Jalen Ramsey, the all-pro cornerback for the Jacksonville Jaguars, stirred up a lot of negative attention from the hockey community with his comments at the end of August. In the NFL Preview Issue of ESPN The Magazine, Ramsey told ESPN’s Mina Kimes that with six months of training, he could probably crack the NHL. Now, even though this is in response to him discussing his stick handling from a background in lacrosse, it’s absolutely asinine. However, it did get me thinking which North American sports stars would be best on the ice, what positions they would play, and why. (It should be noted that I don’t know of any of these players’ abilities to skate / stick handle, this is purely for fun).
LW – Mike Trout, Anaheim Angels, Center Fielder
Team Leader – Assists
Mike Trout is, in my opinion, the best player in Major League Baseball. He is one of the most physically gifted players in the league and moves shockingly quick given his stature. Trout has always seemed to play as a team first, stats later kind of guy which would suit his team well. I’d imagine he would occupy a Claude Giroux-type player on the first line in that he’d be fully capable of scoring his own goals as well as setting up his teammates. With his strength, Trout would be able to be real physical in front of the net, and with his size, blow up opposing players in the open ice.
C – Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder, Point Guard
Team Leader – Goals, points
Russell Westbrook is a freak and I mean that in the best possible way. His hyper competitive and “Me First” mindset would make him an animal at center. He’d wind up winning sixty percent of his face-off’s and would have the second most penalty minutes for roughing the other forty. Seriously, if Russ could check in the NBA, he would do it all the time. He’d wind up giving the puck away more than everyone else, insisting on taking the puck up ice every possession, but he would also lead the team in points.
RW – Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers, Wide Receiver
Team Leader – Shooting Percentage, Power Play Goals
AB would be an incredibly talented, versatile addition to the team. His genetic gifts would make him the fastest player on the team, screaming from coast to coast on breakaway chances. Brown would also be able to transition his incredible field vision to the ice, giving him the best offensive and defensive awareness on the team. What he lacks in size he makes up for in mobility and the ability to find holes in the defense, leading to the highest shooting percentage on the team.
Bobby Wagner, Seattle Seahawks, Middle Linebacker
Team Leader – Blocks, Time on Ice
Bobby would wear the C on this team. While being surrounded by stars who have gone on to fame and fortune beyond his own, he has held down the backfield in Seattle for years. Wagner would be the heart and soul behind this team despite not necessarily being the most celebrated player. An ability to read plays and break them up, as well as the durability to lead this team in minutes. He’ll also be crucial on the PK. Don’t expect much on a box score from #54, but the eye test will show his value.
Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors, Power Forward/Center
Team Leader – Penalty Minutes
Imagine if you took Tie Domi and made him eleven inches taller – that’s Draymond’s space on the ice. He was suspended for a game in the 2016 for punching Lebron James in the crotch. That game was in the NBA Finals. Enough said.
Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals, Catcher
Every Cup contender is only as good as their goalie, and Yadier is the perfect fit for this team. A perennial all-star, Molina has also received eight Gold Gloves for best defensive catcher. He simply keeps the ball in front of him. Dealing with rebounds will take some getting used to, but there’s no other non-hockey player I’d put between the posts than him.
Could this team actually work? Beyond being about $50 million over the salary cap for just these six players alone, there’s no telling what would happen with the personalities off of the ice. But, if all of their traits translate accurately to the ice, this could very well turn into a contender… but it’s going to take more than six months time.