In recent weeks, there’s been an outpouring of interest in celebrities who played hockey. This was, in part, spurred on by USA Hockey sharing Paris Hilton’s page on Elite Prospects.
However, despite having an Elite Prospects page, reports say that Paris Hilton could barely skate. If a hockey all-star team of living celebrities was assembled, she certainly wouldn’t be on the roster.
This of course begged the question: well, who would make that roster? And, lucky enough for you, I took the time and decided, with my extremely limited knowledge of celebrities, who would crack the celebrity all-star hockey roster.
Author’s note: sure, some of these may be stretches, but there aren’t a ton of hockey players out there, so hang in there with me.
LW Avril Lavigne - C Tom Glavine - RW Taylor Kitsch
Little known fact: not only did Tom Glavine win a World Series with the Atlanta Braves, but he also was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in 1984, going at #69 overall in the fourth round. Why? He played prep hockey in Massachussets and casually put up 47 goals and 47 assists for a whopping 94 points in *checks notes* 23 games. Glavine is head and shoulders the best player on this roster.
The rest of the first line is rounded out with Avril Lavigne, who played hockey through her youth, and Taylor Kitsch, who once played in the BCHL. While known best for his role in the Friday Night Lights TV series, Kitsch potted 23 points in 36 games for the Langley Hornets back in 2001-02. With this line, I’m confident that Glavine is going to open up space and time for his teammates. While Glavine is clearly the star, Lavigne and Kitsch should both have some finishing ability while Glavine absorbs pressure.
LW Nyjer Morgan - C Dennis Leary - RW Justin Bieber
Talk about a line that nobody would ever want to play against.
Let’s start with Milwaukee Brewers legend (remember that game 5 extra innings walk-off against Arizona?), T-Plush/Nyjer Morgan/whatever he wants to be called on any given day. He probably deserves to be on the first line over Avril Lavigne, as Morgan once played juniors for the WHL’s Regina Pats.
However, let’s be honest: he fits in better on this line.
Playing alongside actor Dennis Leary and with Justin Bieber on the other wing, there isn’t a line in any league that these guys can’t goad into a penalty—so long as they’re staying out of the box themselves. Bieber’s game and attitude gives me major Brad Marchand vibes. The chaotic energy between Bieber and Morgan together could potentially tear this line apart, but I’m betting on them feeding off of one another to create a line that is guaranteed to score goals and have the most over-the-top audacious goal celebrations just to piss everyone else off.
As for Leary, well, here’s all we need to know:
Decades ago I played hockey with #AlanThicke and he told me something I never forgot: "Ever hear of passing the fucking puck, asshole?" RIP— Denis Leary (@denisleary) December 14, 2016
The Wily Veterans
LW Cuba Gooding Jr. - C Jerry Bruckheimer - RW Michael J. Fox
Producer Jerry Bruckheimer was almost left off this list as, now owning the Seattle franchise, I thought he might have been too close to the hockey world for consideration. However, when I found out that actor Cuba Gooding Jr. played with Bruckheimer on Bruckheimer’s own rink, they both had to bring that chemistry to my roster.
Rounding out the line is Michael J. Fox who, despite his love of hockey playing as a kid in Edmonton, never was able to make the jump to higher youth levels. According to Eliteprospects, he once said “I was never really talented hockey player, I didn’t have hockey sense, I was fast and I’d say I was elusive.” Fast and elusive is still good enough for a spot on a third line made of a bunch of wily old veterans of the game.
The “We Also Can Skate” Line
LW Kurt Russel - C Keenan Thompson - RW Michael Bublé
The obvious candidate for player-coach, Kurt Russel, best known for his role as Herb Brooks in Miracle, takes the spot on left wing. It’s pretty obvious from Miracle that the guy knows how to skate, and he definitely knows a thing or two about the game. His son Wyatt used to play juniors for the Chicago Steel before going to Holland to play.
Keenan Thompson, longtime comedian on Saturday Night Live, learned to skate a long time ago. Once upon a time, he played the role of Russ Tyler, knucklepuck legend, in The Mighty Ducks movie series. From some recent clips, including one where the SNL cast and Kevin Hart all skated on Rockefeller Plaza, he can still clearly skate. The power forward nicely fills our last opening at center.
Moving to the right wing, Vancouver native Michael Bublé has said on more than one occasion that, were he better at hockey as a kid, his music would never have existed. That tells me all I need to know about his dedication and work ethic to this team.
LD David Alan Coulier - RD J.J. Watt
Back in Michigan, David Alan Coulier of Full House used to play defense alongside John Blum—the old one from the 70’s, not the one who used to be a Predator. Blum played college hockey for Michigan before eventually making the jump to the NHL; it’s probably a safe bet that his defensive partner growing up was a pretty darn good player too.
Now, on to the big fish.
J.J. Watt of the Houston Texas, had he continued to play hockey, might have challenged Tom Glavine as the best player on our roster. As a child before he began terrorizing NFL offenses, Watt played travel hockey in Wisconsin and even played in tournaments over in Germany. In fact, his whole family has a hockey background. Had he pursued hockey further instead of football, there’s not a doubt in my mind that J.J. would have at least played D1 NCAA hockey somewhere (okay, obviously at Wisconsin). In fact, had he gone to Wisconsin for hockey, he would have been there at the same time as Blake Geoffrion and Kyle Turris.
LD Derek Watt - RD T.J. Watt
Oh right, I casually mentioned above that J.J. Watt’s whole family was into hockey, right? Including his two brothers who also are in the NFL?
LD Patrick Swayze - RD Matthew Perry
Sure, Patrick Swayze doesn’t have a hockey background, but well before starring in the hockey cult-classic film Youngblood, Swayze was a long time figure skater. That means we know he has a powerful backwards stride and has great form on his crossovers. And, since we know from Youngblood that he can figure out what to do with a stick, I’m confident in him holding down the fort on defense.
Matthew Perry, best known from his role as Chandler on Friends, was raised in Ottawa and played some hockey up there. Interestingly enough, he was a much better lawn tennis player and was highly ranked as a teen. However, he’s always maintained a connection to hockey and I’m optimistic that Swayze would be able to cover up for Perry getting caught out of position.
In what is clearly the most star-studded position on this roster, Keanu Reeves barely takes over the starting goaltender position. After growing up playing in Toronto, the actor earned an OHL tryout with the Windsor Spitfires, but suffered an injury from which he could not continue his major junior hockey pursuits. He ended up going to school and playing for De La Salle College, taking team MVP honors and garnering the nickname “The Wall.”
Look, I’m going to be really honest here. I played hockey for the College of Wooster, and our biggest rival in hockey was Denison. They were all filled with slimy, scum-of-the-Earth Corey Perry impersonators. In one game my sophomore year, I fought the same Denison player three times (went 3-0 too). I love his work as an actor and comedian, but you better believe that I hold it against Steve that he played in goal for Denison, even if it was twenty years before I played at Wooster.
Aside from his career at Denison (gag), Steve played prep hockey for Middlesex School out in Concord, Massachusetts. He reportedly also still occasionally plays adult league hockey out in Burbank, California.