NHL fans are known for being a passionate—albeit sometimes slightly odd— bunch. To prove our point, GamingZion’s compiled a list of the top hockey fan moments.
Hockey fans are some of the most proud and defensive sports fans that you’ll find out there. Probably because ice hockey is not all that popular, and so we’ve developed a complex that makes us get far too emotional whenever it’s concerned, especially when people poke fun at it.
So, yes, hockey fans can be very, um, intense. Don’t believe me? The NHL has plenty of jaw-dropping hockey fan moments to prove it. Whether that moment was funny, terrible, or even outright ridiculous, we’ve got you covered.
The fans who snuck in a dead shark… twice
I just wrote about all the weird stuff that hockey fans have chucked onto the ice, but I left out this gem with this article in mind. This is definitely one of the more… memorable hockey fan moments. Yeah, let’s go with memorable.
Back in 2007, 48-year old San Jose Sharks fan Ken Conroy conspired to throw a shark onto the ice during a Sharks versus Detroit Red Wings match, to one-up the Wings’ tradition of tossing octopuses. When the playoff game rolled around, Conroy, his son, and his 60-year old cousin purchased a 4-foot shark from a local fisherman; stuffed it in a plastic bag, tied it to one of their backs, and hid it with an old trench coat; and then heaved the massive shark onto the ice once the Sharks scored. It didn’t have quite the effect that they wanted, as most spectators and players were just confused as to why a fan would chuck a dead version of their mascot into the rink.
But Conroy and his cohorts were not done yet. In 2010 they were back at, but this time painstakingly sewed an octopus—the Red Wings symbol of success—into a leopard shark’s mouth to make their point more obvious. They also stuffed the fish down the leg of one of their sweatpants rather than strap it onto someone’s back, which meant that Canada gambling news the next day was reporting about a guy who pulled a dead shark out of his trousers and then flung it onto the ice. You can’t make up stories like this, guys.
2011 Vancouver riots
If you think Canadians are a peaceful folk, you’ve never seen them during the NHL playoffs. You know what happened when the Boston Bruins beat the Vancouver Canucks during the Stanley Cup match? Vancouverites were so devastated that a mob developed. No, really, a literal mob. They smashed windows and lit cars on fire and everything.
Mike Milbury hits a fan with a shoe
Hockey’s a violent sport, that’s for sure, but this is one of the few times that the fighting actually made its way off the rink. Online sportsbooks in Canada couldn’t predict that in 1979 Boston Bruins defenseman Mike Milbury would go up into the stands in order to whack New York Rangers fan John Kaptain with his own shoe. The incident, which occurred after a 4-3 Bruins victory, resulted in three player suspensions, numerous lawsuits, and the installation of higher glass around the rink. It remains one of the most famous athlete-fan confrontations in any major league sport, as well as one of the most head-scratching hockey fan moments.
Whoever these guys are
These two broke the cardinal rule of hockey in North America. No matter how bad your team is, you always show your utmost support. I wouldn’t be surprised if they got lynched outside the stadium by fans of hockey and online gambling sites in Canada for this.
The Green Men
If you hate the Green Men, you hate life. There, I said it.
The Green Men are a pair of full body green spandex-clad fans from Vancouver who became famous for their outrageous antics. From 2009 to 2015, the pair—codenames Force and Sully—would sit by the opposing team’s penalty box and try to throw off the player by pestering them with different methods, such as dancing, handstands, banging on the glass, mock-crying, funny signs, and making cardboard cut outs of hockey wives and super fans wearing Vancouver Canuck jerseys. While they became loathed by some NHL hockey betting lines, teams, and newscasters, their home team enjoyed their clowning around and would go on to feature them in billboard ads, photo ops, and endorsement deals.
When Force and Sully “retired” in 2015, leaving behind them a legacy of hilarious fan moments, they offered their green suits to the Canucks to hang up in the stadium rafters. The Canucks have yet to take them up on their offer.