The Adult Hockey Player’s Bucket List

For most adult hockey players, “living the dream” simply means putting on the skates and hitting the ice one or more times a week with your friends.

Ultimately, it’s about the experience. And in hockey, there are many amazing experiences to be had – from achieving personal goals, playing for gear, hockey-themed trips, and having fun with friends and family. Here are a few things that should be on every adult hockey player’s “bucket list” (in no particular order):

  1. Host an epic post-game barbecue.
  2. Play goalie at least once. Goalkeepers, try to play at least once.
  3. If your climate allows it, build an ice rink in your backyard.
  4. Catch a United States Women’s National Team game.
  5. Register your team for a USA Hockey Adult Classic destination Tournament, presented by Labatt Bleu.
  6. Watch an NHL Winter Classic.
  7. Try a stick movement behind the net.
  8. Play the Labatt Blue Pond Hockey American National Hockey Championships in Eagle River, Wisconsin.
  9. Save for that stick or skates you’ve always dreamed of.
  10. Play roller hockey.
  11. Visit the American Hockey Hall of Fame in Eveleth, Minn.
  12. Go to work exhausted because you were watching / playing hockey late at night.
  13. Call in sick to watch / play hockey.
  14. Organize a team, a weekly skate or an annual game with your colleagues.
  15. Try the spinorama.
  16. Rollerblading at work.
  17. Host an NHL video game tournament.
  18. Visit Lake Placid, NY and Herb Brooks Arena.
  19. Watch the Minnesota State High School Hockey Tournament.
  20. Check out some college games at venues such as The Whale (Yale), Yost (Michigan), the new Ed Robson Arena (Colorado College) and the soon-to-be-completed rink in Arizona State.
  21. Take some American hockey equipment, for you and your loved ones.
  22. Get a photo with the Stanley Cup (tap or not, it’s a personal choice).
  23. See your favorite NHL team on the road.
  24. Attend a sled or a special hockey event.
  25. Introduce a friend (or a child) to sport.
  26. Compete in the USA Hockey Adult National Championships in Florida.
  27. Volunteer to help your local youth organization.
  28. Catch a Premier Hockey Federation (formerly National Women’s Hockey League) game.
  29. Set up a shooting / stick handling area at home.
  30. Watch / stream several games at home.
  31. Grow your hockey hair.
  32. Giving back to the hockey community in one way or another, be it your local club / association, USA Hockey Foundation, NHL hockey is for everyone.
  33. Attend the NCAA Frozen Four with your hockey friends.
  34. Say you need a new stick even if deep down you know it isn’t the stick.
  35. Watch a game at Madison Square Garden.
  36. Start a collection of shirts, pucks or cards.
  37. Hockey coach.
  38. Relive the 1980 or 2018 US Olympic gold medal games the day before your big game.
  39. Plan a trip to Boston for the Beanpot.
  40. Offer a hockey game.
  41. Play boot hockey.
  42. Play fantastic hockey.
  43. Attend the World Junior Championship and catch a glimpse of the game’s future superstars.
  44. Host an NHL Draft Watch Party.
  45. Go five holes on a breakaway.
  46. Go backhand, high end.
  47. Catch an American Hockey League game for one of their many fun promotional nights.
  48. Have someone complain about the smell of your gear.
  49. Explain the stench of hockey to this person.
  50. Love the game for life.

Catherine J. Martinez