The Greatest Quotes About Hockey – Ever

Updated: September 29, 2023 by Bill Burniece

Hockey players can be described in thousands of different ways.

Boring is not one of those ways.

Below is a collection of memorable quotes about hockey by dozens of legendary NHL players and coaches.

Some are really funny and others are compelling. But none are boring.

139 Best Hockey Quotes

Funny Hockey Quotes

  • “I wouldn’t urinate in his ear if his brain was on fire.” – Bobby Hull
  • “Bettman is an asshole. A friggin asshole. I think he’s ruined the game of hockey. He’s supposed to be impartial. He’s supposed to speak for the good of the league, but in my opinion, he’s strictly behind the owners. Those 1996 rule changes are a joke.” – Bob Probert
  • “My former wife made me a millionaire. I used to have three million dollars.” – Bobby Hull
  • “Hockey is a sport for white men. Basketball is a sport for black men. Golf is a sport for white men dressed like black pimps.” – Tiger Woods (quoting his father, Earl Woods, who was a former hockey player).
  • “Biologically, I’m 10. Chronologically, I’m 33. In hockey years, I’m 66.” – Mark Messier
  • “Hockey players wear numbers because you can’t always identify the body with dental records.” – Bob Plager
  • “How would you like a job where, every time you make a mistake, a big red light goes on and 18,000 people boo?” – Jacques Plante
  • “There are rough players and there are dirty players. I’m rough and dirty.” –
    Stan Mikita
  • “I have 3,000 penalty minutes. I don’t need people dictating to me how to do my job.” – Tie Domi
  • “I’ve had some of the best times of my life at The KK. The best staff at the greatest college bar in the country.” – Chris Chelios
  • “Yeah, I’m cocky and I am arrogant. But that doesn’t mean I’m not a nice person.” – Jeremy Roenick
  • “I wear tinted visor not to trick other players, but so hot girls in stands don’t see me looking at them.” – Alexander Ovechkin
  • “I’m not dumb enough to be a goalie.” – Brett Hull
  • “Half the game is mental; the other half is being mental.” – Jim McKenny
  • “We get nose jobs all the time in the NHL, and we don’t even have to go to the hospital.” – Brad Park
  • “My teeth weren’t that good to begin with, so hopefully I can get some better ones.” – Duncan Keith
  • “Only Dunlop has seen more rubber than I have.” – Dominik Hasek
  • “All hockey players are bilingual. They know English and profanity.” – Gordie Howe
  • “You’re too old to still be playing. I’ll buy you a rocker you can sit in.” – Stan Mikita
  • “If you jump out of a plane without a parachute, does that make you brave? No, I think that makes you stupid. I will never play without the mask again.” –
    Jacques Plante
  • “I didn’t speak English until I came to Pittsburgh.” – Mario Lemieux
  • “Hockey is murder on ice.” – Jim Murray
  • “It’s like somebody got really, really fat and then one day they lose four pounds” – Jaromir Jagr

Hockey Quotes About Life

  • “We have to get families back in the game, get back where Saturday night, everything stops. A case of beer comes out and a bottle of rye and anyone who comes to the house, they better want to watch hockey.” – Bobby Hull
  • “I never look forward. I live for today. If you think about what’s going to happen in a year, in two years, then you begin to plan. And plans never come true.” – Alexander Ovechkin
  • “Hockey has given me everything, most importantly it brought me to Swift Current, where I met my wife Deb.” – Joe Sakic
  • “Only one thing is ever guaranteed, that is that you will definitely not achieve the goal if you don’t take the shot.” – Wayne Gretzky.
  • “Dreams are so important. You need to have big goals and expect a lot of yourself but you have to enjoy the ride too.” – Sidney Crosby
  • “I always tell kids, you have two eyes and one mouth. Keep two open and one closed. You never learn anything if you’re the one talking.” – Gordie Howe
  • “Hockey captures the essence of the Canadian experience in the New World. In a land so inescapably and inhospitably cold, hockey is the chance of life and an affirmation that despite the deathly chill of winter, we are alive.” – Stephen Leacock
  • “Don’t worry what people say or what people think. Be yourself.” – Brett Hull
  • “When you play hockey, you don’t have any fear. As soon as you step on the ice everything goes away and you’re focusing on the puck and focusing on the play.” – Alexander Ovechkin
  • “We know that hockey is where we live, where we can best meet and overcome pain and wrong and death. Life is just a place where we spend time between games.” – Fred Shero
  • “I’m leaving the game of hockey with nothing but great memories.” – Joe Sakic
  • “My philosophy is never start talking about ‘if,’ ‘and,’ ‘but’ or the past, because 90 percent of what follows will be negative.” – Gordie Howe
  • “Some of us love hockey not just for its ferocity and skill but for its underlying code of civility off the ice.” – George Vecsey

Hard Work Inspirational Hockey Quotes

  • “My jersey hanging from the ceiling is going to be a symbol of the hard work of the people I played with.” – Mark Messier
  • “It’s not necessarily the amount of time you spend at practice that counts; it’s what you put into the practice.” – Eric Lindros
  • “There’s no experience like on-the-job training.” – Henrik Lundqvist
  • “Hockey is the only job I know where you get paid to have a nap on the day of the game.” – Chico Resch
  • “You can’t get big in hockey if you’re just going to dip your toe in the water. You’ve got to jump into the deep end.” – Brendan Shanahan
  • “I don’t like it when I see people not taking chances. If you don’t take chances, you’ll never make advances.” – Bobby Orr
  • “Hockey players wear numbers because you can’t always identify the body with dental records.” – Unknown
  • “Hockey’s a funny game. You have to prove yourself every shift, every game. It’s not up to anybody else. You have to take pride in yourself.” – Paul Coffey
  • “Hockey is a unique sport in the sense that you need each and every guy helping each other and pulling in the same direction to be successful.” – Wayne Gretzky
  • “The playoffs separate the men from the boys, and we found out we have a lot of boys in our dressing room.” – Neil Smith
  • “There’s no reason why a player is done at 33, 34. They train better, they eat better, they drink better. This isn’t the old days when everybody sat around and drank beer.” – Bobby Clarke
  • “The highest compliment that you can pay me is to say that I work hard every day, that I never dog it.” – Wayne Gretzky

Hockey Coach Quotes

  • “Arrive at the net with the puck and in ill humor.” – Fred Shero
  • “If it’s free, it’s advice; if you pay for it, it’s counseling; if you can use either one, it’s a miracle.” – Jack Adams
  • “Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion. You must first set yourself on fire.” – Fred Shero
  • “Coaches are like ducks. Calm on top, but paddling underneath. Believe me, there’s a lot of leg movement.” – Ken Hitchcock
  • “You can have all the talent in the world, but if the pumper’s not there, it doesn’t matter.” – Glen Sather
  • “You don’t have enough talent to win on talent alone.” – Herb Brooks
  • “I don’t have bad relationships with my players. But I don’t get into long conversations with them either.” – Scotty Bowman
  • “Maybe one of the qualities of being a great coach is being [a jerk]. There are quite a few of them around.” – Larry Robinson
  • “This is a hump you have to get over, and it usually comes in the first series. You get over the hump and you’re on a roll.” – Al Arbour
  • “The toughest job for a coach today is handling the press after a game.” – Toe Blake
  • “Would I like to have us healthy and be playing our full lineup? Absolutely. But that’s not something I can control as a coach. Things happen and we’re just going to have to fight through it.” – Jared Bednar
  • “If I had the Rangers payroll, I’d never lose a game.” – Glen Sather
  • “The goal is too small and the goalies are too big.” – Scotty Bowman
  • “There is something about Game 7 that there’s a memory there for you for sure.” – Mike Babcock
  • “There is nothing so uncertain as a sure thing.” – Scotty Bowman
  • “There is no escalator to [hockey] success only steps.” – Glen Sather

Famous Hockey Quotes

  • “Great moments are born from great opportunities. This is your moment. You’re meant to be here.” – Herb Brooks
  • “A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.” – Wayne Gretzky
  • “Every day you guys look worse and worse. And today, you played like tomorrow.” – John Mariucci
  • “Hockey is a tough game.” – Bobby Orr
  • “It’s a great day for hockey.” – Bob Johnson
  • “Canada is hockey.” – Mike Weir
  • “Every day is a great day for hockey.” – Mario Lemieux
  • “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” – Wayne Gretzky
  • “Rocket had that mean look on, every game we played. He was 100 percent hockey. He could hate with the best of them.” – Gordie Howe
  • “I didn’t hear him because my two Stanley Cup rings were plugging my ears.” – Patrick Roy
  • “Sometimes you do the hard work and set the table, and somebody else eats the meal.” – Brian Burke
  • “Trust me, I’m a really nice guy.” – Bob Probert
  • “When we’ve got the puck, they can’t score.” – Paul Coffey
  • “Growing up in Canada, I didn’t watch football much.” – Sidney Crosby
  • “The three important elements in hockey are: the forecheck, the backcheck and the paycheck.” – Gilbert Perreault
  • “I went to a fight the other night, and a hockey game broke out.” – Rodney Dangerfield (Comedian)
  • “We are the sort of people that make health insurance popular.” – Terry Sawchuk
  • “If someone gave the Russians a football, they’d win the Super Bowl in two years.” – Frank Mahovlich
  • “Is hockey hard? I don’t know, you tell me. We need to have the strength and power of a football player, the stamina of a marathon runner, and the concentration of a brain surgeon. But we need to put all this together while moving at high speeds on a cold and slippery surface while 5 other guys use clubs to try and kill us. Oh yeah, did I mention that this whole time we’re standing on blades 1/8 of an inch thick? Is ice hockey hard? I don’t know, you tell me. Next question.” – Brendan Shanahan
  • “Outdoor hockey is what it is all about.” – Paul Coffey

Inspirational Hockey Quotes 

“Bravery is not the absence of fear, but the action in the face of fear.” – Mark Messier

“You find that you have peace of mind and can enjoy yourself, get more sleep, and rest when you know that it was a one hundred percent effort that you gave – win or lose.” – Gordie Howe

“Goals live on the other side of obstacles and challenges. Be relentless in pursuit of those goals, especially in the face of obstacles. Along the way, make no excuses and place no blame.” – Ray Bourque

“Play with passion and heart. If you don’t carry passion into sport – or into any job for that matter – you won’t succeed.” – Phil Esposito

“Risk something or forever sit with your dreams.” – Herb Brooks

“Play every game as if it’s your last one.” – Guy Lafleur

“Positive expectations are important for your hockey success because you tend to get what you expect.” – Felicity Luckey

“Talent is a gift, but you can only succeed with hard work.” – Jean Beliveau

“Forget about style; worry about results.” – Bobby Orr

“My recruiting key: I looked for people first, athletes second. I wanted people with a sound value system as you cannot buy values. You’re only as good as your values. I learned early on that you do not put greatness into people, but somehow try to pull it out.” – Herb Brooks

Hockey Quotes About Scoring

  • “I knew at a young age, whether I was playing baseball or hockey or lacrosse, that my teammates were counting on me, whether it be to strike the last batter out in a baseball game or score a big goal in a hockey game.” – Wayne Gretzky
  • “Always keep your composure. You can’t score from the penalty box; and to win, you have to score.” – Bobby Hull
  • “If you go to ice and you think, ‘I must score’ or ‘I must get some points,’ you won’t score or get any points. You must go and play and don’t think about it.” – Alexander Ovechkin
  • “That’s what I want to do, find ways to score.” – Connor McDavid
  • I’m probably the only guy in hockey who can win a scoring title and everybody is saying I had a bad year. I don’t worry about it.” – Wayne Gretzky
  • “When Bobby came into the league he was a rushing defenseman, a goal scorer and a point-getter. He just opened the game up to more offense and that’s the way the game is played now.” – Johnny Bucyk
  • “I had an opportunity many, many times to go to the Playboy Mansion with Hugh Hefner. Jerry Buss asked me many times and you know what, looking back that was stupid of me not going there.” – Marcel Dionne

Hockey Quotes About Teamwork

  • “I get a feeling about where a teammate is going to be. A lot of times, I can turn and pass without even looking.” – Wayne Gretzky
  • “I started as a fourth-line fighter, went to being a third-line center, then a second-line winger and a first-line center. I’ve played every role there is, and the only thing that matters is helping the team win.” – Mark Messier
  • “Hockey is not a one-man show; it’s a team effort. If you don’t work as a team, even if one or two guys aren’t working, you’re not going to win. That’s the way it is.” – Guy Lafleur
  • “A championship team wins because it already has established players, while a talented team is just beginning to establish players.” – Alexander Ovechkin

Best Don Cherry Quotes

Don Cherry, aka Grapes, is a former professional hockey player and NHL coach. He is known for his flamboyant wardrobe, wildly opinionated commentating style, and staunch patriotism.

He was the featured host of the Coach’s Corner, the hockey opinion and debate segment broadcast during the first-period break of CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada, from 1986 until being fired in 2019 for controversial comments.

Never short on opinions, he has dropped some bombs over his career.

Below is a nice collection of his memorable quotes about hockey:

  • ‘What I said was if you’re wearing a visor and you’re going for safety, OK. But don’t go around being a tough guy”.
  • “Most of the guys that wear them are Europeans and French Guys.”
  • “He was wearing a visor. I thought he was Russian.”
  • “I never, ever said ‘don’t wear a visor’.”
  • “How would you like that guy operating on you with those hands?”
  • “When I was a kid, I used to pray the Lord to make me a Hockey player. But I forgot to mention the NHL, so I spent 16 years in the minors”
  • “A million comedians starving to death and you’re trying to be one.”
  • “Anybody who says they don’t like fighting in the NHL have to be out of their minds.”
  • “I never understand this. He’s got 11 power-play goals, nobody touches him. He’s got a cannon [of a shot]. If he doesn’t put it in, he tears your ankles off. Get [McCabe] out there.”
  • “I love them so much I still wear their shorts.”
  • “People think common sense is common – but it’s not.”
  • “My 3 players of the game: No. 1 – the Zamboni driver. No. 2 – an usher. No 3. – a guy selling popcorn.”
  • “I’m the only guy in the world who turned down $15,000 because his dog wouldn’t fly.”
  • “Here’s Wellwood, Seven-and-oh in the faceoffs, plus-two, two assists, played 20 minutes, drew eight minutes on the power play, lost a tooth and a pint of blood. What a guy.”
  • “Never forget a friend. And never forget an enemy.”
  • “Even then (in the early days), I had the best suits and best shirts. I always looked sharp. The kids didn’t have shoes, but I always looked good.”

My Favorite Letterkenny Hockey Quotes & Others

  • “You’re made of spare parts, aren’t you, bud?”
  • “How are yah now? Good and you?”
  • “Listen up you pylons.”
  • “You naturally care for companionship, but I guess there are a lot worse things than playing a little one-man couch hockey in the dark.”
  • “Tarps off – shirts off.”
  • “It’s like algebra…why you gotta put numbers and letters together. Why can’t you just go fuck yourself?”
  • “You can cross fuck off.”
  • “Nothing is better than a fart. Except kids falling off bikes maybe. Fuck, I could watch kids fall off bikes all day. I don’t give a shit about kids.”
  • “I could donk all day boys.”
  • “Instead of putting your phone on silent, how about silent but deadly.”
  • “You got half your finger cut off one of three ways: bike chain, bandsaw, penalty box door.”
  • “Buddy, you couldn’t wheel a fucking tire down a hill.”
  • “The bottom inch of a beer bottle is 50% spit.”
  • “I enjoy horizontal refreshment for my vertical smile.”
  • “Fuck Lemony Snicket, what a series of unfortunate events you fuckin been through you ugly fuck.”
  • “One man couch hockey in the dark.”
  • “Let’s have a Donny Brook.”
  • “Dirty fucking dangles boys.”


As you probably know by now, this website is all about beer league hockey.

While we don’t have the skills to play at the pro level like all of the legends quoted above, we can run our mouths with the best of them.

The shit I’ve heard in the locker room, on the bench, and in the parking lot (after a pile of beers) would really make you laugh.

Soon I will put together another page on hockey quotes uttered by us beer leaguers.

Oh, and if you are looking for a local league: find beer hockey league near you.

Thanks for reading.

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