The NHL Isn’t Fun


Don’t get me wrong, the NHL is the best pro-sports league in the world for the best game in the world. Nothing compares to the speed, intensity, and action that hockey provides to its fans. However, with that said I do think that we can all agree on one thing, the NHL isn’t any fun when you compare it to other sports. In fact, I’m here to show how the NHL goes out of its way to make the league lame and boring.   


What He Did = Fun

How The Hockey World Tried To Crush It

In the 2008-09 season, Alex Ovechkin had reached 50 goals for the third time in four seasons. He was on fire, and was (and still is) the best goal scorer in the NHL. After scoring his 50th, Ovi made sure to show everybody how his stick was on fire. I thought this goal celebration was fantastic, others did not. Here are some quotes from people around the league:

Rick Tocchet: 

“In the old days, Ovechkin’s actions would have made for a much longer game for the young left winger.” He added: “It’s not something I like, he went down a notch in my books after that.”

Ryan Malone: 

“He’s the game’s most dominant scorer, but to do that, especially on our ice, I took it as an insult,” Malone said in a postgame interview. “It’s embarrassing. This isn’t football.”

Don’t get me started on what Don Cherry has to say about Alex Ovechkin. 


What He Did = Fun

After having a game tying goal disallowed, Nail Yakupov went scored an EVEN LATER tying goal with 4.7 seconds left, taking the game into overtime. Here’s young Nail, an NHL rookie, who just scored a MASSIVE goal for his team. The kid was obviously excited, and he took his celebration to a whole other level. It was the kind of celly that the NHL hasn’t seen in a while. As an Oiler fan, that goal and accompanying slide was something that we will likely remember forever. 

How The Hockey World Tried To Crush It

As soon as it happened, you knew a lot of people were going to hate it. Why? Cause people hate fun. Twitter sure blew up about it and even better, here’s Don Cherry’s reaction to the celebration. 

“If any time you want to make our highlights at the start [of the show], just act like an idiot like this.” Cherry went on to say: “When you do that, all you do is turn guys against you. “Don’t act like that, kids. Not only did he hurt himself, he hurt Edmonton, too.”

Granted a lot of the hatred toward Yakupov and his celebration came from media creation, there were many players and hockey personnel tweeting about their disgust.  


PK is arguably the most entertaining player in the NHL. He brings excitement and energy that you don’t find in a lot of other players. 

What He Did = Fun

How The Hockey World Tried To Crush It

We all know about the triple low five that Carey Price and P.K. Subban used to do after every win. It made them happy, it made fans happy, and it made me happy. However, it didn’t take long for Michel Therrien to put his foot down and ban the triple low five. This is what Therrien had to say about it:

“It’s a team concept, you have to respect the game, the other team and the fans.”

In other words, kill the camaraderie, stop smiling, don’t laugh, and, by all means, stop having so much fun. Personally, I would love my [removed: franchise] players to have a bit of fun on the ice, especially after a win. 

Side note about Subban: I heard this quote from Sportsnet during the Free Agent Frenzy. As a devil’s advocate, I suppose I can understand the fact that it’s frustrating losing game after game while having one player continuously being positive about the situation. But as a non-devils advocate thought, this quote is so wrong. 


Other notable situations include the whole John Scott All Star Game fiasco, the Thomas Hertl breakaway goal where Adam Oates told him not to “disrespect the league”, and of course, the banning of throwing rats on the ice in Florida mid-game. 

All I’m saying is that I look at other sports, and see baseball players being lit on fire in the dugout, or putting a bubblegum on a teammates hat, and football coaches getting Gatorade dumped on them. Might be nice to see some more fun things happening in the NHL without hockey “culture” ruining it. 

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  • Hockey Buddha

    I don’t know about everyone else, but I think that Chris is having a little too much fun on this blog, and it’s darn well time someone stepped in to crush the joy from him.

  • kiaora

    I don’t get the claim in this thread that other sports celebrate more. I am a New Zealand rugby fan, traditionally, the New Zealand team (All Blacks) players show no emotion when they score, or just a little handshake. It has lossened up a bit in recent years, but nothing like the hockey celebrations. That doesn’t mean rugby isn’t fun, it just means the very best players don’t feel a need to show off, they let their deeds on the field do the talking. I hope our Oilers do a lot more of that this year.

  • Yes. The game stifles characters. Then it turns around and whines about no TV audience and a dominant demographic that has become the cast of grumpy old men.

    Too stupid to see the correlation… but fixated on HRR sharing as the big number shrinks. They is morons…..