Matthew Tkachuk has done the most this season to wear the NHL’s blackest hat.
The role of agitator — a.k.a. ‘pest’ — lives on in the NHL. Its brethren role, the ‘enforcer,’ is out of vogue in the league today, but the pest still plays a part in hockey drama.
Calgary Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk wears the Public Enemy No. 1 tag now in many NHL cities thanks to his antics this season against rivals such as the Los Angeles Kings’ Drew Doughty and the Edmonton Oilers’ Zack Kassian.
Complicating matters for teams are agitators such as Tkachuk sit among their team’s top scorers — same goes for the Boston Bruins’ Brad Marchand, another prominent NHL pests — and they don’t always ‘answer the bell’ as dictated by the players’ unofficial code.