What NHL players were up to this summer

NHL News


It’s hard to top the summer Sidney Crosby and the rest of the Pittsburgh Penguins had, as they celebrated all over the world with the Stanley Cup. Phil Kessel won the offseason when he ate hot dogs — and trolled some critics — out of the trophy. And perhaps no one had more fun partying with Lord Stanley than Penguins defensemen Olli Maatta and Justin Schultz.

But a number of other non-Penguins had memorable offseasons too. The boys of winter spent their summer downtime at the beach and the ballpark, and with their best buddies and loved ones. They got hitched and had babies. The lost their collective minds over the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor fight. Pro hockey players — they’re just like the rest of us! Here are some of the highlights of what they did last summer.

They hit the links

They went fishing

They kicked up their heels at concerts

They geeked out over Mayweather-McGregor

They dined out

Top draft pick Nico Hischier is already making a name for himself in New Jersey. Newark’s Hobby’s Deli has already named a sandwich after the 18-year-old Swiss center: the Nico No. 1 sandwich, which features grilled chicken, a red “jersey” tomato and, of course, Swiss cheese.

They did yoga

They spectated at other sports

Toronto Maple Leafs center and Calder Trophy winner Auston Matthews, an Arizona native, caught a game between his hometown Diamondbacks and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Chase Field in August.

New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist — who played nearly as much tennis as he did hockey growing up in Sweden — and his wife, Therese Andersson, are regulars at the US Open.

St. Louis Blues teammates Colton Parayko and Alex Pietrangelo took their talents to the racetrack for an Indy Car event.

They got married

It was the summer of love for NHL players, as it seemed like someone from every team got hitched.

Alex Ovechkin and his wife, Nastasiya, were officially married last summer, but the couple celebrated their union with an extravagant wedding reception on July 8 at Barvikha Luxury Village, an exclusive enclave just outside of Moscow. The date is significant to the Washington Capitals forward for two reasons — it’s a holiday in Russia known as the Day of Family, Love and Faithfulness, and, of course, because Ovechkin wears No. 8 for the Caps.

Ovechkin’s teammates Dmitry Orlov and Evgeny Kuznetsov, St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko and former NHL forward Ilya Kovalchuk attended the wedding. But a shirtless Ovi — who danced and “sang” along to Boney M’s hit “Rasputin” — more or less stole the show:

Erik Karlsson, Tyler Bozak, Andrei Markov, Matt Duchene and Jakob Silfverberg also tied the knot in scenic venues around the world:

They partied at pals’ weddings

Carl Hagelin won his second Cup and got hitched to longtime girlfriend Erica Uebel in Stockholm. Fellow Swedes Karlsson and Henrik Lundqvist, along with Norwegian Mats Zuccarello, were on hand to help him celebrate:

When Jordan Eberle married his high-school sweetheart, Lauren Rodych, in Calgary, in July, former teammates Connor McDavid and Taylor Hall nearly stole the show. After crooning some karaoke …

… Hall did his best goalie impression, taking shots from McDavid, his onetime roommate in Edmonton.

They welcomed new additions

They did daddy duty

They cried “uncle”

They hit the beach

They volunteered

They spent quality time with their best friend

They played pickup hockey with pals

The San Jose Sharks‘ bearded duo of Brent Burns and Joe Thornton decided to stick together for an ESPN the Magazine Body Issue shoot.



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