Throughout history, there has been an ongoing rumour that hockey goalies are weird. Being a professional goalie requires concentration and repetition, and sometimes goalies develop weird pre-game preparation habits.
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why people say goalies are weirdos.
1. Glenn Hall
Goaltender Glenn Hall might have had the number one weirdest pre-game ritual of all-time.
It involved regurgitating.
Yes, the three-time Vezina Trophy-winner, who played with the Chicago Blackhawks from 1958-1967, made himself throw up before every game to calm his nerves.
The ritual worked (although it’s not exactly healthy) because he won 407 career games, including two Conn Smythe Trophies and two Stanley Cups.
Patrick Roy was arguably the greatest goaltender of all-time. He won four Stanley Cups and three Vezina Trophies, but voluntarily admitted that he talked to each of his goal-posts before every game.
He also called them “his friends.”
And maybe he had a good reason for that. There is a good chance the puck would hit either one of his two friends if it ever got behind him.
During the Stanley Cup Final in 1986, Roy explained how he developed the superstition.
“I started talking to the goalposts by accident, Roy said. We were playing in Hartford, and I started talking to the goalposts during the anthem.
“They helped me, and I played a good game. In overtime a guy took a slap shot and hit the post and we won,” he said.
Gillies Graton only played 46 games in the NHL with the New York Rangers– but he was probably one of the weirdest people to play the game, period.
Graton was known as one of the strangest goalies of all-time not for his superstitions, but because of the fact that he was just a weird guy.
Graton was an animal lover, and some say he was the pioneer of animal-themed goalie masks, which is a popular and trendy way goalies decorate their masks today.
His nickname was “the count” because he believed in re-incarnation and that in his past life he was a “Spanish count.”
And it gets even weirder.
He once told his coach that he refused to suit up for a game because the moon was in the wrong place in the sky that night. One can only wonder how the moon has anything to do with hockey, but Graton must have known something no one else could understand.
His pro career didn’t last long (it’s not hard to tell why).
According to Bleacher Report, goaltender Damian Rhodes dyed his hair blonde before every home game.
The ritual didn’t help him much, though. He only made the playoffs once as a starter, in the 1998-99 season with the Ottawa Senators – but they were swept in the Conference Quarterfinals.
He played three more unsuccessful NHL seasons with the Atlanta Thrashers, recording a 14-48-11 record.
Ron Tugnutt played for eight teams in his NHL career, but he kept the same weird pre-game superstition.
His ritual involved doing a figure eight in the crease, tapping his pads a certain way and stretching in certain ways that most goaltenders would not understand.
Tugnutt also believed that it was bad luck to bring water onto the ice with him – so he always practiced without it.
He played his last NHL season as a back-up for the Dallas Stars in 2003-04.