Ice hockey players have to be fast, highly coordinated, and tough.  On ice, they barrel through on high-speed chases, slam against boards, and perform a competitive and dangerous ballet, all while poised on lethal weapons and facing hundred-mile-per-hour flying discs. Off-ice they play hard, they train early, and every waking moment, they long to get back out there.  

Fans across the world, from those who play on rinks shoveled out on Northern Hemisphere lakes, or in frosty-filled arenas, to those who just love to watch; all swear allegiance to their favorite teams and follow the tournaments avidly. Team players show off their great sense of camaraderie, espousing elegance in off-ice oxymoronic bravura, donning Sunday suits and neckties over their finely-tuned presence.

Canadians Have a Knack for It

“You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.” – Wayne Gretsky

Wayne Gretzky, known as The Great One, has broken almost every record and still holds the most NHL points scored record. Playing career: 1979–1999.      

“Every day is a great day for hockey.” – Mario Lemieux

Mario Lemieux racked up points and brought his team two championships before taking time off to fight Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, only to come back to win the scoring record, with160 points in 60 games.  Playing Career: 1984–1997, 2000–2006.

Lemieux now owns the Pittsburgh Penguins, safeguarding their Canadian captain, Sid the Kid, aka Sidney Crosby, who is considered this generation’s player of the era. Playing Career: 2005-present.

“Crosby has a subtler brand of exceptionalism, born of outsized effort and impressive skating edge work and an unparalleled backhand and all the details piled that high create a mountain of hockey excellence.” – Michael Farber, Sports Illustrated