(originally published on June 4, 2014)
Tonight marks the beginning of the Stanley Cup Finals between the New York Rangers and the Los Angeles Kings. My Boston Bruins have been eliminated since the second round but I will still be watching until the final buzzer and the Cup has been raised.
Most of you do not know that I work at a skate sharpening store. I have been employed full-time in an ice rink since 2003 and actually moved from the north-east United States to western Canada to continue my employment in the hockey industry. Hockey has been a part of my life since I was a little kid and continues to take up my time when I’m not at the movie theatre or sitting at home watching movies.
I just spent the last few weeks watching a lot of super hero movies like Captain America, Iron Man, and X-Men. I have written a lot of movie reviews and felt it was time to do something creative for a change and take a break from writing the same thing over and over. I began to brainstorm how powerful a hockey team would be if it was made up of superheros, I created my first line with my favourite characters and then was determined to fill out a whole team including management positions. I ran out of characters so I asked friends and co-workers who gave me a bunch of suggestions. The only rule was that characters had to have had a major movie release to be allowed on this team. This narrowed the list down a bunch but I managed to find twenty skaters and five management positions. I am confident in my selections that this team could challenge any team in the history of hockey and win the Stanley Cup.
Starting Goalie: Spider – Man
Spider-Man gets the nod to start in-goal because my original selection, Batman, was moved to a different position. I wanted the Dark Knight to star in between the pipes because of his line “I’m not wearing hockey pads,” but my boss suggested Spider-Man because of his flexibility and quick reflexes. He’s already wearing his goalie mask and his ability to spin spider webs will make it almost impossible to score on the net if it covered in webbing.
Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff
The Black Widow is the only female to crack the line up for three reasons, she is extremely flexible, she can kick anyone’s ass, and her beauty will distract the opponents from hitting the net.
Team Superheros First Line
There is no question in my mind that my first line is made up of some greatest superheros in the universe(s). I put this line together right off and it has never changed. Each player is a star in their own right and most hockey first lines are made up of the team’s best players whose main goal is just to score goals and make fans go crazy.
Defence Pairing: Hulk & Beast
My top defensive pairing consists of two heavyweights that opponents will fear once they cross the blue line. Both players have the ability to play in their human form and their monster mode. Once the opposition attempts to score on my team their anger will get the best of them and they will transform into bad ass creatures who will clobber everyone in sight.
Centre: Iron Man
Iron Man is a star, both in real life and in a suit. He craves attention and is a showboat whenever he has the opportunity to shine. He is the ultimate superstar that has to be the poster boy of the team. As my star centre he will play all the top minutes and score lots of goals which will make him the highest paid superhero on my team.
Left Wing: Captain America
Captain America is one of the few good guys in the superhero universe and who is not selfish at all. I need him on my top line feeding passes over to Iron Man and Magneto to score goals. I did question whether or not he should play goalie because he could use his shield as a blocker but he is not build like Spider-Man or Black Widow and I could use his speed and strength on the top line assisting his line mates to get into the zone. His abilities to stay calm and be a leader in tough situations make him the perfect Captain of my team. (It was also a fitting choice since he is already named Captain)
Eric Lensherr/Young Magneto
Eric Lensherr is a perfect winger on the top line because of his ability to bend medal, he can skate or fly down the ice and bend the goal posts of our opponents giving us a bigger net to score goals in. He also has a bad ass looking helmet which he can use to his advantage when he’s laying other guys out with body checks to make space for Iron Man and Captain America to play their game.
Team Superheros Second Line
This is where I started to make tough decisions and I changed the players on this line a half-dozen times in order to find the right pieces to provide secondary scoring to my top line. My original second line was Quicksilver, Superman, and Iceman but they don’t appear to have great chemistry together so I split them up and put together a line of superheros who can fly. Everyone on this line has a cape with the exception of Iron Patriot, but he can be my stay at home defenceman that protects his end of the ice while his line mates can focus on scoring goals.
Defence Pairing: Iron Patriot & Thor
Iron Patriot has all the tools needed to be a great defenceman and prevent opponents from getting anywhere near our net. He suit makes opponents fear battling for loose pucks in the corner because he’s going to plant you hard into or through the boards and then pass the puck up to one of our high flyer forwards. His partner Thor will also lay a beating down on opponents who get by our forwards and enter our zone. He is one of the strongest superheros who doesn’t even need a hockey stick, he shoots the puck with his hammer. I also wanted to note that he has the hardest slap shot in the universe.
Batman was going to originally be on my fourth line after being cut as my goalie. I wanted him out there to win face-offs and provide energy for our team and the fans when he was manhandling the other team’s fourth line. Instead I moved him up because he is Batman. He will provide our team with additional scoring along with his line mates who will literally fly up and down the ice. The great thing about having Batman on the team is that he is continuously coming up with new hockey equipment that provides our players an edge over our competition. (He is also working on a Batmobile looking Zamboni that will clean the ice in less time)
Left Wing: Loki
The brilliant Loki was originally on my third line but he got bumped up because he has a cape, the ability to change his appearance, and he has one kick-ass Chitauri Scepter which he can use as a stick. He also has the speed and agility to play top six minutes without breaking a sweat.
Right Wing: Superman
There is going to be a few of you who question why I got the Man of Steel on the second line as a forward instead of playing defence. My logic is simple; his speed and his ability to dissect the game make him a great player for this line. He has the potential to be the Wayne Gretzky of the superhero universe because Gretzky thought the game at a higher level than anyone else ever did. Superman’s will be able to foresee the play unfold and be in the right place at the right time to score goals or set his teammates up. He is also rugged enough to provide toughness to the line because Loki is weak winger and Batman does have weaknesses. He can protect our stars while they focus on playing their roles.
Team Superheros Third Line
In hockey the third line’s role is usually to be the “checking line” which means they always play against the opponent’s top line and prevents them from scoring. My original line was filled with bad guys and my plan was to call them “da bad guys” but I moved Loki off the line to use his skills somewhere else. The original line featured The Thing, Bane, Loki, The Winter Solider, and The Joker, but here was my final decision.
Defence Pairing: Bane & Colossus
Bane was on my third line from the very beginning, he is one of the strongest bad guys out there and despite not having any real super powers, he is one guy I need out on the ice to protect my net. Anyone who skates down the wing will run head first into his chiseled body and get laid out. His mask is very intimidating which I hope will strike fear into opponent’s top players. Colossus on the other hand was a last second decision and addition. I never thought of him and had The Thing as Bane’s partner even though I’m not a Fantastic Four fan. A buddy of mine suggested Colossus so this morning I made the switch. Colossus kicked a lot of ass in Days of Future Past and his ability to turn to a statue that is almost indestructible will be a distraction for opponents allowing for Bane to swoop in and take them out.
Centre: The Joker
The Joker is the perfect anti-hero. His main goal on the third line will be to prevent the opposition from scoring which means he can use any trick to trip them up. He has no superhero abilities like Bane, but Joker will probably take the most penalties and get the most suspensions on the team because of his attitude and reckless playing style. I have no doubt that he will harm more players than anyone else on the roster, it’s what he does best.
Right Wing: The Winter Solider
Ice hockey is a winter sport so I’d be pretty stupid to not include The Winter Solider. He has a medal arm which gives him superior upper body strength and his quickness will be an asset against other teams top guys. His appearance and half covered face will hopefully strike fears in their hearts and minds throwing them off their game.
Third Line Left Wing: Iceman
Like his line mate The Winter Solider, Iceman was a late addition to the team because of his ability to deal with all things ice related. Sure his powers don’t really come in handy at the ice rink, because everyone should be experienced skaters at this point of their careers, but he is young, quick, and has the ability to excel when sliding on ice. He makes sense to have on the team and in a forward position based on his powers and abilities.
Team Superheros Fourth Line
The role of the fourth line guys is to play every now and then, go out bang some bodies, create some excitement and score an occasional goal. I know most of you will be like why on earth are these three players on the your fourth line when they would all be on my top lines. Let me remind you when you create an all-star super team like they do at the Olympics, a lot of great players end up on the fourth line and their roles are a little bit different then a regular fourth line player. These three guys on my fourth line don’t really deserve to be this far down the depth chart but I got no room for them anywhere else.
Quicksilver joined the team on Saturday when I was bugging friends to suggest more characters to me. Sadly this is the best picture I could find of him online since he is a brand new character in a movie just released two weeks ago. I totally forget about him and his abilities but added him to the line up. My buddy suggested since he is lightning fast he needed to be on my second line but that would have messed up the chemistry there, so I finally found him a home here. His main role will be to win faceoffs (quickest hands in the game) and then fly around the ice to get the fans excited.
Right Wing: Wolverine
Now hear me out before you judge me about Wolverine being a fourth line winger. He really can’t hold a hockey stick because every time he gets angry he pops his claws out which rip through his gloves and get in the way of his stick handling abilities. His main role is to be the muscle out there for his line mates. No opponents fourth line will want to hop over the boards when they see the bearded warrior skating up and the ice with claws. He is by far one of the best shot blockers in the game because he doesn’t feel a thing after taking one for the team.
Left Wing: Hawkeye
Hawkeye was a last-minute addition to the team to help me fill out my roster. I chose him over everyone else because of his quick eyes, hands, and shooting accuracy. He has the ability to put the arrows wherever he aims so my hope is that skill will transfer out on the ice surface where he can pick goalies apart and provide the majority of the scoring for his line. Wolverine will make time and space for him while Quicksilver can steal pucks and passes to feed them to my teams most accurate shooter.
Team Superheros Team Management
No superhero team would be complete without the smartest minds in the game making decisions that affect the team both on the ice and in the dressing room. These people were chosen for their leadership abilities more than their abilities to battle and get involved in the action.
Head Coach: Professor Charles Xavier
One of the brightest minds in any superhero universe, Professor Xavier is the right man behind the bench to guide this team to the championship. His telekinesis powers will allow him to motivate each player on a personal level by expressing his thoughts mentally, he can give a roaring pre-game speech without yelling or screaming at anyone. His abilities will allow him to communicate the style of play he wishes to deploy while also changing the mind of the bad guys on the team so they can buy into the system without disrupting the other’s chemistry.
General Manager: Nick Fury
Nick Fury is one bad ass dude who is the Director of SHIELD. He was put in that position based on abilities to plan and execute orders. He would make a great general manager because he won’t take any crap from the players and is strong enough to pull off a trade or sign a super hero without listening to the flack from other players or the media. His disability made it tough for him to contribute on the ice, but he does enjoy his SHIELD office job which will make him a perfect fit in the press box watching every game.
Anne Hathaway is by far the sexiest Catwoman ever to appear on-screen and although she didn’t make the team as a player, she can still be a contributing member of the team. She was chosen as the trainer of the team because in the event of an injury I’m sure none of the players would complain if they were on her trainer’s table in the dressing room getting treatment or a massage.
Team Equipment Manager: Robin
At the end of the day I was trying to fill out other hockey team positions when my boss suggested Robin. I said I had no place for him as a player but he would make the perfect equipment manager. He has no superhero abilities but is always there to land a helping hand. He is quick on his feet, always thinking ahead, and will be there to take care of the players when something breaks or needs repair.
Team Skate Sharpener: Cyclops
After naming Robin to be my equipment manager we were joking about making Superman our skate sharpener because of his laser eyes. That got me thinking that Cyclops would be the perfect fit. His laser abilities will allow him to sharpen the ice skates by just looking at them and providing our players with the best edge on their skates in the universe.
Superheros/villains who didn’t make the cut
I mentioned a few names that didn’t make the team because of line chemistry or that I didn’t like their character. There are a few more names my friends mentioned that were original members of the team but were then cut in favor of other players. The Thing was originally a second line defenceman, Falcon was a fourth line winger, Dr. Manhattan was also on the fourth line, and V was the anti-hero on my third line. I’m sorry these guys were cut but I went with this line up to challenge for the Stanley Cup because I think it is the best possible line up.
There are several other characters out there in the universe that many of you will question why they didn’t make the team like The Flash. He hasn’t had a movie made yet so he was ineligible. Some of you will also question why The Green Lantern wasn’t on the team considering he was played by a Canadian who can probably play great hockey, but his movie sucked so I honestly didn’t want to consider him.
In closing I want to thank you for taking the time to read, laugh, and get mad at my superheros hockey team. I look forward to many comments and replies as to how you may have structured your own team based on my characters or your own. Just remember the one simple rule I used, in order to be eligible for the team they must have appeared in a major motion picture.