When you think of stars on ice, images of former Olympians in sequins are conjured well ahead of celebs making saucer passes and slamming each other into the boards.
But many Hollywood types bitten by the hockey bug need a fix every now and then. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer, best known for blockbuster films like Top Gun and Armageddon, has been organizing low-key weekly pickup hockey games catering to celebrities craving ice time for over a decade. The game has since snagged many notables in its wide net.
Growing up in Burnaby, B.C., the jazzy crooner worshipped the Vancouver Canucks. If his hockey skills were on par with his pipes he would’ve traded in all the Grammy awards for a shot at hockey glory in a heartbeat. While on tour in the U.K. last year in between gigs, Bublé suited up and took a practice with the EIL’s Nottingham Panthers. “Take your best shots at me and keep the elbows high,” he goaded the team before taking to the ice.
Long before presiding over the paper pushers at Dunder Mifflin as alter ego Michael Scott, Carell played goalie on his high school hockey team in Concord, Mass. On a season 2 episode of The Office, Carell takes the gang out ice-skating to celebrate his birthday and shows up in full hockey gear, stick and all. “I thought about playing in the NHL but you’re on the road so much you have no time to spend with your wife and kids…and I really want a wife and kids,” he quipped, explaining the get-up.
Wonder why Tim Riggins was so good at laying people out on Friday Night Lights? Growing up in Kelowna B.C., Kitch (best known for his role as the buff, constantly brooding Dillon Panthers fullback on Friday Night Lights) played Junior A hockey in the BCHL for the Langley Hornets. While filming FNL he played pickup hockey in Austin, Texas, with other expat puck heads and he’s also participated in one of Luc Robitaille’s Celebrity Shoot Outs.
The Biebs was going top shelf on goalies and rocking opponents against the boards long before he topped the pop charts as a Billboard #1 fixture. Along with skateboarding and chess, hockey is one of Stratford, Ont.’s most famous son’s way of unwinding when he’s not performing in arenas or being chased like a Beatle. When he moved to Atlanta to start recording and before his touring schedule got too hectic, Bieber played the 2008-2009 season with the Atlanta Knights hockey team wearing #18 and has been known to schedule a little skate around on days off from the singing grind.
Despite toting his hockey gear wherever he goes, this country star has gotten more hurt performing than skating around on the ice. He once tore his ACL jumping off a stage riser. Playing hockey he’s never suffered anything worse than a hard puck to the shin. He’s said that for him concerts are like hockey games in that when he goes out on stage he tapes his boots in the same fashion that he laces his skates — using duct tape.