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NHL Rankings: Central Division’s 5 Most Hated Players

By Skylar Peters
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Apr 4, 2015; Nashville, TN, USA; Nashville Predators defenseman

Ryan Ellis

(4) is hit by Dallas Stars left winger

Antoine Roussel

(21) during the first period at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

No. 1: Antoine Roussel

With the addition of Tyler Seguin and the emergence of Jaimie Benn, both in the conversation as the league’s best forward, the Dallas Stars are certainly a new-look team. Often overshadowed by the big names, however, is Antoine Roussel, a player who has been there for the Stars’ return to contention, after coming up in the system.

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Roussel’s role was never in doubt; he was and remains a true agitator. In his final three junior seasons with Chicoutimi Sagueneens, Roussel’s lowest PIM total was 110, in a season when he played 58 games. The former Bruins draft pick had no trouble adjusting to the AHL game playing with the Providence Bruins, and after a trade to the Blues and then the Stars, he continued that in his second and third pro seasons, racking up 177 and 107 PIMs, respectively.

After emerging with the Stars in 2012-13, Roussel has developed a reputation as a player that simply isn’t scared. He will fight anyone without a second thought, and has been known to take the odd cheap shot against the opponent’s top gun. He doesn’t seem to be changing any time soon, as he was mixing it up again this spring at the World Championships, playing for Team France.

Roussel is often criticized for crossing the line and, much like Raffi Torres did for years, he will continue to draw the ire of fans of every team, except his own.

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