NHL's 25 Biggest Celebrity Fans and the Teams They Cheer on
The New York Rangers’ run to the third round of the Stanley Cup playoffs and the Los Angeles Kings’ surge to the championship unveiled what may have been an unprecedented smattering of celebrity hockey enthusiasts this past spring.
It ought to come as little surprise that those who make their living in Hollywood and have taken a liking to hockey have latched onto the Kings’ fanbase. But enough of them have been certifiably devout supporters even before L.A.’s too-inconceivable-to-script run from eighth place in the regular-season standings to the summit of the postseason.
At the same time, novice and lifelong puckheads who perform as actors or musicians have flaunted an unwavering fervor for their original hometown team.
Chosen primarily based on their support for the game and their respective teams, here is an alphabetical list of 25 hardcore hockey-loving entertainers.
Will Arnett, Toronto Maple Leafs
Arnett’s support for his hometown Leafs is at a level where he was invited to submit a guest commentary to The Hockey News when Toronto’s Stanley Cup drought reached the 40-year mark in 2007.
David Beckham, Los Angeles Kings
One of the glimmers of hope for another sport that is generally under-appreciated in America, Beckham took a surprising deal of time out of his soccer schedule to take in several of the Kings’ home playoff games.
Kristen Bell, Detroit Red Wings
Jim Belushi, Chicago Blackhawks
Even before the Windy City native’s ABC sitcom According To Jim helped to unveil him as a Chicago sports enthusiast, Belushi was introduced to hockey fans of a younger age. During the 1996-97 season, he provided the voice of Phil Palmfeather, the absent-minded team executive in the Mighty Ducks Animated Series.
Christie Brinkley, New York Islanders
At least someone is ensuring that the Rangers do not hog all of the metropolis’ household hockey fans.
Michael Buble, Vancouver Canucks
Months in advance, Buble was booked to perform at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, R.I. on June 13, 2011. (This author would know, having attended several Providence Bruins games that season and seeing the ads on the jumbo screen.)
As it happened, Buble’s beloved Canucks and the Boston Bruins, Providence’s parent club, wound up engaged in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals that night. Accordingly, Buble changed his show’s start time so that he and the local attendees could still cheer their respective teams afterward.
Six months later, Buble suited up to skate with his Canucks in practice.
Elisha Cuthbert, Toronto Maple Leafs
At least as long as Dion Phaneuf maintains his relationships with the Maple Leafs and Cuthbert, seen at the 19-second mark of the video above, the Canadian actress’ allegiances will inevitably lean toward Toronto.
Dropkick Murphys, Boston Bruins
The definitive Boston band released this unofficial theme song for America’s oldest NHL franchise.
Will Ferrell, Los Angeles Kings
In a recent interview on Hockey Night In Canada, Ferrell said he has been a Kings fan since Marcel Dionne became the face of the franchise in the 1970s.
Vince Gill, Nashville Predators
One of many country singers to lend their support to the local team, Gill is a Predators season-ticket holder and has been known to give away his seats to contest winners when a concert precludes his attendance.
Cuba Gooding, Jr., Los Angeles Kings
Jon Hamm, St. Louis Blues
The way the leading Mad Man actor was overwhelmingly outnumbered by fellow celebrities rooting for L.A. practically matched the way his beloved Blues were repressed by the Kings en route to a second-round sweep. But odds are Hamm’s St. Louis loyalties are not about to give way any time soon.
Denis Leary, Boston Bruins
During the run of his signature show, Rescue Me, the Worcester, Mass., native regularly enlisted former Bruins Cam Neely, Lyndon Byers and Phil Esposito for cameos.
John C McGinley, Detroit Red Wings
Based on their respective devotions to the Wings, one would think that McGinley’s former character on Scrubs, Perry Cox, is really just McGinley with a degree in medicine.
Alyssa Milano, Los Angeles Kings
Two years ago, Milano told ESPN Los Angeles about her acquaintance with Kings player-turned-executive Luc Robitaille. More recently, she was a Staples Center mainstay for the full length of the championship run.
Mike Myers, Toronto Maple Leafs
Matthew Perry, Los Angeles Kings
When the Kings clinched the Cup this past June, Perry was quoted in US Weekly magazine as declaring it “my happiest night as a sports fan.”
Tim Robbins, New York Rangers
Kevin Smith, Edmonton Oilers
Somewhere down the line, the New Jersey native and childhood Devils fan curiously converted to an Edmonton allegiance.
Probably not something that many would consider genuine fandom, but it is what it is.
George Stroumboulopoulos, Montreal Canadiens
In an interview with Canadiens Magazine, the CBC talk show host admitted that he grew up in an Ontario family dense with Maple Leafs and Bruins fans. Explaining his Montreal allegiances, Stroumboulopoulos claimed to be “an adversarial kind of person.”
During the 2008-09, Stroumboulopoulos’ credentials and allegiances combined to give him the privilege of hosting a CBC documentary commemorating the Habs’ centennial campaign.
Taylor Swift, Nashville Predators
While she is native to Pennsylvania, the country singer has apparently taken a liking to the NHL team that represents the country music capital.
Carrie Underwood, Nashville Predators
Underwood is sometimes seen by Swift’s side at Bridgestone Arena, or sometimes with other friends or with no one in particular, and for the most logical reason. She and Predators forward Mike Fisher have been married for two years and counting.
Vince Vaughn, Chicago Blackhawks
The Hawks' run to their drought-splashing Cup title in 2010 meant ample air time for the United Center’s most famous front-row rooter.
Patrick Warburton, Los Angeles Kings/New Jersey Devils
A boyhood Kings fan and later famously fictitious Devils buff on Seinfeld, Warburton (left) could not escape the spotlight altogether when Los Angeles and New Jersey crossed paths in the last Cup final.
In a mid-May interview with the Wall Street Journal, prior to the start of the series, he admitted the matchup “will certainly tear at my allegiances.”
Just hope, for his sake, that the New England-based animated sitcom, Family Guy, does not complicate this further by suddenly making Warburton’s character, Joe Swanson, an outspoken supporter of the Bruins.
Neil Young, Winnipeg Jets
Whether the Winnipeg-raised musician ever regains his relevance from the previous century remains to be seen. But he seems pleased enough that his city has regained its NHL franchise.