Hockey For Beginners – Get to know your Nicknames

Posted on January 27, 2012 by


“Titles are but nicknames, and every nickname is a title.” – Thomas Paine

We know them by their nicknames. The Great One, Rocket Richard and Super Mario. Because really, every great sport player has been given a nickname. It makes us closer to them, more attainable if you will. This is a name we gave them, a name we dubbed them. In otherwords, because of our shared experience, a nickname strengthens our bond, makes us a true “us” and less “me” and “you”.

So what happens when you are new to the sport, and all the guys/gals you are watching the game with go into nickname mode? You have no idea who they are talking about! Some you can figure out, like Kopi for Kopitar or Quickie for Quick, etc. Most players they add an “ie” at the end of their name like Richie for Richardson or Willie for Williams. Some times you get an “er” as in Greener for Greene. But what about those fancy ones? The ones that do not have a play on the name. Let’s look at a few and familiarize you with some of the more well known ones.

First off, let’s start with the oldies but goodies. These are the ones that have carried through the years. The Greats:

  • Maurice Richard – The Rocket
  • Wayne Gretzky – The Great One
  • Mario Lemieux – Super Mario
  • Gordie Howe – Mr. Hockey
  • Henri Richard – The Pocket Rocket
  • Glenn Hall – Mr. Goalie
  • Bobby Hull – The Golden Jet
  • Don Cherry – Grapes
  • Bernie Geoffrion – Boom Boom

That is just a few that you might still hear today. Here are a few who are currently playing on other teams in the NHL that you will want to know:

  • Sidney Crosby – Sid the Kid
  • Dustin Byfuglien – Big Buff
  • Zdeno Chara – Big Z
  • Jean-Sebastien Giguere – Jiggy
  • Alex Goligoski – Go-Go
  • Jarome Iginla – Iggy
  • Nicolas Lindstrom – The Perfect Human
  • Henrick Lundqvist – Hank
  • Roberto Luongo – Bobby Lu
  • Evgeni Malkin – Geno
  • Antti Niemi – Nemo
  • Teemu Selanne – The Finnish Flash
  • Tim Thomas – The Tank
  • James Wisniewski – Wiz

Now when you hear those names during the game, you’ll know who they are talking about!

Here are  a few Los Angeles Kings ones that are not just an “ie” or “er”:

  • Anze Kopitar – Kopistar (ok, thats an easy one – but a goodie!)
  • Justin Williams – J-Dubs
  • Kyle Clifford – The Big Red Dog
  • Dustin Penner – Pencakes (fairly new – haha)
  • Alec Martinez – A-Mart
  • Trent Hunter – AK47

We could go on for hours with the nicknames but I think this will do for now. Mike Richards is the only one left without a nickname. Hopefully we can get him something by the end of the season. Thanks to Michelle for the suggestion of nicknames for this article.

Go Kings! er, I mean The Royalty or  The Crown or to our foes, The Queens!

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