Hockey players are a breed of their own. They are a family, linked in the unbreakable bond that exists from the first time they step onto the ice and lasts for a lifetime.
They are fierce and courageous. They are not afraid to sweat or bleed or break for their teammates. They endure seemingly endless bag skates, 6AM practices, and road trips across the country.
Their intensity is un-matchable, as is the beauty they create every time they fly across the ice.
But the thing about hockey players.... their first love will always be the game. It's not that they are selfish or uncaring, but they have given everything of themselves to this sport. And they love it with all their hearts.
So if you're considering dating a hockey player, keep these points in mind. And remember, hockey is in their blood. Nothing you do will ever change that.
1. Teammates will always be family. Notice I didn't say like family. I said family. To a hockey player, the teammates that stand beside them everyday will always be brothers or sisters. For a hockey player, blood is irrelevant. A team is a family, and family comes first.
2. Ice comes before other activities. It doesn't matter if it's a practice or a game or a pick-up session. If there's an opportunity to be on the ice, a hockey player will be there. No party, no class, no date night will ever matter more.
3. Loyalty is part of the lifestyle. I realize this doesn't sound like such a bad thing. But keep in mind that this loyalty isn't just to their own team. It also includes their favorite college or pro teams, home rinks, and past coaches and teammates. If someone or something has made a difference in the playing career of a hockey player, you can bet there exists an undying sense of loyalty.
4. Hockey schedules are crazy. And there's no off-season. A true hockey player is on the ice year-round. They travel across the state, or even the country, every other weekend to play. They skate late at night and early in the morning; wherever and whenever they can get on the ice.
5. Hockey players are insanely passionate. They will stand in front of a 100mph slap shot, just to eliminate the possibility of a goal. They'll go into the corners with someone twice their size, or start a fight if the opposing team gets too aggressive with their goalie. They don't care if they get hurt. They recognize the risks that exist every time they step onto the ice, and they embrace them with open arms.
6. It doesn't matter who they piss off. Mom's mad because they stayed on the ice an extra half hour? It was worth it. Dad's upset because that's the third stick they've broken this season? They had to win the battle for the puck. To a hockey player, the game comes first. They'll deal with the consequences afterwards.
7. Their first love will always be the game. Don't get me wrong, it's not that hockey players are incapable of loving anything else. But hockey was their first love and will always matter the most.