May 15, 2011

A Day in the Life of a Hockey Player

 You ask. He answers. Every Sunday.

This week's questions are from Sally and Jen.

Dear Hockey Player,

Have you ever played on a team with a cheap shot artist? I am not talking about an enforcer. I am talking full on dirty playing goon. I guess I am wondering if teams say they don't like cheap shots but behind closed doors they don't discourage it. As always I know this depends on the team and your personal experience. Just wondering if dirty players are publicly condemned but privately patted on the back. i.e. what has been the attitude "in the room"? I personally like to imagine guys popping each other upside the head and saying "What the hell did you do THAT for?" but I am a dork. This question of course assumes you are not a goon. I like to think that you don't practice gooney.

Sally from NC (Again)


Every team has a "rat" or a cheap shot artist. It's part of the game. So many people want to take away the things that make hockey different from other sports. Sometimes sports like basketball and soccer make me laugh -- players crying and being wheeled off on stretchers when they really have no idea what pain is and what kind of pain a person can truly fight through. If you take away instigators, fighters, and big hits what are you left with? Hockey's core is a player's heart and courage. Being a cheap shot artists is a tough job that most players don't have the courage to do. There are antics that I don't appreciate but that player usually pays the price by having to fight someone. And no, I'm not a goon. No goonery here.


What do you think about during the national anthem?

I like to pretend that I am a judge on American Idol judging the singer's talent in my head. I love when they have children sing, that's pretty cute. But more often than not I am wondering how this person got this gig and will this extended version they are shrieking ever end. 

What’s the most penalty minutes you ever received in one game?

I once received 45 mins in one play. The opposing player two handed my linemate in the back of the legs as we were climbing in the bench for a change. He thought he could escape by doing this hit and run and then retreating to his bench. He thought wrong. I chased him, jumping into the bench with a swift spearing motion, dropping my gloves and fighting him, two other teamates of his and I believe their trainer even got some shots in. I received 5 mins spearing, 5 mins fighting, 5 mins second fight, 10 mins intent to injure, 10 min unsportsmanlike, and 10 min misconduct.

Has your team bus ever been pulled over for speeding?

No but I have been on a bus that broke down on the expressway, smelling of gas. I also got drunk on an overnight bus trip after a big win before Christmas break. I woke up the next morning on the top bunk. I looked down and noticed there was no one left on the bus. Everyone had left and no one realized I was still passed out. We had borrowed a sleeper bus from a team four hours away and the bus was half way home. Just slightly embarrassing waiting for my coach to pick me up two hours from home on the side of the road.

Minnesota Wild player Eric Nystrom has done it… have you?... Ned Braden’s on-ice strip tease from “Slap Shot”, that is. 

No, no on-ice strip teases.

HW, if he’s never done that last one for you… tell him he can’t retire until he does.  :)  Have a good week y’all.



  1. I love the juxtaposition of the answer to my goon question with the 45 minutes of penalties answer! HA. Sounds like every minute was worth it.

    Um yeah. That bus story is the best. As long as HP didn't wake up with Patrick Kane I think it will be ok. ;-)

  2. I thought the SAME thing Sally! Doesn't sound right ... but I can confirm that he isn't a goon. And that little bench jumping fiasco was in his MUCH younger days! First or second year pro, maybe. My favorite was the bus story ... give me a break! Rethinking my marriage to this idiot at this point ... ;)

  3. Imagine that… you think about exactly the same things we do during the national anthem. I love the kids too especially the one really enthusiastic kid who’s always a little closer to the mic than the rest… and there is nothing worse to start your game day experience than listening to a singer try to “renovate” the national anthem. The guys beside me always threaten to start howling out loud.

    Holy crap… nice work bad boy! Now I know why HW gets nervous about you venturing into a fight. You know it’s going to be a bench mark for the dressing room wall when the officials have to get “off” the ice to break it up. Bah ha ha. Love the extra 10 tacked onto the end just for causing general bedlam.

    When I was in university, I went out with the team Captain and the team used to let the girlfriends come back home on the bus with the players sometimes. They had a player… a little French guy… who used to sleep up on the overhead luggage racks all the time, so I can totally see this. Your coach was not especially good at delegating though, was he? I’d have sent the guys who left you up there to fetch you… because you just know they did it on purpose. :)

    No strip tease, huh. So still have some goals yet to be scored…... on ice.
    I started out working in Edmonton and we used to have to dig up old game footage all the time for editing and I remember cutting 1980’s Oiler-Flame brawls from the old Battle of Alberta… the pre fight strap days. Those guys used to do two-team, all out stripe teases every game against each other… McSorley, Otto, Linsemen, McLelland, two Hunters. Their penalty boxes used to look like change rooms for five. Now hockey’s like watching women in 1910 bath suits. We girls have to fan ourselves if somebody rolls up their sleeves or shows an ankle.

    Love the Avery-esk question too, Sal.

  4. If I played I would spend the entire GAME in the box! I have a bad temper! (Ok I suck at athletics so no one would ever put me on their yeah. I can't skate... can't hit... throw...I am a spaz and accident prone)My mouth tends to write checks my ass can't cash! (and no I don't wear a helmet and I am not "special." I am just really clumsy. (Your nacho story could have totally happened to me)

    You can't rethink your marriage. I mean do you really want to write a blog about "A Day in the Life of a Banker's Wife"? Ok maybe you do. ;-) The bus story made me think of the stories my dad waited until I was an adult to tell me about his fraternity days. Uh yeah. I am filing those under "DAD I DID NOT NEED TO KNOW THAT."

    Hope your work week isn't too bad. Hang in there. (I am trying to give this speech to myself too!)

  5. Haha, these are really funny. Tell the hubs he did a good job on them. Although with the first question I totally to see mention of a chisler in the mix. Man, they really are the worst on the team! lol

  6. Great blog.
    Thanks for sharing.

  7. TexaGermaNadian...what's a "chisler"? That's a new one for me. Is that one of your special German curse words?

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  9. hi, first time visitor here! i love this!!! i'm a carolina hurricanes fan, so this is very interesting. i'm hoping to get season tickets this fall.

    thanks for sharing!! : )

    nice meeting you.


  10. HAHAHA i love the bus story :-)

  11. Ok sorry for hijacking Hockey Wife but Rachel...ME TOO! Caniac here!

    Ok done hijacking. Just being friendly to my neighbor. :-)


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