Ice Hockey at the Movies

hockey movies
TAMPA, FL - MAY 6: Tomas Plekanec #14 of the Montreal Canadiens avoids the check of Steven Stamkos #91 of the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena on May 6, 2015 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)

With no hockey to watch during the close season, the summer can feel too long for many hockey fans. Apart from checking out the excitement surrounding the NHL draft, there isn’t much to look forward to until the season starts again in October. Fortunately, while there may not be much live action on the ice, there’s still plenty of ice hockey to enjoy on film, with a host of action-packed hockey movies to enjoy.

Ice Hockey at the Movies

The Perfect Sport For Movies

With its fast and furious pace, frequent skirmishes and fans right at the ringside, ice hockey lends itself perfectly to movie making. You may not be able to look up the NHL odds and have a flutter on the game, but you can enjoy every detail of the action, often closer than you’d get in normal coverage. Add plenty of off-the-ice drama and a sprinkle of comedy and you have the perfect formula for a box office hit.

Ice Hockey Dramas

There is a rich history of ice hockey movies that trace the story of the game and its stars. Perhaps the best of these is Net Worth, which covers the power struggles that went on in the early days of the sport. The film’s tagline ‘the bloodiest fight in NHL history wasn’t on the ice’ tells you everything you need to know about this turbulent time, which led to the founding of the Players Association.

When it comes to player biopics, The Rocket is hard to beat. The film follows the career of French-Canadian player, Maurice Richard, known as the Babe Ruth of the sport. It’s a fascinating look at the challenges he faced from all sides as he worked his way up and it’s a real tale of underdog success.

UNIONDALE, NEW YORK – MARCH 07: Brock Nelson #29 of the New York Islanders hits Haydn Fleury #4 of the Carolina Hurricanes into the boards during the second period at NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum on March 07, 2020 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Hockey Comedies

This theme of unlikely triumph against the odds is popular in all sports movies, and hockey pictures are no different. From Mystery Alaska, where a small-town pond hockey team take on the big city pros, to the epic Miracle in which Kurt Russell leads the US to an unlikely win against the Russians, the little guys always seem to win when it comes to the screen, if not the ice.

Few films embody the underdog story better than Disney’s The Mighty Ducks, one of the most popular hockey films of all time. Forced to train a rag-tag bunch of poor kids as part of his community service, Emilio Estevez inspires his young charges to go all the way and beat the rich kids at their own game. Not only did the film inspire audiences, raking in over $50 for its $10m budget and prompting two sequels, it also inspired a real life hockey team, The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. Far from a comedy team, the Ducks won the Stanley Cup in 2007 and lifted the Pacific Division crown five years running between 2013 and 2017.

The Best Hockey Movie Ever

While everyone has their own list of top hockey movies, some serious, some not so much, few people will dispute which film is the best of the bunch. Walking away with the Stanley Cup of hockey movies, Slapshot has it all, from a big star coach in Paul Newman, to the all-action fights of the famous

Hanson brothers. Add in a classic underdog story, lots of off-ice politics and romance, and an unlikely cup-winning campaign and you have everything you need to keep you entertained during the off season.

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