For better or for worse, hockey goalies are known for being a little bit out there. After all, you’d have to be crazy to enjoy having frozen, rubber pucks shot at you all game, right? Here are our picks for the top 10 strangest goalie quirks:
10. Best Friends with the Posts
It’s said that the posts are a goalie’s best friends, but some take that saying more seriously than others. Some goalies pat, thank, or even kiss the posts after they deflect a shot on goal. But there are also those who take this relationship even farther and engage in full-blown conversations with the posts.
9. Excessive Pre-Game Rituals of Hockey Goalies
Most players have some sort of pre-game ritual. Usually this involves something like a specific music playlist or warmups in a particular order. However, some goalies take the pre-game ritual to the next level.
Ron Tugnutt was known for an elaborate ritual that went something like this:
- Figure eight in the crease
- Abrupt turn into a crouch
- Stops 20 feet from the crease
- Leaps out of a squat
- Taps all of his pads
- Hops on one foot, then the other
- Tilts his head
- Raises his stick and rubs the taped blade
8. Go Blonde or Go Home
Damian Rhodes had a different form of pre-game ritual which didn’t take place on the ice. Instead, he would dye his hair blonde before every game. While Ron Tugnutt’s ritual could be viewed as some sort of warmup, we’re not sure having blonde hair actually makes a difference.
7. Hockey Goalies are Superstitious About Superstitions
With so many different pre-game rituals, it’s clear that hockey goalies are a superstitious bunch, but some are even superstitious about superstitions. When asked about their superstitions, some will refuse to elaborate on them out of fear that they will no longer work — or it could just be that they realize how crazy their superstitions are.
6. Don’t Touch the Gear
Ed “Crazy Eddie” Belfour was known for being extremely possessive of his gear. While most hockey goalies don’t appreciate anyone messing with their gear, Ed Belfour has been heard warning people, “you touch my stuff, I’ll kill you.” While we’re pretty sure Ed wouldn’t actually do that, it’s not clear if anyone ever tried to find out.
5. The Puck Flip
Some goalie rituals don’t take place before the game, but rather during it. Bill Ranford was known for refusing to hand the puck over to the referees until after he had flipped it into the air and caught it on the back of his glove. Please don’t do this, we only have a limited amount of time on the ice!
4. The Lines are Lava
“The floor is lava” is a popular game for children, but some adult hockey goalies still like to play their own version of it. Patrick Roy was one such goalie who made sure to step over every line on the ice rather than letting his skates touch them. We wonder what he would have done if he accidentally stepped on one.
3. Hockey Goalies and Lucky Shirts
Lucky items aren’t that uncommon, but at least one goalie has taken this too far. Pelle Lindbergh had a lucky, orange shirt which he would wear during every game. He would even have it sewn up whenever it got torn too much. However, what makes this lucky shirt in particular stand out is that he refused to wash it.
Throughout his professional career, that lucky shirt was never washed, most likely much to the chagrin of his teammates.
2. Past Lives of Hockey Goalies
Everything on this list up to this point is pretty strange, but these last two goalie quirks are straight up crazy. Gilles Gratton, or Grattoony the Loony as he was known, seemed to genuinely believe that he had memories from his past lives. He claimed that the reason he was a goalie in this life was to pay for the sins of his previous lives.
One of his stories included being a Spanish soldier during the Inquisition who was run through with a spear — the explanation he gave for his abdominal pain. Another involved a previous life as an executioner who stoned people to death. This one seems to have caused him to develop a fear of the puck, as he began to dodge them rather than blocking them.
1. Sick Before the Game
And our choice for the weirdest goalie quirk goes to Glenn Hall who claimed he had to make himself throw up before every game — and then apparently drink a glass of orange juice. As he put it, if he wasn’t feeling sick by the start of the game then he hadn’t done everything possible to make himself play better.
Maybe it was just nerves that made him throw up before each game and this was just the explanation he gave to the media. Either way, we don’t recommend you attempt this yourself!
Speaking of Goalies… We Need Some!
Are you a goalie with strange quirks? If so, or even if you’re a goalie without strange quirks, Shinny USA wants you! We need more goalies who are available during our play days. Goalies always play free, regular & fill-in spots are available, and we only ever schedule two goalies per game — so there’s no splitting time. All we ask is that you leave that shirt you never wash at home and try not to throw up! Contact Shinny USA today to learn more about our play days and times.