Quotes and Quips Heard Round Hockey Rinks

There has, of course, been a lot written and said about hockey over the years.  My Dad passed some of these along from an email he’d received recently and maybe they’ve already the rounds.  But I sought out a few others, threw in a couple of my own faves and compiled this list of famous and not so famous puck-related comments for your reading pleasure and/or to use as small talk at hockey parties or on long rides to or from arenas. I think the first is a wonderful start.

Hockey captures the essence of Canadian experience in the New World.  In a land so inescapably and inhospitably cold, hockey is the chance of life, and an affirmation that despite the deathly chill of winter we are alive.   Stephen Leacock, Canadian Author


A puck is a hard rubber disc that hockey players strike when they can’t hit one another. Jimmy Cannon, Sports Journalist


Ice hockey is a form of disorderly conduct in which the score is kept.   Doug Larson, Journalist


Coach, I don’t want to go back out. I suck at hockey. Little Johnny (I kid you not), 4 or 5 Year Old Mite Hockey Player I had the pleasure of coaching and Future NHL Star


Half the game is mental; the other half is being mental.  Jim McKenny, Former NHL Player and Journalist


hockey-fanSometimes people ask, ‘Are hockey fights real?’ I say, ‘If they weren’t, I’d get in more of them.
Wayne Gretzky, ‘The Great One’


How would you like a job where, every time you make a mistake, a big red light goes on and 18,000 people boo? Jacques Plante, Hall of Fame Goaltender


Hockey belongs to the Cartoon Network, where a person can be pancaked by an ACME anvil, then expanded accordion-style back to full stature, without any lasting side effect. Steve Rushin, Sports Journalist


When Hell freezes over, I’ll play hockey there too.  Seen somewhere on a T-Shirt


What’d the difference between a Hockey Mom and a Pitbull?…….Lipstick.  Ok, not a quote, but kinda funny.


Yeah, sure Old Time Hockey! Like Eddie Shore! Eddie Shore Yeah!  Steve, Jack and Jeff Hanson, Charleston Chiefs (by way of the Iron League) – Slapshot


Hockey is murder on ice.  Jim Murray, Sports Journalist


All hockey players are bilingual. They know English and profanity.  Gordie Howe, Mr. Hockey


You miss 100% of the shots you never take.  Wayne Gretzky


I wish I could find a way to get someone to pay me to watch my kids play hockey.  A Somewhat Anonymous Hockey Dad Blogger


I went to a fight the other night and a hockey game broke out. Rodney Dangerfield, Comedian and Actor


We know that hockey is where we live, where we can best meet and overcome pain and wrong and death. Life is just a place where we spend time between games. Fred Shero, Coach of the Philadelphia Flyers


keep calm and play on
By the age of 18, the average American has witnessed 200,000 acts of violence on television, most of them occurring during Game 1 of an NHL playoff series.
Steve Rushin


Some people skate to the puck. I skate to where the puck is going to be. Wayne Gretzky


Hockey players have fire in their hearts and ice in their veins.  Author Unknown


If you can’t beat ’em in the alley, you can’t beat ’em on the ice. Conn Smythe, Toronto Maple Leafs Owner


Cournoyer has it on that wing. Here’s a shot – Henderson made a wild stab for it and fell. Here’s another shot! Right in front – THEY SCORE!!! Henderson has scored for Canada! Foster Hewitt calling what is arguably the most famous goal of all time


Why is a puck called a puck? Because dirty little bastard was taken.  Future Hall of Fame Goaltender


Street hockey is great for kids. It’s energetic, competitive, and skillful. And best of all it keeps them off the street. Author Unknown


Great moments… are born from great opportunity. Herb Brooks, 1980 US Olympic Hockey Coach as depicted in the 2004 Motion Picture “Miracle”


Hockey players wear numbers because you can’t always identify the body with dental records. Author Unknown


Dad I forgot my (insert piece of equipment here e.g. skates, helmet, pants, neck guard, stick, etc.). Heard as recently as yesterday from the Devil after 12+ years of packing bags and going to arenas.


Arrive at the net with the puck and in ill humor.  Fred Shero


All right, let’s show ’em what we got, guys! Get out there on the ice and let ’em know you’re there. Get that fuckin’ stick in their side. Let ’em know you’re there! Get that lumber in his teeth. Let ’em know you’re there! Reggie Dunlop, Player/Coach of the Charleston Chiefs – Slapshot

How could I not include the venerable Mr. Potato Head aka Don Rickles

Black people dominate sports in the United States – 20 percent of the population and 90 percent of the Final Four. We own this shit. Basketball, baseball, football, golf, tennis, and as soon as they make a heated hockey rink we’ll take that shit too. Chris Rock


Four out of five dentists surveyed recommended playing hockey. Author Unknown


I don’t date dusters.  Also Seen on a T-Shirt Somewhere (he says with a knowing grin)


Red ice sells hockey tickets. Bob Stewart


Get used to this phrase: how could both referees have missed that?  Mike Brophy (a personal fave as I’m sure my Dad will attest)


He brings something special. I don’t know what it is, but if you ask him, you wouldn’t understand his answer. Wayne Gretzky on Ranger forward Esa Tikkanen

I would be the last to disparage the genius of the politicians who make our laws,” Hutchison wrote around that time, “the writers who make our books, the artists who make our pictures, but in gauging the true culture of the nation and reckoning its tensile strength, let the student not neglect hockey.  Author and Winnipeg Free Press Editor Bruce Hutchison in The Unknown Country


Some guys play hockey. Gretzky plays 40 mph chess. Lowell Cohn, Sportswriter


eat sleep play hockeyAs always, let me know if you have any others you’ve heard and/or particularly love from our favourite frozen game.

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3 thoughts on “Quotes and Quips Heard Round Hockey Rinks

  1. You bet it is. Whether you spend $500 a year on house league or $15,000 a year on AAA, you will never again have the opportunity to spend as much time as you do with your children as you now do at the rink. The same holds true for soccer, baseball, softball basketball and yes even show jumping. I coached one or other of my kids in softball for 15 years. I also attended horse shows most spring to fall weekends with my daughter. Head down, mouth shut and hold the horse between rides was my job. I would not trade a minute of it. To this day, young adults will walk up to me and say, hey Mr. Van Veen, it’s me, Ryan. You coached me in 1989. These kids are now in their 20’s and 30’s and they and my kids and I will have a life time bond. It does not get any better than that.

    • Very well put Frank. I’ve had the same experience with kids coming up to me literally years after I coached them to say thanks and it’s a fantastic feeling to know you had a positive, lasting effect on someone.

  2. Just read this one and have to add it to the mix. “I would be the last to disparage the genius of the politicians who make our laws, the writers who make our books, the artists who make our pictures, but in gauging the true culture of the nation and reckoning its tensile strength, let the student not neglect hockey.” – Bruce Hutchison in his book The Unknown Country.

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