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Bobby Orr doing his Superman thing after scoring The Stanley Cup winning goal for the 1970 Boston Bruins.

"Hello Canada and hockey fans in The United States and Newfoundland..." note 
Foster Hewitt's traditional opening lines for Hockey Night in Canada.

Ice hockey, or sometimes just simply hockey note , is to Canada, most of the United States, and much of northern Europe what Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association and National Football League are to the rest of the United States and Association Football is to the rest of the world. It is an obsession, a religion that unifies Canadians of every race and colour. It is also Canada's official national winter sport.note  Hockey's true origins are uncertain, but the most widely believed story is that the game was created by a group of British colonists settling in Canada who were trying to create a winter version of rugby. Early versions of the game followed many of the offensive rules of rugby (no forward passes, a large number of players on the ice at once) with the goal-scoring of association football. Years later, the forward pass was added and hockey began to form its own identity, while the game began to grow in popularity throughout North America.

Worldwide, ice hockey is a popular sport in all those countries at Northern hemisphere which have long and cold winters: such as Russia, Scandinavian countries, Finland, Baltic countries, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, France, Switzerland and Italy. Ice hockey is also strong in former USSR republics, such as Kazakhstan. All these countries have strong national ice hockey leagues, and Russia is the home for the multinational KHL (Kontinentalnaya Hokkeynaya Liga, "continental hockey league").

Before we get to the nitty-gritty, let's go over a few popular misconceptions first. In media, especially from places unfamiliar with the sport, ice hockey is often portrayed as a combination of Professional Wrestling and a pub brawl ON ICE! that's only watched by maple syrup-drinking Canadians who riot whenever they lose. That's... not really the case. (For one thing, there are a lot of rabid American hockey fans out there, especially in the honourary Canadian provinces of Minnesota, Alaska, and Michigan. For another, riots are atypical.) Although there is a grain of truth, as with all stereotypes:

  • Hockey is a nationally engaging sport. Much like American Football and soccer, though, it also attracts those stereotypical college students who drink beer and riot after games. Even so, full-on riots are rare, and usually there are just loud parties that break out on (city name)'s main streets. There are some notable hockey-provoked riots (see the "Richard riot" in the Serious Business article) but they prove to be the exception rather than the norm. The typical hockey-watching crowd in Canada are mostly families huddled around the television or a guy inviting his buddies over to watch the game (with or without alcohol.)
  • Hockey is unashamedly a full-contact sport, and rough-housing with the intent of claiming possession of the puck, called "checking", is legal. (Note that in women's play, checking using any part of the body is illegal, though stick checks are legal, and checking of all types is very strictly monitored in children's leagues.) Checking opposing players who do not have the puck, however, will usually lead to an interference penalty. Likewise, checking someone into the walls of the arena means a penalty for boarding and the leagues are also cracking down on checks specifically targeting the head because of the career-ending injuries resulting from that. Obstructing the goaltender is also illegal, which will lead to an interference penalty and, if a goal was scored on the play, may cause the referee to wave off the goal.
  • While technically against the rules, fighting is a completely normal and acceptable occurrence in the NHL, with five-minute penalties (see the "Rules" section below) handed out to the offending players for "fisticuffs". The NHL is the only professional league in North America which does not automatically suspend players for fisticuffs. However, this only applies to the NHL and some Canadian minor leagues; at international tournaments, fighting is a ban-worthy offence, and occasionally entire teams can be banned if it turns into a bench-clearing brawl. KHL, the Russian league, note  also allows fighting, but it's much less prevalent there, due to fighting being frowned upon in Soviet times, which kind of set the tradition. In women's hockey, which has a no-contact policy, fighting also results in a multi-game ban, and possibly a life ban from the sport.
    • When a fight breaks out in the NHL, play is stopped immediately while the players circle each other and duke it out (fights or pushing/shoving involving three or more players, however, are usually broken up by the referee before things get nasty.) The fight is supervised by the referee and linesmen, the latter of whom will step in when they feel the confrontation is beyond reasonable limits (however, they will allow the fight to progress for a variety of reasons, including not wanting to get hurt themselves. As long as both fighters have tacitly agreed to the fight, it will proceed until one is on the ice or they tire themselves out enough to not be able to continue.) After the fight is broken up, the offending players are given five-minute penalties for fighting; in recent rule changes, an extra penalty will be given to the player who instigated the fight. If it's a mutual fight, it's just a five-minute major for both.
    • Contrary to most portrayals, however, mano-a-mano showdowns are often used strategically: while a fight can happen due to mutual animosity between players, they're far more likely to happen for other reasonsnote  Coaches may send out "enforcers" (players who specialize in starting scraps) to provoke a fight if he feels his team's morale is low, believing that a good old-fashioned beatdown might cheer them up. Another example is the Edmonton Oilers during The '80s taking advantage of the fighting penalty system at the time. The Oilers excelled at four-on-four play, and since fighting at the time forced both fighters into the penalty box with no substitutes, the Oilers would send out an enforcer like Marty McSorley to start a fight with another player in order to force penalties and let their special teams go to work, or even to tactically remove a specific opposing player from the game for a short amount of time. Enforcers are also used to act as a deterrent to being rough on the star player or goalies, anyone who hits them deals with the Enforcer.
    • As briefly mentioned above, Olympic and NHL playoff hockey games typically have less fighting in them. The reasons for this are a lot simpler than you'd think: For all of the assumptions and rationalizations for fighting, a team would rather win the game than risk losing the game because of, or despite, fighting. Pointing this out to a very passionate hockey fan is not advised. Though if two teams hate one another enough or the competition is intense enough, fights are still likely to break out, particularly after the result of a game has become clear — some of the largest bench-clearing brawls have been in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, resulting in literally hundreds of penalty minutes being handed out, with even goalies getting in on the action (keep in mind they are normally on opposite ends of the rink.) That being said, there are some players who simply don't fight; attacking these players can end in a team's Berserk Button being pushed note 
    • Even under the NHL's more permissive rules on fighting, bench-clearing brawls are not tolerated. The first player to leave the bench in a brawl gets hit with a 10-game suspension and the rest get 5-game suspensions, in addition to whatever in-game penalty minutes are assigned.
      • While bench-clearing brawls aren't tolerated, it's still possible for the players on the ice to go at each other if there's a particularly egregious reason. When it gets bad enough for the goalies to stake out to the middle of the ice to face each other, there's a lot of bad blood getting resolved. These fights usually end with a wave of suspensions as well. note 

The National Hockey League (one of the oldest still-running leagues in sports) is currently the largest hockey league in the world, which as of the upcoming 202324 season consists of 32 teams across North America (7 from Canada, 25 from the United States), with the most recent expansion being to Seattle for 202122. There are also many important leagues in Europe, such as Germany's Deutsche Eishockey Liga, the Swedish Hockey League (formerly known as Elitserien) and Russia's Superleague Kontinental Hockey League, but they usually sit in the NHL's humongous shadow. The dream of many, but not all, European players is to join the NHL, and if an NHL player is sent to a European league it's considered a demotion.

The NHL was formed in 1917 with five teams note . Three of these teams — and four of the seven expansion teams to come in the '20s — dissipated and by 1942, there were officially six NHL teams (commonly referred to as The Original Six note : The Toronto Maple Leafs, Montréal Canadiens, Detroit Red Wings, Chicago Blackhawks, New York Rangers and Boston Bruins. Following the 196667 season, the league expanded to 12 teams and over several decades reached the 32-team mark that stands today.

The NHL championship trophy is The Stanley Cup, one of the oldest and most prestigious trophies in all of sports. In the Cup's early days (starting from the Cup's creation until 1912) any team could challenge the current champions to a showdown for the Cup, provided the opposing team could make the trip there of course. Eventually, two leagues, the precursor National Hockey Association (NHA) note  and the Pacific Coast Hockey League (PCHL), note  took ownership of the Cup with the winner of each league playing for the Cup every year. The NHL began to form into a superior league, however, and the PCHL, which by then was known as the Western Hockey League, or WHL, suffered financially from lack of quality players and eventually folded, making the NHL the de facto owner of the Cup. This became de jure in 1947 when the NHL legally purchased the Cup. A modern NHL regular season lasts 82 games, with a 16-team playoff season. In recent changes, the league has been divided into four divisions (Pacific, Central, Metropolitan and Atlantic Divisions) with the top three teams in each division and the next top-2 "wild card" teams in the East (Metropolitan and Atlantic) and the West (Pacific and Central) Conferences combined qualifying for the playoffs. The division leader with the most points plays the lower wild card seed, while the other leader plays the first wild card seed, while the 2nd and 3rd place teams play each other. Each round is a best-of-seven series, with teams competing exclusively in their respective divisions before meeting in the semi-finals and then for the Cup. The final two teams play one last best-of-seven round for the Stanley Cup. The Stanley Cup is unique among the major pro sports leagues' trophies in that there's only one Stanley Cup note , rather than a new trophy that's made each year and permanently awarded to the the league champion. Winning the Stanley Cup Playoff gives a team possession of the trophy for one year, and the name of the winning team along with its owner, coaches and players note  are inscribed on the trophy. Originally, whenever the trophy ran out of room for team engravings, a new band was added to the bottom. But eventually this led to a truly enormous trophy and the NHL realized it would at some point get too big for a man lift. So now it's limited to 5 bands (each with room for 13 championship teams), and whenever the bottom band is filled, the top band gets removed to the Hall of Fame and a new bottom band is added, maintaining the now-standard size of the Cup.

Hockey: The Rules
Unfortunately, hockey is subject to lots of Artistic License Sports in the media, so here's an overview.

Ice hockey plays like a smaller version of soccer (score more points than your opponent, etc.,) although there are many key differences. Each match lasts 60 minutes, which are further divided into three 20-minute "periods" with a small break (usually 10-15 minutes) between each period. Unlike field hockey and most other sports which use a rounded ball, the hockey puck is a vulcanized rubber disc — three inches (7.6 centimetres) in diameter and one inch (2.5 centimetres) thick. note 

The are five positions in hockey:

  • The centre is a hard position to explain. A good comparison is to the midfield position in soccer; they are forwards, but are expected to come back and help defend your side, usually covering the opposing player in front of the net. Also responsible, in most cases, for taking "faceoffs" (described below), a specialized skill. May be the team leader and is often the captain. note 
  • The centre has a left wingman and right wingman (or left wing/right wing for short) on either side who along with center bring the puck up the ice, and score.note  They score most of the goals for the team, with the center usually assisting them.
  • Defencemen are usually slower, tougher players whose job is to stop the opponent from scoring. If you hear someone yelling for the D to get back to the net, that'd be them. Some also act as a second wave of offense (usually unofficially labeled "offensive defencemen"), and score a lot more often than in other sports. note 
  • Collectively, all of the above positions are grouped together as skaters,note  in contrast to the last of the positions:
  • The goaltender, or "goalie", defends his goal and is the last line of defense preventing the puck from going into the net. The goalie is the only member of the team who has special equipment; his legs have large pads, he has a catching glove in his strong hand and a rectangular "blocker" on his off hand. note  He also wears a specially hardened face mask. He is the only player who cannot be hit on the ice: Hitting him is an interference penalty.note  Nevertheless, the idea of the other team trying to interfere with the goalie and get away with it (the refs can't catch everything) is often what sparks roughhousing, at least in the NHL, as the other players will skate up to protect their man (though a few goalies don't mind getting rough themselves — see Ron Hextall and Patrick Roynote )

There are also multiple positions for Officials:

  • The referee oversees the action, enforces the game rules and gives out penalties (punishments for infractions.) There are two referees in every NHL match (until recently there was only one.) He is typically marked by wearing the traditional striped shirt with orange armbands.
  • Two linesmen enforce the offside rules and have the power to stop the play due to "icing" (both of which are explained below.) They are also responsible for breaking up scuffles and fights between players. As such, the size and fitness of linesmen has increased considerably recently. They wear the same uniform as referees, but without the orange armband.
  • A timekeeper who controls the scoreboard clock(s), who sits off the ice between the two penalty boxes.
  • Higher level leagues often time have separate video review officials as well, either in the rink, or, as in the case with the NHL, at a central location watching the video feeds from the arena. In either case, the referees use a phone located at the timekeeper's table to communicate with the video reviewer on issues regarding whether a puck fully crossed the goal line, possible timing issues, or other calls subject to replay. The NHL's operations centre is in Toronto (not at the league's business offices in New York), which is why announcers will talk about refs being on the phone to Toronto during a video review.
  • Before video replay technology was implemented in most organized leagues, a goal judge would be employed to sit right behind the goal nets at either end of the rink and whose only job was to inform the referee whether the puck had completely crossed the line note , usually by activating the red goal light switch that he controlled. They were generally not dressed in uniforms, so although they were employed well into the 1990s by most leagues, including the NHL, they aren't easy to spot in video footage.

The following list uses National Hockey League rules, although internationally there are some differences (rink size, penalty tolerance, overtime regulations and such):

  • The clock runs continuously until a goal is scored, the puck is sent out of play or a infraction (like grabbing the puck with your glove note ) is committed, wherein the referee or linesmen blows his whistle to indicate a stoppage in play. This is referred to as a "whistle" and is also used as a verb ("And the play is whistled dead as the puck sails into the home team's bench.").
  • A goal is most commonly scored by shooting the puck with the stick, it can however be scored with basically any body part, as long as it's unintentional. The most notable example are skate deflections, as a goal is disallowed when the puck is kicked into net note . If there is no "kick" motion and the puck is just deflected by the blade, the goal will count. Likewise, the goal will be disallowed if directed into the net using the hands or hit or deflected in using a stick from above the crossbar. A disallowed goal results in a faceoff outside the blue line (explained below.)
  • At the centre of the rink is the "red line" that divides the rink in half. There are also "blue lines" on either side of the rink, which indicate the official offensive zones. Two much smaller "red lines" lie on the same line as the goal, and they are used for determining "icing" calls as well as the "goal line", the line which the puck must cross completely to be ruled a goal. There is also a semi-circular "crease" around the net; in international rules, if an opposing player is in the crease when a goal is scored, or obstructs the goalie in any way, the goal won't count. However, in the NHL offensive players are allowed to enter the crease as long as they don't obstruct the goalie's ability to stop the puck.
    • When a team is rushing towards the opposing goal, the player in possession of the puck must be the first to cross the blue line; if one of his teammates is ahead of the blue line when the puck carrier crosses it, the play is whistled dead as "offside".
      • As long as the puck carrier is in control of the puck, the puck carrier cannot be ruled offside. His teammates, however, can. It's also possible to go offside and then negate the whistle, as long as you retreat back across the blue line before the puck is played.note  One notable exception is shooting the puck towards the net during a delayed offside note , which results in an automatic whistle, even if every player is onside before the puck reaches the goalie (or enters the net).
    • Icing is when a player shoots the puck from behind centre ice and past the opposing team's net, and a player from the opposing team touches it. In that case, play is stopped and there is a faceoff inside the offending team's blue line. In the NHL, the offending team is not allowed to substitute their players before play resumes. In international ice hockey usually "no-touch icing" is used whereas the play is whistled dead as soon as the puck has crossed two red lines. note  There is however no icing for the defending team when they are penalty killing, which means they have one or two players less due to an infraction.note 
  • When play is about to resume, the puck is brought into play through a "faceoff", where the linesman (or referee after goals and at the start of a period) drops the puck onto the ice and the opposing centres fight for possession of the puck. The clock stops when the referee blows his whistle and restarts when the puck hits the ice. A faceoff occurs at centre ice at the start of each period (and after a goal is scored) and subsequent faceoffs happen at various positions depending on where and why the play was stopped, who was responsible, etc.
    • During a faceoff, a scramble for control of the puck before the puck is dropped is not allowed. Both players in the faceoff must wait until the puck hits the ice before they can try to take control of it. If one of the players jumps the gun, the faceoff is delayed, the offending player is pushed out of the faceoff, and (usually) one of the wings takes his place.
  • During the regular season of the NHL, if the score remains tied after 60 minutes, there is a 5-minute "sudden-death" overtime period (similar to soccer's Golden Goal rule) with only three skaters per side (plus the goalies), and if there are still no tie-breaking goals, there are three rounds of penalty shots (a la penalty kicks in soccer)note  During the playoffs, however, overtime is five-on-five and will continue indefinitely (split into further 20-minute periods with regular 10-15 minute intermissions in between) until somebody scores.
    • Traditionally, in the standings, a win is worth 2 points, a tie is worth 1 point, and a loss is worth no points. Since the 1998-99 season, however, if the game proceeds to overtime, both teams get 1 point while overtime/shootouts are played for a second point that goes to the winner. Point totals are used to determine which teams make it to the playoffs, rather an a strict win-loss record. A team's record for the season is recorded as X-Y-Z, where X is wins, Y is losses, and Z is ties/"overtime losses".note .
  • Each team has 20 playersnote , six of which can be on the ice at any given time (usually three forwards, two defensemen and a goalkeeper). Coaches will usually have "lines" (special trios of forwards and pairs of defensemen) and/or "units" (groups of 5 players) who work well together; sometimes coaches will shuffle their lines in the middle of the game to see which combination works best. In a regular hockey game usually 19 players (four lines of forwards, three pairs of defensemen and one goalie) will see play with the reserve goalie sitting on the bench in case of injury. The starting goalie may also be "pulled" when his play is not up to par.
    • Another form of pulling the goalie also exists: the goaltender skates to the bench and is substituted with an additional player (usually a forward) to give their team an offensive advantage. This is extremely risky, however, as it leaves their net completely open, and usually it is only done during the final minutes of the third period when a team is desperate and losing by a goal or two, or when there is a delayed penalty on the opposing team, in which case the opposing team cannot touch the puck without stopping play. For instance, it's not unknown for some player of the opposing team to be able to score a goal clear from the opposite side of the rink, a shot that can be up to 61 metres (200 ft) away.note 
  • Because hockey is such a physically taxing game, substitutions are done frequently (every minute or so) and often in the middle of play, which are called "line changes". Teams are still required to have no more than six players on the ice at a time, however, and a sloppy line change could result in a penalty for having too many men on the ice. Goaltenders, however, are expected to stay on the ice at all times unless they are injured or the coach decides to substitute them due to a bad performance.
  • When a player commits an infraction (provided the ref sees and identifies it), play is stopped once the offending player's team touches the puck.note  Said team is then forced to play short-handed while the penalized player sits in the penalty box, or "sin bin", and cannot be substituted. This gives the opposing team a "power play" for two minutes for a minor infraction or five minutes for a major.note  The penalized player returns to the ice when the other team scores a goal (on minor penalties only) or when the penalty's time runs out. However, if a player is deliberately injured by an offending player, that is a match penalty and the player is expelled for the rest of the game (and is fined an amount of money and/or suspended for a period of games afterwards) while his team plays shorthanded for 5-10 minutes depending on the severity of the injury. If two players are in the penalty box, their team is forced to play with only three skaters (called a two-man advantage). If a third player is then sent to the box, the third penalty will not begin until the first has ended, as teams cannot play with fewer then three players (plus goalie) on the ice.note 
    • An exception is when a player is penalized for misconduct; the player is in the sin bin for 10 minutes but the team is allowed another player on the rink for the duration. Such a player will not return until the first whistle after the 10 minutes is over.note  The same goes with players who are in put in the box for the same length at the same time (known colloquially as "coincidental penalties"), unless it's a pair of two-minute penalties while both teams are playing with all players, in which case both teams play 4-on-4 until the penalties are done or another penalty is called, allowing the players to leave the box immediately.
    • A rarer variant of disciplinary move happens when a player who possesses the puck outside his team's zone with no opposing player between him and the opposing goalie is interfered with from behind in a manner that inhibits his ability to score; in that situation, a penalty shot is called instead of the offending player being sent to the sin bin. In this situation, all the players but the awarded player and the goalie leave the ice and the puck is positioned at the center line. Once arranged, the player approaches the goal and makes the shot in an attempt to score.
      • There are also a handful of other ways for a penalty shot to be awarded, such as a non-goalie covering the puck with his hand within the crease or intentionally knocking the net out of position during a scoring opportunity. Unlike the breakaway example, where the player fouled must take the shot, in these cases, any player on the ice can take the shot.
    • If the goaltender takes a penalty (rare, but it can happen), a teammate who was on the ice at the time has to serve the penalty for him. This also happens if a team is caught with too many men on the ice during a sloppy line change, as well as for a player who is injured or otherwise unable to serve his penalty, or any penalty to a non-player, such as a coach or even, rarely, the fans. Coaches often select players strategically in these cases, putting their most offensive players in the penalty box since they rarely kill penalties and are better suited for a breakaway pass when the penalty ends.
    • The goaltender will leave play for an extra attacker in the case of a "delayed" penalty, indicated when an official raises his hand but doesn't blow the whistle (indicating an infraction drawn by the defending team). In this situation, the penalty is not called until the defending team touches the puck; the goalie won't be facing any shots, so the extra attacker can press the offense. Also, if a team needs to tie the game or face losing near the end of the game, the coach will "pull the goalie" by taking the goalie off for another skater, to hopefully score the tying goal. It leaves the net open so the other team can score a goal very easily, but there's usually no difference for the losing team if they lose by one goal or two.
    • Fighting is a five-minute major penalty, but unlike other such penalties, does not result in the offending team losing a player due to relatively recent rule changes.
      • Unless the penalties are not offsetting. While most fights involve one player from each team getting a five minute major for fighting, there are rare instances of a player not fighting back in order to avoid a major penalty and earn a power play for his team, or of a third player joining a fight without anyone else joining in (this normally results in an ejection).
  • Technically, there are no own goals in hockey. If a team puts the puck in its own net, the player of the opposing team who last touched the puck is credited with the goal. This is one of two ways a goalie can score a goal, the other one being just shooting the puck along the ice, either into an empty net or with the opposing goalie screwing up majorly.
    • Goalies scoring a goal is a very, very rare instance in modern hockey (rare enough in the NHL that it has a Wikipedia page devoted to it), as they are not allowed to cross the center line of the rink and rarely even advance that far in an attempt to scorenote . In the modern NHL a total of only twelve goaltenders are credited with scoring a goal, with only two goalies (Ron Hextall and Martin Brodeur) scoring more than once (Brodeur's goal total is now three). Of those fifteen total goals, eight were scored by actually shooting the puck into the empty net and seven by own goals by the opposing team on their own empty net.note 
  • Hockey players wear possibly the most gear out of any sport: the threat of being hit by a fast-moving disc of hard vulcanized rubber is very real and very dangerous. In addition to skates, hockey players wear: shin pads, padded pants, a jock strap, thick padded glovesnote , elbow pads, shoulder pads with chest protection, neck guards and helmets. The total weight of a player's gear can be upwards of 50 pounds, if not more. A recent rule change also means that new players must have a visor on their helmets to protect their face.

For those who need a more visual illustration of this information and more, you can go to CBC Sports' webpage for the shorts of the cartoon character, Peter Puck.

Contrast Figure Skating.

Works thematically based on hockey:

Anime and Manga

Fan Works

  • In the Discworld of A.A. Pessimal, the, er, Acerian immigrant Antoinette de Badin-Boucher arrives in Ankh-Morpork as a student at the Assassins' School, to discover to her disgust that while the weather might get cold and wet, it very rarely gets cold and wet enough for proper hockey. The version played running around a cold muddy field without ice skates on is not to her taste or inclination. She fears the ice-skates and protective clothing she has brought with her are going to be useless baggage. Then she discovers the Pork Futures Warehouse and regularly breaks in to practice real hockey and skating. Scroll forward by ten years and she is a graduate and a teaching assistant at the School. By this story, she has worked out a deal with the PFW's owners to use a hitherto wasted space for recreation. Fellow Acerians and, er, Swommi people flock to pay for admission. Both to particpate in, or to spectate, mass brawls on ice with lots of applied violence, and perhaps a little actual hockey in between fights. Thus, with a sort of Canadian-like people in town, Ankh-Morpork gets its first dedicated ice-hockey and skating venue.
  • Run At The Cup


  • Slap Shot: Probably the biggest and best hockey movie. Followed up years later by two sequels with diminishing returns.
    • Rare is a hockey player who's never seen the movie... fewer than five times.
  • Score is a hockey themed musical that debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2010
  • Youngblood (1986)
  • The Mighty Ducks and sequels
  • Miracle: About the 1980 US Olympic hockey team.
  • Mystery, Alaska: About a group of local hockey players in a small Alaska community who get to play an exhibition (totally fictional) against the New York Rangers.
  • Director Kevin Smith is a big time hockey fan and usually hides at least one hockey reference in his movies, often obscure. In Mallrats, for example, he had Brodie doing the playoffs in a videogame, playing as the Hartford Whalers—who have since moved and become the Carolina Hurricanes—and the character specifically noted that the chances of Hartford even making the finals, let alone winning the Cup, were slim enough (until 2002, after the move to Raleigh, the franchise had only won one NHL playoff series in their 25-year history to that point) to make it a once in a lifetime situation. He also currently plans a movie called Hit Somebody based on the Warren Zevon song of the same title.
  • The Love Guru: A critically panned box-office bomb in which Mike Myers plays a self-help guru hired by the Toronto Maple Leafs to help a star player.
  • Goon (2011): A sort of Spiritual Successor to Slap Shot, focusing on the gritty world of enforcers in pro hockey.
  • Maurice Richard, released as The Rocket in English, is about legendary Montreal Canadians player Maurice "The Rocket" Richard
  • Bon Cop, Bad Cop: A Canadian buddy cop film about Anglophone and Francophone cops who investigate a series of murders related to pro hockey.
  • Sudden Death: Die Hard at the Stanley Cup Finals.

Live-Action Television

  • Rent-A-Goalie: An Italian-Canadian man runs a service in Toronto where pick-up hockey teams can rent a goalie.
  • Power Play: A Canadian drama about the management behind a fictional minor-league team, the Hamilton Steelheads.
  • Season 12 of Degrassi: The Next Generation features several semipro hockey players attending the titular High School.
  • Season 1 of Corner Gas featured an episode with the Dog River hockey team losing to a rival team until Lacey steps in as coach.
  • Rick Mercer of The Rick Mercer Report repeatedly attends hockey games or hangs out with hockey players in segments. This can range from interviewing guests at the Hockey Hall of Fame to chatting up NHL stars to attending a pond hockey tournament in small town Newfoundland to being invited to learn sledge hockey by the Canadian Paralympic team.
  • Episode "Murdoch Night in Canada" of Murdoch Mysteries. Detective Murdoch investigates the murder of Archie Simpson, a hockey player who is found dead in the team's locker room.
  • The title character of MacGyver (1985) used to be a NHL level junior ice hockey player, until a Game-Breaking Injury terminated his career. In Real Life, Richard Dean Anderson used to play ice hockey before his acting career.
  • Due South features the season 1 episode "The Blue Line" where Fraser has to protect a childhood friend who is a superstar hockey player after he receives death threats.
  • The season 2 finale of Flashpoint involves a suicidal Afghanistan War vet suffering from PTSD and guilt after his best friends are KIA. As a teenager, he was a upstart hockey player, as were the friends, resulting in him choosing the local major league hockey rink that is scheduled for demolitionnote  for his last stand.
  • Shoresy spins off the eponymous hockey player from Letterkenny to focus on a struggling triple-A hockey team.


  • The Stompin' Tom Connors classic "The Hockey Song", cited in the quote page.
  • Warren Zevon: "Hit Somebody (The Hockey Song)" a Canadian farm boy gets recruited as a "goon" (Enforcer) for the Flames and spends his career beating people up when he wishes he could be scoring goals.
  • Captain Tractor: Frozen Puck To The Head and Going To A Hockey Game.
  • The Tragically Hip song "Fireworks" starts with a reference to the Summit Series and includes the line "You said you didn't give a fuck about hockey, I never heard someone say that before."
    • Numerous other songs from The Hip reference hockey, explicitly or implicitly, such as "The Lonely End of the Rink", an ode to hockey goalies, and "Fifty Mission Cap" which discusses the story of Bill Barilko.
  • Tom Cochrane and Red Rider's song "The Big League".

Stand-Up Comedy


Video Games

  • NHL Hockey and the sequels by EA Sports: Originally released for DOS and Windows from 1993 through 2008 and for console platforms from 1992 through 2016 and beyond. The beginnings saw the franchise split for the two, with NHLPA Hockey being released in late 1992 for consoles with only NHLPA licensing, while NHL Hockey was released for DOS in late 1993 with full NHL and NHLPA license. By 1995, however, both games were fully licensed and were very similar visually, including the titles which featured the year after release note . Eventually the console version was prioritized, with PC versions ported from them, until the PC versions ended with NHL 09.
  • Face Off!: The original PC DOS hockey game, released in 1989 by Mindspan Technologies and Game Star. Like many sports games of the period, it didn't have any official licenses, but it did feature easy-to-use editing of teams and players, so manually altering the game to fit real life rosters was possible. Many gimmicks and settings introduced, such as rule selection, play creation and a breakaway cam, were later implemented by EA's series to varying success.
  • Blades of Steel: Originating as an arcade game before being released for Nintendo in 1988. Has a cult status among both arcade players and hockey fans, especially for its innovative voice sampling.


  • CRUSH3D!!: Carter Howe is an eighteen year old hockey player looking to unpause his life as the rookie center for the Renhain Deers, a run of the mill country team far away from his hometown. In addition to his new team and school, he has to deal with his own relationships, past, and mental health.
  • Check, Please!: A Georgian ex-figure-skater joins a university hockey team in freshman year, and has to learn to overcome his fear of checking, while also managing his team's social life, coming out of the closet, and his love of baking pie.

Western Animation

  • Mighty Ducks: The Animated Series: Though only tangentially related to the movie franchise.
  • "The Hockey Champ": Donald Duck plays hockey against his nephews in this 1938 Classic Disney Short.
  • "Hockey Homicide": A 1945 Classic Disney Short in which hockey is explained by Goofs.
  • Canadian animated series Braceface features a hockey-themed episode in which the main character is a terrible skater.
  • The Canadian series Being Ian had an entire episode dedicated to hockey that even featured two former Vancouver Canucks players as guest stars.
  • Continuing the pattern, Jacob Two-Two, another cartoon from Canada, had a few episodes dedicated to hockey, with the title character playing in his school's hockey team and being a big fan of the Montreal Canadiens.
  • The Peter Puck series of shorts, which explains the history, rules, and other elements of the sport.
  • The Simpsons episode "Lisa on Ice".