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Unwanted Puck Bunnies



First and very foremost today, HAPPY 30TH BIRTHDAY to my old balls brother, who a couple weeks ago wasn’t sure if he’d make it to today.  Well he did, bringing his total to 10,950 days of not dying in a row.  A pretty nice streak to put together.  Very consistent.  Love ya bro.


I’ve been asked what I’d like my intro music to be for my weekly spot on XM’s fantasy hockey show.  Yes, I’m still giving advice on fantasy hockey despite being below .500 in my own league.  Hey, Butch Harmon can’t break 90, take a hike.  Any suggestions?  It’s gotta be something badass – after much cogitation, I’m thinking of using the ten-second-in point of “Hip Hop” by Dead Prez:


Wow, that sounds a little tinny on the computer.  I swear that baseline is cool in my car.

What about something from my favourite band, Jimmy Eat World?  A little Pain?


If you don’t like that song, you can stop reading here and go back to Rick Reilly.


Frank (the Tank) from Alaska has fired me a few topics over the past couple weeks, and they seem like good ones to address.  I’ll start with a fun one today.

Unwanted attention from “puck bunnies” (simply to be known as “pucks” from here out.  That’s how they’re known in the locker room anyway.  It’s been minimized to ”she’s a puck” due to the ridiculous amount of words that follow “puck”).puck bunny 2

I’m in the midst of writing a column on the not-so-elusive puck bunny.  Her natural habitat is in the arena, and her modus operandi involves being ever-so-slightly underdressed and ever-so-boldly overmakeuped.  Yes, overmakedup is a word, just ask any middle school teacher.  The player’s Moms hate them, though their Dads are less inclined to feel as negatively about their existence.

The best of the best can earn an unflattering team-nickname-related monikers.  In my day, the Vernon Vipers girls were known as ”Viper Pipers”.  Please note that I had a girlfriend for all those years, as I’m sure my Mom and un-puck-like fiance would encourage me to point out here. 

Moving on.

But Frank makes a good point.  What about the girls who seem to want to be pencilled into that category?  What’s goin on in their kitchens?  The ones who’re conviniently (and conspicuously) hanging around the right places – by the cars, the post-game meal restaurant, wherever – even though nobody wants anything to do with them (“them”, being the specific, uninvited type).  I want one of them to walk me through their thinking.

What’s worse is that it makes it look like we, as players, support the pseudo-stalking.  No, I didn’t invite her.  I don’t know why she’s here either.  Who knows her?  If we find out that someone invited this same girl that’s been hanging around for the last three months, its a fine.  And nobody ever gets fined.  Some how these girls just keep showing up at the right places, like the locker room is bugged.

Forgot to photocopy her ID next to the #, apparently.

Forgot to photocopy her ID next to the #, apparently.

 I assure you, that behaviour is not encouraged.  My family doesn’t want to see my name on a non-hockey-specific sign. When the attention is a completely unprompted anomaly, how do you explain it away?  Why does our reputation always seem to be on the hook when some girls out there are simply a skateblade short of the scene in Psycho?

As I may have mentioned in an article that drew some uh, feedback, the hockey culture is incredibly misogynistic.  And I occasionally make jokes about oh, I dunno, the WNBA and the like, so I’m aware I’m no saint.  Thus, at the risk of once again putting myself in the crosshairs, let me lay out the reasons women should be at men’s hockey games (editors keep correcting my use of “girls” to “women”. I wasn’t aware being termed a “girl” was derogatory, as has been recently discussed in a comments section. “Lets go boys” might be the most overused mid-game expression in our sport, and my feelings aren’t hurt.  But anyway.  Onto the reasons).

1. You like hockey.

Crazy concept, I know.  A lot of women love the game for the same reason a lot of men do: … it’s great.

2. Your husband/fiance is on the team.

Obviously.  You’re married (or to be married).  End of explanation.

3. Your boyfriend is on the team.

Ah, the puck bunny loophole.  “Boyfriend” means different things to different people.  Memorizing a guy’s bio, listening to his interviews and staring at his picture may make it feel like you’re together, but unless you know his family, save yourself the hour of pre-game prep (minimum?) and go play Farmville.  Whatever that is.

4. Your son is on the team.

That should be the number one reason to be there, actually.

5. ….um… anyone got a #5?


The floor is yours people.  Keep the sexist slander to a minimum, if you don’t mind.


35 Responses to “Unwanted Puck Bunnies”
  1. mark says:

    As a male puck bunny, I love hanging around rinks and I love the game. Granted, your recent article on the lack of out gay players can make it a bit uncomfortable when people realize I’m there partially to watch the men playing the game :)

  2. jtbourne says:

    By the way, everyone (why is this a comment?), Happy Remembrance/Veterans Day. Here are some video’s of soldiers being re-united with dogs:

  3. Officer Koharski says:

    #5: You and your friends can get drunk and buy 20 dollar tickets and have a great time. Ever sat up in the 300s at the Coliseum? It’s more a high school cafeteria than an Islander game. Last game against the Rangers, those upper rows were just packed with kids, mostly groups of guys trying to impress the groups of girls with their loudness and macho levels. It was a good time. Hockey games on LI are still just a fun thing for young people to go to and get drunk at.

    The first 30 seconds of this song would make a pretty boss intro to anything. You don’t want to use that Dead Prez song, everyone will immediately think of Dave Chappelle and that’s a high bar to set.

    Unrelated: This is the funniest Chappelle skit:

  4. jtbourne says:

    I actually had that as my number five before deleting it, only because talk about a loophole. “We’re just crazy girls having a crazyyy good time! Weeeeoo!”. Oddly, it never seems to be at bowling. But I agree, that is possible, and does happen. And I support it.

  5. Anna S. says:

    re #1: You like hockey.

    I would wager that most of the women players would call pucks also like hockey. Because let’s face it, there are better places to find eye candy than a hockey rink. There are even better sports for eye candy than hockey, which involves some of the bulkiest, least flattering padding in existence. If she isn’t fond of the game, why not instead creep out on swimmers, who compete in gratifyingly little clothing? If a girl is heading to a rink 5 days a week to stalk players, she probably has at least passing interest in the game itself.

    You shouldn’t need a list of ‘proper’ reasons to watch the game. Women watch hockey for the same myriad reasons men do, and no one feels the need to police boundaries there. Yes, women aren’t blind to the fact that players can be attractive, but that’s not really a problem until they get annoying and creepy about it. I don’t have any issues with women watching the game solely because they find players attractive. If it means that she sits in the stands, cheers on the team like any other fan, maybe wears a jersey for her favorite player, but doesn’t engage in strange stalking behavior, what’s the issue? You just need one simple rule, and all sexes can follow it: don’t be a jerk. If you’re persistent enough to make players uncomfortable, you’re being a jerk. Don’t do that.

    (For a shot at #5: your husband/best friend/dad/mom/boss/cat is a hockey fan, and you want to spend time with them.)

  6. jtbourne says:

    #1 You Like Hockey: is pretty all-encompassing. There’s a million reasons to like it, so any of those will do. That’s not limiting anyone. This is aimed at the “jerks”, as you put it. They ones engaging in the inappropriate behaviour. They need a reason to be there. In fact, they should have to file for some sort of permission slip to be let in more than a few times a year.

  7. Matt Gunn says:

    What about #5: You want to watch the pro’s to get some tips on how to improve your own game. As a goalie, the biggest thing I looked forward to was watching the McLeans and Vernons and Ranfords play so I could closely watch the things they did in warmups and games.

    With hockey on the rise for women, I’d say there are a few women at the game who could be watching for this very reason.

    In an un-related note, come back to Kelowna, Bourne. My mens league team needs some help on the scoresheet.

  8. jtbourne says:

    Pixie Stereotypes killed me. Koharski, you’re easily in my top five favourite commentors.

  9. Kerstin says:

    Are you really stating, that puck bunnies have “few sucess” in whatever their goal is than I expected?
    Groupies should not be welcome?
    Aren’t there always a few guys in each team that a) love/enjoy the attention from good looking(?) girls and maybe also b) “kind of” use it for “their needs” as a male and/or their ego?

    And, are only those guys annoyed by puck bunnies/any stalkers that have a (real) girlfriend/fiance/wife or is it really the whole team?
    Did all teams you played for “live” this opinion?
    I’m just really surprised, nothing personal ;-)

    I’m pretty much into #1 plus I like and sompletely agree with the comment from Anna S. :-)

  10. Char says:

    One thing I’ve always found amusing about male sports fans is their confusion about the fact that a woman sports fan can love the sport (hockey) and also often find the players attractive. (To disagree with Anna a bit — hockey players are, as a group, more attractive than any other pro athletes. Maybe it’s the skating? I don’t know, but they sure are prettier than baseball, basketball or football players, on the whole).

    Anyway, I’ve been a hockey fan for many years and enjoyed the beauty of the game as well as the beauty of (some of) the participants. Heaven knows I don’t watch JUST for that, but it can add to the enjoyment, sure.

    Do men have trouble with this notion because they can’t compartmentalize? Do men watch, say, women’s tennis, and just lust over the women? Or do they just see the tennis? Or can they do both? I’d really like to know.

  11. Jake says:

    Oh Pucks. Most are in total denial as to what they really are. Here are some good intro beats for you J.B.

    Beastie Boys – Rhymin’ and Stealin’
    Beastie Boys – The New Style (10 seconds in)
    (Anything from Liscense to Ill really)
    Fort Minor – There They Go (27 seconds in)
    Thousand Foot Crutch – Rawkfist
    Nu Shooz – I Can’t Wait

  12. Travelchic59 says:

    I have to disagree with how good looking hockey players are. I think just the opposite. Because of the physical altercations in the sport you see more guys with swollen face, disjointed noses and missing teeth. I don’t hink there is anything attractive about a guy that smiles and half his teeth are missing. Reminds me of inhabitants of a trailer park. You don’t see too much of that from MLB, NBA or NFL players – mostly tattoos – also disgusting, but that’s a discussion for another day.

    I like hockey just because it’s a beautiful sport that takes some serious skill to play. I am sure other sports have their “bunnies” too, but I never gave it much thought one way or the other. Good read, JB.

  13. Frank says:

    One of the funniest things I ever saw was when I was living in Calgary….on some sports center highlight, they showed a woman with a poster at a Penguins game that said something along the lines of “Sidney, you can shoot in my five hole anytime you want”. I fell off the couch laughing when I saw that….what would possess ANYONE to show that in public?!

    Justin, what was your reaction on the ice when you saw something like that? A grimace? A wince? Laughter?

  14. jtbourne says:

    Haha…. how bout the random girl who showed up at a game in Alaska during parents weekend with a “Bourne, It’s Yours” sign? Funny, yes. Appropriate? Ever? Even as a joke, in a 6,500 seat arena? Probably not. Maybe from Bri it’d have been funny, maybe.
    Okay, looking back, it’s much funnier than it seemed then.

  15. Neil says:

    It’s a bit broad to make suggestions along the lines of “men can’t _______ because they are _______”, in the same sense that some of the female commentors here are taking offense to the suggestion that liking both hockey and attractive men makes them a “puck”, many men would likely be offended to have themselves grouped in with Spike TV’s most loyal viewers on account of sharing the same gonads.

    I don’t think the comparison of men watching tennis is fair, showing up to a hockey game to get laid, making a poster of your phone number, and stalking guys you could score at any crappy bar isn’t really the same as liking hockey AND men, or watching tennis AND hot women, it would be more like showing up to tennis games for players you think are cute and begging them to have sex with you after the matches. Even if you like the sport, your behaviour indicates you would probably not be attending if the athletes weren’t people you could have sex with, which seems like a stupid reason to buy a jersey and learn a few player names. This was more or less what I took Bourne to be saying?

  16. Neil says:

    I laughed out loud at “Ah, the puck bunny loophole” and “go play Farmville”

  17. Char says:

    Neil, what Bourne and I were saying are two very different things. I was just curious to get a male POV on my questions is all.

    And Travelchic, many (not all) hockey players tend to clean up nicely: ;-)

  18. minnesotagirl71 says:

    Thank you for putting a name to those women we see wearing spaghetti straps and high heeled open toe shoes to hockey games…in January…in Minnesota!

    Do other sports have their own version of the puck bunny?

    What people find attractive varies so much – I don’t think one can categorically say that hockey players are more attractive than other professional athletes. (Minnesota Twins have Mauer and Morneau – I think they are both adorable.) Although, a gap toothed smile always makes me smile back – so hockey players and 6 year olds crack me up!

    One thing I like about professional hockey players is that they seem more like real people. They don’t have a “posse” following them around, or wear doorknob sized diamond earrings. You don’t hear about them partying at the clubs, smuggling firearms on airplanes, driving 120 mph at 3am or having a variety of children from a variety of women…none of whom they have ever been married to. (Basketball MUST have it’s own version of the puck bunny!)

    In interviews hockey players don’t seem arrogant. They seem to be pretty well spoken and recognize that their success can start and end with the other guys on their team. I think hockey players make much better role models for kids than athletes from other professional sports. Yes – I am making huge generalizations, but these are just my observations.

    I really don’t comprehend the mentality of women who are psuedo-stalking these men that they’ve never met. Apparently something is missing from their life/psyche/self esteem and they think throwing themselves at a hockey player will fill the void. There must be a hockey equivalent of the rock groupie throwing her underwear on stage….

  19. Josh Ciocco says:

    Reason number 6- Your being a team player and sucking it up because your boyfreind would rather go watch a hockey game than go watch hilary Swank’s new movie.

    Whats worse than the girls is the one, maybe two guys on the team who encourage their behavior and eat up the attention… last name rhymes with ringer?

  20. Madeleine says:

    #5: You’re Canadian….though I guess that’s a pretty big loophole.

    I love hockey. I grew up watching hockey, both the professional NHL kind and my Dad, brothers and cousins backyard rink kind. Hockey is in my blood.
    And I happen to find hockey players the most attractive athletes. Even with all that padding.
    But I hope that if I ever snagged a player, he’d like me because I could sit there and watch the game on the big screen with him and actually know what’s going on, not because I wear a pink jersey, makeup and carry around a sign with my phone number.

    and Mark (very first poster)…your comment made me smile :)

  21. SDC says:

    If you want a badass tune, it’s tough to beat “Shook Ones Pt 2 ” by Mobb Deep.
    Also to be considered: “Dope Boys” by The Game
    “Crime Wave” by 50 Cent
    “Big Money” by The Game
    “Forever” by Drake, Kanye, Lil’ Wayne, Eminem (taken from Wayne or Em’s verse)

  22. jtbourne says:

    Ahhh, dope boys, good idea. I wonder if they’ll be okay with the “drugs are great” message. It is “hardcore sports”, so I’m sure it’d be coo.

  23. ogie65 says:

    Creepy stalking is bad, yes. And plenty of puckbunnnies exist, yes. I understand they can make players uncomfortable and encourage them tell them to go away, just like women have to tell creepy stalker guys to go away.

    I do get annoyed, though, by guys who treat any female fan as a puckbunny, and that happens, too. I play, I coach, and I even captained a winning mens league team until I went back to school, so I have the hockey bona fides. But, I’m a young female and some would say cute, so sometimes I get harassed as being a puckbunny even though I never act/look like one.

    I’ve learned to never to start up conversation with the younger pro players, even at team sponsored meet and greets (remember, I coach teams sponsored by the local NHL team so I go to some of these). Luckily I’ve met several wonderfully nice players to balance the sexism, usually older guys whose kids play in the same youth league and think it’s great that I’m one of the rare female coaches. More often, though, it’s the guys at the rink (until they see me play) or wherever that I give me that initial skeptical look or that tries to shoot down my comment about the game as being automatically ignorant.

    Overall, hockey culture is great. It’s just frustrating to automatically be treated like a puck, to have to first overcome that assumption. I manage it on a daily basis, but it’s isolating.

  24. Goody says:

    Intro music: I gave up trying to be “cool” a long time ago. You can rack your brain if you like trying to come up with some “cool” intro music, but face it, it’s intro music. No matter what you choose, some people are going to like it, some people are going to hate it and some people are going to say “I wish they’d drop the stupid intro music!” So have fun with it. Make it something either instantly recognizable by anyone of any age (theme to a classic movie or tv show maybe) or something incredibly obscure that virtually no one will recognize.

  25. Will77 says:

    I think, from experience, that college hockey players have the most experience/exposure to the punk bunnies. A few people are focusing on the fact about these women at games, but the biggest point JT is making about them is how they are EVERYWHERE… not just watching your games, but at post game hang outs/etc. There was a house by my campus thats been the “Hockey House” for about 15 years, a few juniors move in once theres openings from seniors graduating, and there were always certain girls or groups of girls that never ever missed a party there. Granted, it seems another general rule of most colleges is that the hockey players usually have really great parties for whatever reason… but puck bunnies, while bad at the rink, are the ones that are swooning over the players when they’re not on the ice

  26. dwgs says:

    You might find this interesting material for your ‘puck’ research…

  27. hb says:

    I love how every sport has their own names for groupies.

    For the average groupie, it’s a status thing. They get the same thrill, I guess you’d call it, from having sex with someone as most people would get from sharing a beer backstage or playing one on one with someone at the gym. It’s this little private individual segment that attaches them to this person that ordinarily they can only watch from afar. It’s the same reason people collect personal items from famous people, I think.

    Then you have the really persistent ones and I think these are pretty much limited to sports and music. Now, what you have to remember are these aren’t the sharpest crayons in the coloring box, and they don’t really understand the reality of the sports or music worlds. To them, it’s hunting season and it doesn’t matter if they’re ‘watching’ 16 year olds, college athletes, minor pro; in their mind, all athletes in all sports are going to make it big. And if they can convince an athlete to marry them, well, they’ve just won the lottery through their vagina. Of course, life doesn’t work that way so she’ll eventually divorce the poor smuck and be right back at the rink/field/club.

    You think you had it bad; a lot of the big football schools have university sanctioned groupies. I’m sure other sports schools probably have the same program for their money sports but I’ve never worked for them, so I don’t know. They’re called Boosters – perky, beautiful college girls chosen to cater to the football team and do whatever it takes to make the star players feel welcome. Now, the universities aren’t telling the girls to have sex with the players and I think some of the programs might even require signing an agreement not to, but if you’re in a position to talk to either the boosters or the players candidly, you know that sex is an understood part of the arrangement. (And then the team staff wonders why their players have ‘conquest lists’ in the triple digits.)

    The big question for me is: why do athletes keep sleeping with the groupies? They’re dirty and they’re not even high enough class to want you for your body; they just want you because you’re an athlete, even the ugliest one will do. And I could see why the facially challenged guys might jump for that if it wasn’t for the fact that you know she’s already been with half of his teammates. To borrow the words of Avery, who wants sloppy seconds?

  28. Deirdre says:

    I have to echo the comment about folks assuming you’re a puck just because you’re a girl. Not much I can do about that so I just enjoy the game and mock the boys who don’t know the difference between an outlet pass and an offside call.

    There are definitely folks who go to the games *just* to show off. Some of them hope to snag a player, but honestly some seem to just be hoping to snag anybody at the game. If the person can afford lower bowl seats they’re probably worth a date. It’s those that annoy me. I personally can’t even walk up to a player for an autograph unless it’s at an event. I figure if they’re watching the game/eating dinner/walking to their car/whatever they’re on their own time. The concept of sleazing my way into their post-game party just boggles the mind.

    Of course with all that in mind, I think it’s the grace on the ice, and the knowledge that there is no way they’re hiding a spare tire under that jersey that combines to make hockey players hot. Modano’s cover shot for Men’s Fitness, enough said.

  29. Far North says:

    There’s only one part of your article that surprises me: “Nobody wants anything to do with them . . . I assure you, that behavior is not encouraged.”


    I hate to be cynical, but certain hockey players have a reputation for, well, enjoying their opportunities. My impression is that college hockey teams typically include a) A few super-wholesome guys, who would never do anything you couldn’t discuss with your grandma; b) A bunch of decent, ordinary 20-somethings whose judgement is usually (but not always) pretty good ; c) A few guys who think only of their own interests/desires.

    Please address Kerstin’s comments — I had exactly the same perception, but I’d love to be wrong.

  30. jtbourne says:

    I think the wires are crossed because of some selective reading – I titled this “unwanted” puck bunnies, because there is a difference. I was addressing not puck bunnies, but those stalky, creepy ones that show up uninvited to get the same thing signed at my car that I’ve already signed before.
    The column I’m (delicately) writing now is on puck bunnies. A hockey team is made up of athletic young men. The guys are no worse than the next group of 20 fit males you round up, but sure… they can be opportunistic.

  31. Frank says:

    So….does Underwood calling Lowsie from a bar 12 times tonight (according to Jolly’s and my count) and leaving drunken messages count as an unwanted puck bunny? At the last message, Daryl declared victory because Lowsie’s mailbox was full…..let me state that Jolly and I were just spectators to another spectacular night of Undy.

    Justin, Jolly did get one of the best punches on Undy I’ve ever seen as we were leaving….it was hilarious…..curled up in a ball in an icy parking lot at midnight…..

  32. jiminak says:

    Hey JB….. I don’t care what you call them, just don’t chase them away. I’m in my 60′s and go to Seawolf games with a great long-term girlfriend but even when there are only 1800 people in the Sullivan Arena there are enough long legs and breasts hanging out to make the sometimes bad hockey worth going to.

  33. Angela says:

    I have watched hockey on TV all my life with my dad. At first when I was really little and I didn’t totally understand the game I watched because it was bonding time with my dad. Once I started understanding the game I watched because I loved the game and it was bonding time with my dad. Every year I fall more in love with the game and want to know and learn more about it. I have been watching Hockey Night In Canada pretty much every Saturday since I was born. When I was a kid it was the only night of the week I could get away with not eating supper and stuffing my face with junk food and staying up late. I have always been inquisitive and curious. When I hit puberty yes I started to find certain players attractive, but I don’t watch the game because of that. Now I watch the game because I love it, it’s bonding time with my dad, and because it’s tradition. I tape all the games of my favourite NHL team off the TV so during the summer when there is no NHL hockey I can go back and watch previous games just so I don’t go into hockey withdrawal. I watch probably a game a night pretty much, but at least 4 games a week. I have certain favourite players that I follow and I like them because of how they play the game and if I find them attractive I consider that just a natural byproduct. Some people have called me a puck bunny or player stalker and I take offense at that. If I were to go to a well known hockey player hangout it wouldn’t be because I was stalking anyone. I’d go once or twice just because I was curious and then would leave them alone. I want to know everything there is about hockey, every aspect of the game and its culture. I want to know as much as I can about my favourite player just because I want to know as much as I can about the sport and its culture and its players just in general. I want as much information as I can get just because I’m curious and would like to know not because I want to use that info for evil. I live in Winnipeg by the way and I never get to see any NHL games but on TV and the occasional exhibition/preseason games they happen to throw our way. I’m only 18 by the way. I’d like to meet the players and talk to them and know where they hang out just to better understand the game and its culture and the players. I’m a Christian by the way and I don’t drink or smoke or swear or have sex before I’m married. I know curiousity killed the cat but I’m not a cat and I try my best to keep my curiousity in check. I’m respectful and don’t want to make anybody feel uncomfortable or breach privacy or anything. I don’t consider myself a puck bunny but some people do. If you ask anyone that I know though they know the reason I love the game is first and foremost for the game itself. I come to church Sunday morning after Saturday night’s Hockey Night In Canada asking people if they saw that amazing goal or amazing save and I usually have most of the games scores memorized and have watched the majority of all the highlights and if they missed the game for whatever reason they automatically come to me because they know I have all the latest hockey info. I visit twice a day, once when I wake up and once before bed. I want to be the first one to know if there has been a trade or an injury . I want to be the first one to know all the latest info on all of hockey and if somebody knows something about hockey before I do I’m upset because I pride myself in my hockey knowledge and I want to know everything and anything and everything I can about hockey especially especially at the NHL level (ok mostly at the NHL level). The thing I find most attractive about hockey players is their sense of humour. I find hockey players hiliarious and sometimes I watch just to get a good laugh and have a smile put on my face. Beauty is only skin deep and it’s what is on the inside that counts. A hockey player might have lost teeth and had his face rearranged but if he can make me laugh I consider him gold. Hockey players are more a”dork”able than adorable, but I love them anyway lol. I hope you don’t think I’m a puck bunny and if you do that’s your opinion but it’s a flawed opinion.

  34. Glad you liked my pictures of the girls at the Preds game, but you need to read the right’s usage: attribution required (with a link is preferred)

    Good article though, and I love your work on Puck Daddy too. Keep it up.

  35. jtbourne says:

    Ah, I just sumbit text sir, they doctor it up. Sorry bout that though…. I thought they were all Getty Images…

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