The NHL’s history of players includes many interesting names, including those of professions (i.e. Garth Butcher and Jamie Baker). Others have had the mixed blessing of having a foodstuff in their moniker. These are our favorites, with honorable mentions to Taffy Abel, Cody Almond, Bob Berry, Bill Butters, Joey Crabb, Vern Kaiser, Mark Lamb, Andres Nodl and Terry Yake.
10. Bob Beers
Given how many hockey players have been known to imbibe the odd bottle of brewed ale, Beers may have the ideal hockey “food name.” The former Bruins, Lightning, Oilers and Islanders defenseman was dealt twice in his 11-year pro career – meaning, yes, two different NHL GMs made a trade for Beers. Many people inside and outside the hockey world have made the same transaction.
9. Steven Rice
A former star for Canada at the 1991 IIHF World Junior Championship, Rice steamed NHL executives when he never blossomed in hockey’s best league after being drafted 20th overall in 1989. Rice’s minutes were limited in 329 career NHL games and he amassed 64 goals and 125 points before retiring at age 27.
8. Andre Champagne
After a junior career at Toronto’s storied St. Michael’s school, Champagne played only two games at the NHL level, both for the Toronto Maple Leafs. He’d go on to spend most of his decade-long playing career in the American League for Rochester. No telling if he became any more or less bubbly when he did.
7. Adam Oates
One of the most creative playmakers to grace the game, Oates amassed massive offensive numbers in 19 NHL seasons and has more points (1,420) than any U.S. collegiate player in history. Honey, nuts to those who say Oates shouldn’t have been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
6. Jim Korn
An American defenseman who played 11 years for five NHL teams, Korn was a bruiser (racking up 1,801 penalty minutes in 596 career regular season games). In many ways, it’s amazing he never acquired the nickname ‘Crack,’ but perhaps his teammates didn’t care.
5. Jari Kurri
A legend of both the NHL and his native Finland, Kurri was a key cog in the Edmonton Oilers dynasty who scored at least 50 goals in a season on four different occasions. He also had some spice in his game, as evidenced by the fact he had more than 100 penalty minutes six times.
4. Paul Coffey
The legendary defenseman earned most of his Hall of Fame numbers with Edmonton and Pittsburgh before bouncing around the league at the end of his 21-year NHL career. In his final season, he had a cup of, er, hot java with Boston, playing 18 games in 2000-01 before retiring as the No. 2 defenseman all-time in goals (396), assists (1,135) and points (1,531).
3. Frederick ‘Bun’ Cook
His given name was Frederick, but everyone knew the left winger as ‘Bun’ when he skated for the Rangers and Bruins from 1926-37. Part of the ‘Bread Line’ with his brother Bill Cook and Frank Boucher, ‘Bun’ won two Stanley Cups with the Blueshirts, went on to coach more American League teams to championships (seven) than anyone else in that league’s history and was inducted into the HHOF in 1995.
2. Milan Chalupa
Hockey is the last place you’d expect to find a surname such as Chalupa, but for 14 games in 1984-85, it appeared on the back of a Detroit Red Wings jersey on a defenseman who would never play another game in North America after that. The best part? Chalupa is a Czech!
The standard by which all other hockey/food names are measured, both Djoos’ surname (pronounced “juice”) and given name (pronounced “pear”) are foodstuffs. The Swedish defenseman played only 82 NHL games over three seasons in the early ‘90s, but his name leaves a legacy bigger and more fruitful than anything he did on the ice.
The THN.com Top 10 appears Wednesdays only on TheHockeyNews.com.