One Big Happy Hockey Family

By staff May 1, 2007

Southwest Florida hockey players are an in-breeding bunch.


By Hannah Wallace


“At most weddings, people talk about how nice everyone looks. At a hockey wedding, you hear, ‘I think Detroit’s going to wind up playing Calgary in the first round.’” –A guest at Lefty’s wedding

THE HAPPY COUPLE: The newlyweds take their first walk together.


 “It’s a hockey wedding. You’ll never go to another one.” After I devoted so much blog space to Mr. and Mrs. Harrible’s New Year’s Eve wedding, another teammate, the Canadian southpaw, voiced her disappointment that her wedding—also between two of my hockey teammates—hadn’t gotten its due. And when Lefty tells you to do something, you do it; getting punched hurts.


(Besides, she’s a fellow Hatter: When we first met in between games at a tournament two years ago, Lefty and I took all of 30 seconds to triangulate our Stetson experiences and realize we’d lived right across the hall from each other in 2001.)


With all the weddings and engagements lately, locker room conversations have veered into unusual territory (albeit it at the objection of some of our male teammates): How to avoid bruising before the big day; when to go third-man-in on your fiancé’s fistfight; what to do when your new husband walks around the rink in his jock shorts; and whether it’s better to take off your diamond ring before a game, or leave it on and risk “implanting it in someone’s forehead,” as Lefty put it.


Like Mr. and Mrs. Harrible (and, in fact, another newly engaged couple), Lefty paired off with a teammate, Captain Beerslinger. Last year, he proposed to her on the big screen at a Lightning game. Thus, their April wedding took place under the huge lightning bolt sculpture outside the St. Pete Times Forum, as the Lightning mascot, Thunderbug, looked on.


Guests in the crowd included a collection of hockey players from Naples through Tampa, members of leagues and teams in Estero, Ellenton and Brandon. Everyone had been instructed to bring their sticks, which lined the aisle two or three deep during the ceremony. The program listed four different teams in attendance.

Cap 2: ROYAL PROCESSION: A hockey stick archway, just like the king and queen of Canada.


As the newlyweds took their first walk together, all hockey players stood and lifted their sticks, creating an archway over the procession. The scene took on an interesting air of nobility—right up to the point when players began smacking the happy couple in the ass as they walked by. Yep, still a hockey wedding.


Everyone strolled together across the street to the reception, like a post-game celebration, only more so. All of us hockey siblings—or cousins, at least—spent the afternoon eating fried shrimp on the patio. Not just a hockey wedding, but a Florida hockey wedding.


During her speech, the matron of honor (and founding woman behind the Ms. Conduct hockey team) validated our good times: “Everyone keeps talking about how weddings bring two families together. But there’s a third family you should keep in mind: the hockey family. Without the hockey family, none of this would have happened.”


Cheers to the newlyweds, and pass the cocktail sauce.
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