Have you ever watched a hockey game and wondered what’s behind that goaltender’s mask? The surprising answer a lot of the time? Hotness.
Whether the position of netminder inherently attracts the kind of hockey players who have good faces, or those goalie masks are simply doing their job and protecting teeth and noses, there are a large number of goaltenders presently playing in the NHL who are incredibly nice to look at.
It can be a moment that catches you off guard, like when they lift their masks during a stoppage in play to take a drink from their water bottle and you find your heartbeat quickening slightly. Or when he’s being interviewed post-game, and you wonder how he’s flown under your radar even though you’ve been following his team for years. What do you mean goalies don’t wear those cages on their faces 24/7?
Today, I give you my personal ranking of goalie hotness in the NHL, based on some very scientific analysis.
…The scientific analysis being looking at their faces and thinking “Oh no. He’s hot.”
10. Cam Talbot – Edmonton Oilers
We begin our list with the Oilers’ Cam Talbot, who looks kinda like Chris Evans if Chris Evans weren’t as beefy, was born in Ontario, and decided to pick up a hockey stick instead of Captain America’s shield.
I don’t know if it’s a recent trend, or if it’s just something I never really noticed before, but goalies seem to be getting taller. At 6’4”, Cam Talbot is just one of a few goaltenders on this list who are over 6’ tall. Which is, quite frankly, fine by me! More goalie means occupying more space in the net – which isn’t ideal for the opposing team. But it also means more hot goalie to look at!
Talbot has played for both the New York Rangers and the Edmonton Oilers professionally, though he seems to have cut his teeth playing up in the Big White North more than in the Big Apple (though any goaltender on that team will always be in Henrik Lundqvist’s shadow to some degree, but more on him later).
9. Marc-Andre Fleury – Vegas Knights
Marc-Andre Fleury, or “Flower” as he’s affectionately referred to by fans and even the casual hockey observer, cut his teeth playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins for a number of seasons. When the expansion draft for the Vegas Golden Knights took place in 2017, he was not protected by the Pens and ended up shipping off to Vegas.
So far, it seems to be an excellent fit, and we’ve been treated to a very happy Flower!
It’s almost criminal how much Fleury looks like how you would envision a classically handsome man from Quebec to look. He’s really got the whole “tall, dark, and handsome” thing going for him. The tall thing also translates well to the ice, his 6’2” frame blocking most shots that slip through the Knights’ defense and come his way.
I’m gonna be completely honest here, though … I could do without the soul patch. Maybe that’s why I used to boo him relentlessly when he played in the juniors (though to be fair, he was on my team’s rival team). I could see into the future and see that soul patch.
8. Ben Bishop – Dallas Stars
Thanks to everyone that came to the signing today! We’re gonna make a lot of kids happy this Christmas! P.S this isn’t even half the gifts! pic.twitter.com/BZMc80lDWI
— Ben Bishop (@Benbishop30) December 20, 2016
I’ve had a soft soft for Ben Bishop for so many years that every time he’s been traded recently I feel a little distraught. Maybe it’s because of that smile, or maybe it’s because he reminds me of the brother of a friend who I used to think was cute. Who’s to say? Either way, he’s more cute than he is hot, but that’s not going to stop us from including him on this list now, is it?
Colorado-born Bishop, who is 6’7” without skates, is referred to as Big Ben and makes it virtually impossible to even see the net when he’s standing in front of it. Though he looks like an impenetrable brick wall in front of the net, once the mask comes off it’s difficult not to coo, “Aww!”
The mask is for his benefit as much as it is ours.
7. Darcy Kuemper – Arizona Coyotes
Playing for the Minnesota Wild when my partner and I fell in love with the scrappy underdog team, Kuemper has since been traded to the Arizona Coyotes by way of the Los Angeles Kings, who seem to be remembering how play hockey lately.
(Look, it’s competitive league, and someone’s gotta be at the bottom)
Kuemper exudes very much a Canadian farm boy vibe, which considering he’s from Saskatoon makes some sense. (Which is actually a big city, I feel like I should get that out of the way) Blond hair, bright eyes, and a eager smile are what await you behind the cage.
With 10 wins in the 14 games he played with the Kings before he was traded to the Yote. Kuemper currently serves as Antti Raanta’s backup, having played only three games for them so far. As the Coyotes look to build on a season that seems to be picking up steam, I certainly hope to see more of him on the ice and not just on the bench.
6. Carey Price – Montreal Canadiens
Embed from Getty Images
Fans of the Montreal Canadiens are rather divisive on the team as a whole right now. Whether you chalk it up to bad players, a terrible front office, or a combination of the two, everyone in Habs Nation has something to be pissed off about right now.
One thing they can all agree on however, is how hunky their starting goaltender is. Unless they’re mad at him too – which is entirely possible.
Price got his start with the Canadiens in the 2007 season, where fans and hockey pinheads alike took notice of his butterfly style goaltending, which was very reminiscent of the style of one their former goaltenders, Patrick Roy. Price quickly became a fan favourite for both his ability to carry the Canadiens to wins, and because, let’s face it, he is extremely nice to look at.
Check back next week for my Top 5!
Written by Megan
Current Obsessions: Megan is a freelance writer from Canada, who was born on one coast and now lives on the other. Her day job is at a local research university, but she’s eagerly awaiting the day when she can focus on her writing full time. Though she’s a 90’s girl, she has an inexplicable fondness for the 80’s. She’s been watching hockey since she was in diapers, and will immediately shut down any mansplaining of the sport. She misses the snow in winter, right up until there’s some on the ground for longer than a week, then she longs for summer. Megan is a self-identified habitual ruckus causer and feminist tornado, though asking those close to her would confirm these descriptions.