Hockey is a rough sport – blades, ice, and a whole lot of shoving. Hockey players consequently have an often deserved reputation for dental issues, courtesy of those rock hard pucks flying at them at ridiculous speeds. The majority of professional athletes seem to date above their league – however, fame seems to attract fame, and a large majority of them find wives or girlfriends that are celebrities themselves (either that, or they’re with women who are attractive enough that they should be celebrities if they aren’t already). Either way, it’s a common pairing: a coiffed and gorgeous woman on the arm of a toothless, playoff beard covered, unruly helmet haired hockey player. These women are willing to sit on the sidelines in the icy cold arenas cheering on their man every game, so these hockey players are definitely doing something right.
Perhaps it’s about the attitude. As far as professional athletes go, as a whole, hockey players tend to be pretty chill guys. While some have a reputation for having a little too much fun, there are precious few that have bad attitudes. They rattle the bench in support whenever one of their team mates buries a shot between the pipes. They’re tough, getting slammed against the boards and tossed to the rock hard ice during in-game squabbles. They seem the type that, if you saw them in a bar, you could sit and have a beer with them easily. Sorry, though – they’re out with these ladies.
Professional athletes’ WAGS (wives and girlfriends) get a bad rap, but all the ladies on this list have their own fame and talent outside of their NHL partners. From actresses to television personalities to Grammy winners, these women bring a lot to the table. Plus, they’re easy on the eyes.
10. Candace Cameron Bure – Married to Valeri Bure
If you ever watched popular television series Full House, you’ll remember little D.J. Tanner. While she stepped out of the spotlight after the show finished, apparently she grew up just fine. Cameron – or Cameron Bure, as she goes by now – is married to Russian hockey player Valeri Bure, who played for several teams from the Montreal Canadiens to the Calgary Flames, Florida Panthers, St. Louis Blues, and Dallas Stars. Her husband is the brother of NHL Hall of Famer Pavel Bure, so she married into the equivalent of NHL royalty. The couple, fittingly, met at a hockey game, where they were introduced by Cameron’s old co-star Dave Coulier. While she took a break from show business for awhile, she recently appeared on the newest season of Dancing With The Stars – perhaps she learnt a little of her husband’s competitive spirit.
9. Kelly Kelly (Barbie Blank) – Dating Sheldon Souray
She goes by Barbie Blank now, but you might know her better as former WWE Diva Kelly Kelly. The blonde spent a few years in the ring and has fought the majority of the well known Divas in the WWE. She’s also dating Canadian Sheldon Souray, who is currently with the Anaheim Ducks but has also done stints with the Montreal Canadiens, Dallas Stars, New Jersey Devils and Edmonton Oilers. She’s posed in selfies wearing a Souray jersey and toting a Sourey phone case, so it’s safe to say she’s pretty smitten if she reps her man all hours of the day. It’s a battle between who would be the toughest of the couple.
8. Maria Kirilenko – Engaged to Alex Ovechkin
It takes some kind of woman to put up with notorious NHL party boy Alex Ovechkin’s behavior, and that woman is apparently Maria Kirilenko. Kirilenko is not content to be arm candy to her NHL beau, however, and is an incredibly successful tennis player on her own right. Maybe they train together sometimes. She was one of the youngest players to win the Canadian Open and US Open Juniors tournaments in her earlier days, and has reached at least the finals in nearly every major tennis tournament. Oh, and she also has an Olympic bronze medal. The couple – both Russian, both athletes – is engaged, and though there have been questions about the wedding date, comments from team mates and little hints seem to indicate they’ll be tying the knot sometime soon, likely in their native Russia. Imagine the athletic prowess their children would have. It would be positively unfair.
7. Emma Andersson – Married to Henrik Zetterberg
If Ovechkin and Kirilenko are Russian royalty, Andersson and her hubby Zetterberg are Swedish royalty. Andersson may not be a household name in North America, but she’s a pretty big deal in Sweden where she is a reality TV star and television personality. She came to the Swedish public’s attention as a contestant on Expedition Robinson, the Swedish version of reality television show Survivor. The wedding these two put on, a monumental three-day long event, goes down in the record books as the most expensive in Swedish history. If you’re going to do it, you may as well do it right.
6. Piritta Hannula – Married to Niklas Hagman
It seems that like attracts like, and a lot of hockey players seek out wives from their nation of origin. Hagman managed to snag Piritta Hannula, a Finnish model and runner up for Miss Finland 2003. She has also graced several other pageant stages, winning Miss Europe in 2003 and Miss Scandinavia in 2004. The couple have two children.
5. Tammy Horton – Married to Nathan Horton
This blonde beauty is – what else – a model. She has appeared in Playboy several times as well as on Canada’s Much Music. She has also worked in an online campaign entitled “Virtual Bartender.” However, her risqué modeling days are behind her, as she plays wife to right wing Nathan and mom to their two sons. She’s also the great niece of former goalie Jacques Plante, so this match seems like it was made in heaven – or in the NHL. Some would argue they’re the same place. While it’s more tater tots than tequila for the young mom, she could definitely still be a model.
4. Noureen DeWulf – Married to Ryan Miller
In a sea of blonde wives and girlfriends, exotic beauty Noureen DeWulf definitely stands out. DeWulf, who is wifey to goaltender Ryan Miller, is also a successful actress. She has graced the big screen in films such as Ocean’s Thirteen, The Back-up Plan, and Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, as well as the small screen alongside Charlie Sheen on the series Anger Management. Miller’s toughness as a hockey player appealed to DeWulf, she once confessed to TMZ. He definitely lucked out that his chosen career helped him snag the Indian-American beauty.
3. Carrie Underwood – Married to Mike Fisher
There are probably very few people who don’t know Carrie Underwood, even if they’re not big country music fans. She got her start on American Idol, but while many former contests fade into obscurity, she managed to leverage her time on the show into a wildly successful music career. She has also appeared as a guest star on How I Met Your Mother and in the lead role in NBC’s live broadcast event of The Sound of Music. She has also done several high profile commercials and been featured on countless magazine covers. The couple met not at a hockey game, but at one of Underwood’s own concerts – way to go, Mike.
2. Elisha Cuthbert – Married to Dion Phaneuf
Canadians seem to have a way of finding each other no matter where they are in the world. Cuthbert is a popular actress perhaps best known for her role as Kim Bauer, Jack’s daughter, in the series 24. She starred in several movies before returning to the small screen in Happy Endings. She is also a professed hockey fan, so it’s no wonder she eventually found a husband in Toronto Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf. Interestingly, the couple were born in nearly neighboring towns, with Cuthbert originally from Calgary, Alberta and Phaneuf from the nearby Edmonton, Alberta. They married in Prince Edward Island in July of 2013.
1. Melanie Collins – Married to Scottie Upshall
Who is better wife material for a professional athlete than a sports broadcaster? Collins has had a lot of experience in sports journalism and has worked for the Big Ten Network and NBATV, as well as Nascar.com and PGA.com, to name a few. While her broadcast career hasn’t dealt extensively with hockey, we bet she knows the ins and outs of the NHL from pillow talk with husband Scottie. Some have predicted Collins to be the next Erin Andrews of sports broadcasting, and with her degree in sports journalism from Penn State University, she certainly has the credentials to back up her on screen skills.
She’s also done time as a bikini model, but who on this list hasn’t modeled. It seems to be nearly a necessary quality for an NHL wife. She knows her stuff, and isn’t afraid to flaunt either her sports knowledge or her good looks. Upshall hasn’t gotten a tremendous amount of attention as a player, but with this blonde beauty in the stands watching, that might change.