m not saying this element is completely absent. It’s there in spurts. But overall, if we had more of this certain element, the entertainment value of hockey would skyrocket even more. It might even draw new fans into the sport.

What am I talking about? I’m talking about villains. You know, those players that you absolutely hate with all of your heart because 1) they’re not on your team and 2) do something to rip your heart out and 3) do things on or off the ice that you cannot stand with a passion. These are the kind of players who get you, a diehard fan, emotionally invested in the games and in the outcome.

The reality of the situation is that while there are some villains in today’s game, there are not nearly enough of them. In this space, we will discuss who some of today’s villains are and why they are actually really good for the game.