Introducing, the first annual Atlantic Division Scum Bag Team. There were some tough decisions to be made, but I'm sure you'll all be quick to correct me on any errors I made in the comments section. Suffice to say, in a division that holds 7 of the top 20 players in the league in penalty minutes, there were lots to choose from.
LW-Scott Hartnell-Philadelphia Flyers
This was probably the hardest pick , especially in a division featuring perennial All Scum Bag team member Matt Cooke. You wouldn't think you'd have much to fear from a man who looks like the ginger love child of Kenny G and Tom Arnold, but don't let his rugged good looks fool you. Hartnell ranks second on the Flyers with 130 PIM, good for 4th in the division, and is (with good reason) known as one of the leagues biggest agitators. With the "new, reformed" aforementioned Cooke, Hartnell has a good chance to hold this spot down for years to come. (Side note: Check out the wiki picture for Hartnell for some pure LOLZ)
C-Zac Rinaldo-Philadelphia Flyers
Staying within the slum of the NHL, we have Hartnell's teammate Zac Rinaldo. Rinaldo leads all Atlantic division players with 190 PIM, good for second in the league. Rinaldo was also suspended earlier in the season for a hit to the head on Detroit's Jonathan Ericsson, after being fined for cheap hits multiple times prior. He's also starting to develop quite the reputation for slew foots. (Let it be known, though, that his slew foot on Parise led to Kovy's clobbering of Schenn) Although the kid is still a rookie, he looks to already be fully entrenched in Flyers hockey (which isn't a compliment from where I'm standing). I don't imagine this is the last time we'll see his name on this list.
This was a tough one for me to type out, as I love Clarkie. Even when he's being an idiot. (See the 2-0 game against the Rangers where he ran Dubinsky) Clarkie leads the Devils with 134 PIM, good for 3rd in the division. Although Clarkson has stepped slightly away from the agitator/enforcer role (and watched his production increase accordingly), he still allows people to bring him back down into that game at times. Honestly, he only gets the nod here due to lack of quality candidates. The only other guy really in the running was Brandon Prust, but he gets a pass. It's strange that there's such a log jam at positions like LW, and a real lack of turds on the other side.
D-Deryk Engelland-Pittsburgh Penguins
Chris Pronger's absence for most of the year makes this section of the division a little trickier to figure out. We'll start with Engelland, who faced a 3 game suspension for a nasty hit on Marcus Kruger earlier in the season. While he lacks the penalty minute quantity of many of our previous entries, he more than makes up for it in quality (or lack thereof). He serves little, actual usefulness outside of fighting and being a goon. His penchant for trying to goad non-fighters into fighting him is deplorable. Perhaps that's why seeing him bloodied up by John Scott was so gratifying.
D-Chris Pronger-Philadelphia Flyers
Because Pronger is still too big of a scumbag to not include on this list. 13 GP, be darned!
Rookie Of The Year:
C-Zac Rinaldo-Philadelphia Flyers
Most Improved (Got Worstest?):
I used to actually have a good amount of respect for Dubinsky until the last month or so. I always appreciated the hard nosed, two way game that he brought to the ice. But ever since Torts called him out for not fighting enough, he's become a giant sleeze ball. It all started during the previously mentioned game against the Devils where he fought Clarkson. Dubinsky had been a low life all game long, so Clarkie dropped gloves with him. After the game, Dubinsky claimed that Clarkie only fights guys smaller than him (which facts easily prove otherwise), in spite of the fact that they are virtually the same size. During the next game between the two teams, Ryan Carter made sure to let Dubinsky know he too exception to those comments. By pounding in Dubinsky's face with his fists. Dubinsky claimed he suffered a hand injury during the fight (despite landing no punches). Later on, it became a "sinus" injury. During tonight's game, he avoided Carter on the opening faceoff because of his "sinus" issue. But lo and behold, there he was again scumming it up in the second period boarding Alexei Ponikarovski, but made sure he didn't get in a fight afterward to protect his "sinuses". Quite the heel turn Mr. Dubinsky has pulled.
Lifetime Achievement Award:
LW-Matt Cooke-Pittsburgh Penguins
So who makes your list? Did I mess this all up? Let me know in the comments.