Some hockey players were destined to play hockey. Just look at these great names: Darren Rumble, Jeff Beukeboom, Bart Crashley, and even though he never got anywhere near the NHL, Jim Winstanley.
Other names just do not sound like hockey names at all. Bubba Berenzweig should be a linebacker. Cal Clutterback should be a NASCAR driver. Mike Camalleri should be an appetizer. Vern Fiddler does fit in nicely in Nashville.
Then there are the downright odd. Radek Bonk. Dave Inkpen. Bruce Shoebottom. Glen Featherstone. Hnat Dominichelli.
Then there's the names with, to put it nicely, references to things other than hockey - Pokey Reddick. Ron Tugnutt. Corey Pecker. Alexander Semin.
Larry Playfair did not. Kari Takko was once trade for Bruce Bell in the long forgotten Takko-Bell trade. Merlin Malinowski was a magician - he disappeared from the league pretty quickly. Yutaka Fukufuji sounds like someone insulting their Japanese neighbor.
European names have often left us North American's with twisted tongues, especially those Finnish players.. How about Reijo Ruotsalainen or Pekka Rautakallio. Or how about brothers Saku and Mikko Koivu, or Jarkko and Tuomo Ruutu?
Then there are the Russians. Valeri Zelepukin, Darius Kasparaitis, Sergei Krivokarasov or my favorite, Zinetula Bilyaletdinov.
Native hockey players also have provided us with some memorable names: Robin BigSnake. Jordin Tootoo. Colton Yellowhorn. Fred Sasakamoose. Wacey Rabbitt.
And Quebec too, from Guillaume Latendresse to Gaston Gingras, from "the Flower" Guy Lafleur to Rene Boileau, which the New York Americans marketing staff roughly translated as "Rainy Drinkwater."
Old time hockey players have had some great names - Cooney Weiland, Sprague and Odie Cleghorn, Cy and Corb Denneny, Mush March, Red Green, Ebbie Goodfellow, and Sailor Herberts.
Here's my top ten favorite hockey names of all time:
Per Djoos - This Swede's name is pronounced Pear Juice
Hakan Loob - It sounds like someone spitting. Heck of a player though.
Miroslav Satan - I don't care how it's pronounced - this guy is demonic
Bill Quackenbush - This Hall of Famer should have played for Anaheim
Ulcers McCool - One McCool name.
"Izzy" Goodenough - He wasn't, but great name.
Zarley Zalapski - ZZ tops the list.
Here's hoping Bear Trapp one day makes the NHL. No kidding, he's an actual player. He'll likely only get into a NHL rink by purchasing a ticket like you or me, but here's hoping he makes it to the bigs.