It takes a certain kind of personality to be a tough guy in the NHL, but from both personal experience and from what I've heard from many other people, these players typically rank among the most down-to-earth, nicest guys in the league.
It appears as though Cam Janssen might be a little too down to earth, letting the world know his true feelings on several different matters in an interview with a St. Louis radio show earlier this week.
Here's the New Jersey Devils winger on "The Thom & Jeff Show," which, as far as we can tell, is just an Internet radio show. Considering the language (there's your warning), we have to imagine this never found the actual airwaves.
On his Devils losing to the Los Angeles Kings in the Stanley Cup finals:
Host: "The first time I did a fat chick, a buddy picked me up from a party and I was hung over and he goes, 'Do you realize what you just did?' ... I would imagine it's something like that. It's like you had a chance, and then it's like ..."
Janssen: "Damn fat broads, man."
Host: "So the L.A. Kings are the fat broads?"
Janssen: "They are. They're the fat broads that you regret bangin', and I've been there and done that."
On scaring opposing players:
Host: "Are there certain guys that you know you've got the mindfuck on them?"
Janssen: [laughter] "Oh, absolutely. Are you kiddin' me? [more laughter] I love it. And you know what, I respect a lot of the guys and you wanna have people respect you. If you're a fuckin' dipshit out there, you're not going to get any respect and other teams aren't gonna respect you. And if other teams don't respect you, then they're not gonna sign you and it's just kind of a trickle effect.
"But you wanna be scary. You wanna put the fear of fuckin' God in people's eyes, and not just, 'Oh, I'm gonna beat you up' -- no, 'I'm gonna catch you with your fuckin' head down and hurt you because you're not gonna know I'm comin', because I know how to hit.' Fighting guys is one thing because I know, 'Oh, I won't fight you. I'll just turtle.' Whatever. But if you have the puck and you know how to hit and you can hurt guys with hits like I know how to do, that's what puts the fear of God into people."
On trash talk:
Janssen: "There's some shit-talkin' that goes down that pisses some people off. There's a lot of personal shit, man, like, guys know personal shit. ... You wanna get in people's heads to get them off their fuckin' game and don't get me wrong, you don't wanna go too deep with shit because we all have our issues here. Let's be honest."
Host: "But if the guy was suckin' cock four weeks ago, you're gonna let him know about it?"
Janssen: "Oh, if he's suckin' cock, he's gettin' his ass kicked." [laughter]
Give the interviewers credit here: There's plenty of great content in this interview, including talk about how players might deal with a potential lockout, how players deal with each other and lean on each other during offseason workouts, etc.
But man, talk about crossing the line. At least it's a real look into the mind of Cam Janssen -- and, unfortunately, likely the minds of many other players in the NHL -- but sometimes it's best if this stuff just stays out of public view.
You have to imagine that Patrick Burke, the founder of the You Can Play Project, will be furious with the outward homophobia here. You have to imagine that the New Jersey Devils -- the team that just signed Janssen to another one-year contract -- will be furious as well. And the NHL? Well, given the ongoing crackdown when it comes to player safety, a player talking openly about injuring other players may not go over so well.
And as for the repuation of Cam Janssen? Well, this will make him much more popular with some ... but with most, he's now a villain.