Boy's high school hockey in Wisconsin is well underway, and the players are already putting the biscuit in the basket, and lighting the lamp. They may are also developing some nicknames, not unlike some of those that have come from the NHL. And if you are a high school hockey parent, you may or may not be privy to some of the nicknames being slapped across the ice among the teammates.
Throughout hockey history, the NHL has been a steady source of nicknames. There was of course "The Great One," Wayne Gretzky, who now spends most of his day trying to manage the sultry Tweeting habits of his smoking hot daughter, Paulina. And thank God she looks a lot more like mom than Wayne.
There was also Teemu Selanne, or "The Finnish Flash" and "The Russian Rocket" a.k.a. Pavel Bure. Or how about former hockey star Guy LaFluer, saddled with the nickname "The Flower." Yikes. Then there was Mark "The Messiah" Messier and "The Golden Jet" Bobby Hall, and of course "Mr. Hockey" Gordie Howe.
Heck, even some of the goalies netted their own nicknames. There was Andre "Red Light" Racicot, and Russian born goaltender Nikolai Ivanovich Khabibulin, simply known as "The Bulin Wall." But my all-time favorite NHL goalie was a guy named "Gump" Worsley. He was the second-to-last professional hockey goaltender to play without a mask, and he looked like it.
Here in southeast Wisconsin, I'm a fan of the local high school hockey scene, so I tracked down a few nicknames from the Homestead High School hockey team.
Homestead has a team that is frequently ranked in the Wisconsin Prep top 10. Current team member nicknames include Thomas "Fazzy Bear" Fazio, Peter "Young Blood Winna" Schmitz, and Will "Tuck Duck" Tucker, along with Kevin "Killa J" Haslee. There is also Adam "Acon" Connolly. And in the recent past, Homestead hockey had Luke "Burb Lyfe" Lawlor and David "Trebz is Nuts" Trebatowksi. Not all are hockey-specific nicknames per say, but these have taken on a life of their own for all the skaters, both on and off the ice.
I'm sure with a bit of research there are some great nicknames on the Milwaukee Admirals and Wisconsin Badger hockey teams, too. So the next time you see the Zamboni machine resurfacing the ice, and hear the boys crashing the boards, or see them dropping the gloves, remember that the hockey rink is a perfect medium for generating some memorable nicknames that may well last a lifetime.
John Leaf was born in western Illinois, a mile east of the Mississippi. College in Chicago. He holds a B.A. in Political Science and Philosophy. Leaf was goalie on the soccer team and captain of the golf team in college. He cut class to ride the "L" to see Cubs games, hung out for hours at the Art Institute and bent the brain doing graduate school in Theology.
He spent three mind-blowing summers in coastal British Columbia, as a resort photographer. He worked and lived in Minneapolis. He did hard time at a bank on LaSalle Street in Chicago and learned about PR, working at big firm a block off Michigan Avenue, while living in Evanston.
Now Leaf is just living the dream, under the radar, in Cedarburg. He's passionate about nicknames and launched his website three years ago.
He dabbles in yoga and cycling. Fishtailing as always, and taking a whack at life, like everyone else.