Every hockey fan knows of “The Great One,” (Wayne Gretzky) “Mr. Hockey,” (Gordie Howe) and “Super Mario,” (Mario Lemieux), but not all hockey nicknames are as widespread. Even though most of the sport’s nicknames are memorable, some of them need a little explanation for the rest of the world. Here are some of the NHL’s best nicknames throughout the first 100 years.

Game Enforcers

The Hammer

It’s a miracle Dave Schultz could even fit those hands into a pair of gloves. His “hammers” looked like they could pound any player right down to the ice.


They weren’t brass, but they might as well have been. Chris Nilan was another one known for his own brand of enforcement.

The Grim Reaper

Hockey stick for a scythe, anyone? Stu Grimson’s nickname wasn’t just a shortened version of his name; his stick-wielding skills made the name, well, really stick!

Bob “Battleship” Kelly

Racking up over 100 penalty minutes for four seasons in a row, it’s no surprise that this 6’2″ forward could cruise over just about anyone. Kelly also managed two back-to-back, 25-goal seasons while he was with the Penguins.

Minding the Net


Corey Crawford isn’t one to crow about his own accomplishments, but his nickname does! In media and literature, the Crow is known as the hero with super-powers to get the job done – a name Crawford definitely lives up to!

The Puck Goes Inski

On the flip side, some players get their nicknames from not being so great. Steve Buzinski only lasted nine games in the NHL because, as his nickname says, the puck went “inski.”

More Names That Score


Back in the 1950s and 60s, it was really something to get to that 50-goal mark in one season (and it still is.) Bernie “Boom-Boom” Geoffrion was the second player in the NHL to do so. One of the ways he did it was shooting a slap shot whenever he could.


At the urging of the Los Angeles team owner, Jack Kent Cooke, Bill Flett wasn’t only the first NHL player to wear a beard, but he wore a cowboy hat to every game. Originally a rancher, Flett went on to help the Philadelphia Flyers win their first Stanley Cup in 1974.

The Planet

Before Zdeno Chara set a new record in 2009, Al “The Planet” Iafrate boasted the hardest slap shot in the league. Nicknamed for his peculiar personality, Iafrate had the second highest number of goals in the 1990-91 season for NHL blueliners.

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