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The 10 Greatest Hockey Names of All Time

As a jersey maker, I've seen just about every hockey player name there is- so let's take a look at some of the best!
from aaron ekblad to zarley zalapski, here are 10 of hockey's best names.

As a jersey maker I’ve seen just about every hockey player name there is. Some are plain forgettable, like Mike Johnson. But, some names stick in your head like a Taylor Swift banger. On any given day you can see me mouthing names like Jeff Beukeboom, Cal Clutterbuck, and Jonathan Cheechoo while sitting in rush hour traffic. They’re just fun to say.

Other names are hilariously descriptive or just downright strange, so I decided it was time for the definitive list of top 10 hockey names of all-time.

And here it is:

10. bob beers

I remember getting a Bob Beers hockey card when I was a kid and thinking “is this allowed? What’s next Tony Tequila or Mario Malt Liquor?” To that point I had only been exposed to non-alcoholic player names like Paul Coffey or Pär Djoos, but eventually learned to like Beers.


the great hockey name, bob beers.

Beers, Coffey, and Djoos- delicious!

9. bill quackenbush

A Hall of Fame defenseman deserves a first-ballot Hall of Fame hockey name, and Bill Quackenbush certainly won that lottery. You’d think with a name like Quackenbush, Bill would’ve had to fight a lot of guys, but he was actually a very gentlemanly defender, winning the Lady Byng trophy in the 1948–49 season with 23 points and zero penalty minutes.


bill quackenbush- one of the greatest hockey names!

8. mike bossy

This name is pretty apt, because Mike Bossy was the boss of scoring, amassing 1,126 points in just 752 games. He also set the then NHL record for goals by a first-year player with 53 tallies in 1977–78. What a beauty.

Here’s a few other notably appropriate or ironic names:

  • Lindy Ruff. With 1,264 career penalty minutes, it’s safe to say that Lindy played it rough.
  • Jonathan Quick. His cat-like reflexes were a key part to the LA Kings’ two Stanley Cup wins.
  • Jesper Fast. This one’s a bit ironic, as Fast’s top speed falls below the league average.
mike bossy

7. logan stankoven

You know when you trap your partner under the blankets after you fart? Well, now it has a name.


logan stankoven- one of the great hockey names

6. darius kasparaitis

I’ve always loved this name, because Darius Kasparaitis sounds like a medical condition of the butt. Symptoms include gluteus maximus aches, irritation, and in some cases (Eric Lindros) concussion.

There are other great names that work as medical terms:

  • Brooks Orpik. I don’t know what Brooks Orpik disease is, but it sounds like something that has a foundation with A-list celebrity spokespeople.
  • Tommy Wingels. I think my grandma had Wingels last winter.
  • David Legwand. My uncle used a Legwand instead of crutches when he came down with Adam’s Foote.
lidnros kasparatus


The calm before the (Lindros) boom.

5. zarley zalapski

Let’s say you meet a guy and he tells you his name is Zarley. Then you say “Zarley what?” There’s no way you expect him to follow that up with something like “Zalapski”. It’s as if his parents wanted to ensure he’d always be the last to present his book reports in school.



4. ron tugnutt

Nineties goaltending icon Ron Tugnutt is our first name from the dirty category. I’ll leave it to you to figure out why.

Poor Tugger played on some pretty bad teams in his day, finishing his career with a losing record. Despite the poor stats, he’s still a top pick for Nordiques hockey jersey collectors.

Here’s a few more dirty hockey names you can share with your delinquent friends in the locker room:

  • Daren Puppa
  • Grant Clitsome
  • Harry Dick
  • Roman Hamrlik
  • Mario Lemieux

(That last one’s only dirty if you’re a goalie.)


ron tugnutt

3. miroslav satan

Imagine lining up for the opening faceoff, and you find yourself standing opposite of the Devil, himself. Not only did he have “Satan” written on his back, he even wore number 18 for a couple of seasons, which, of course, is three sixes. Coincidence?



2. parris duffus

This hockey name sounds more like a legal term for an ignorant tourist in France. Someone might have their sentence reduced on the grounds of Parris Duffus. 

But, first you must prove reasonable Doughty.


possibly the ultimate hockey name

1. radek bonk

Hands down, the best name to ever grace the back of a hockey sweater belongs to Radek Bonk. While his name is a cartoonish onomatopoeia for the sound a good clobbering makes, Bonk was never a very aggressive player, despite being a pretty big guy.

I always hoped Bonk would marry Betty Boop. Betty Boop-Bonk


the great radek bonk- perhaps the best name in hockey history

honorable mentions

With over a hundred years of hockey, there’s a long list of great/unfortunate names to choose from. Here’s some honorable mentions:

Kevin Shattenkirk. The captain of the Enterprise, right?

Rickard Rackell. Seinfeld fans might confuse this name for a movie about “a young girl’s strange, erotic journey from Milan to Minsk.”

Hakan Loob. This is where I go for a quick, no-appointment oil change.

And, there you have it — the definitive top 10 best hockey names of all-time.

If you had as much fun reading this as I did writing it, then why not sign up for the 4 Shots with Keener newsletter. Every week I go off on some tangent about hockey jerseys and hockey culture and send it right to your inbox. It’s always fun, and often insightful, so smash that subscribe button below, and I’ll see you next week!

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