Top 25 Oddest, Coolest and Most Unusual Names for NHL Hockey Players

Smiley GimbelCorrespondent IMay 31, 2011

Top 25 Oddest, Coolest and Most Unusual Names for NHL Hockey Players

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    I was reading an NHL book the other day, and I was fascinated by the number of odd, unusual and awesome names of NHL hockey players.

    I myself have an unusual first name of "Smiley" courtesy of hippie parents, so I can appreciate these wildly unusual names and the persona it can give the owner.

    I personally would have preferred my parents name me after Snake Plissken—but alas, it is what it is.

    This list could have gone into the hundreds, so in order to keep it short, only NHL players playing at least one NHL game are included.

    Let us begin...

Daren Puppa

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    10 Dec 1997:  Goaltender Daren Puppa of the Tampa Bay Lightning in action against the Dallas Stars during a game at the Reunion Arena in Dallas, Texas.  The Stars defeated the Lightning 3-0. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Dunn  /Allsport
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Any name that sounds like a bodily function just has to be included in this list.

    On a bad night—"Daren Puppa'd the bed!"

    On a good night—"Daren was the Puppa!"

    All in all, a great name!

Parris Duffus

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    Played one game for the Phoenix Coyotes in the 1996-97 season.

    It's bad enough to have to go through life with a last name that can be slightly altered to sound like "Doofus," but the parents felt they needed to really toughen him up and named him Parris.

    I'll bet he knows karate too!

Jordin Tootoo

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    ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 13:  Jordin Tootoo #22 of the Nashville Predators looks on against the Anaheim Ducks in Game One of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Honda Center on April 13, 2011 in Anaheim, California.
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    His parents could have gotten him into ballet with no raised eyebrows.

    As it is, I think his last name is very neat!

Radek Bonk

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    DALLAS - FEBRUARY 08:  Radek Bonk #14 of the Nashville Predators during play against the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Center on February 8, 2009 in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    You think they couldn't have gone wrong with the last name of "Bonk"!

    You think it couldn't be worse?

    They could have named him Richard.

    Think about it.

    There ya go!

Bill Quackenbush

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    Played for the Detroit Red Wings and the Boston Bruins from 1942-1956.

    An honest-to-God real name from an Americanized spelling of a Dutch name meaning "swamp wilderness."

    Yup. Swamp wilderness. Aside from that, though, he was a pretty darn good player—in the Hall of Fame!

Rob Klinkhammer

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    CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 08: Rob Klinkhammer #59 of the Chicago Blackhawks looks for a pass against of the Dallas Stars at the United Center on December 8, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Blackhawks defeated the Stars 5-3. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Ima
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Got to love those crazy Dutch names. It means literally "sound the hammer"!

    Actually pretty cool if you ask me.

Cal Clutterbuck

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    ST PAUL, MN - MARCH 22:  Cal Clutterbuck #22 of the Minnesota Wild skates against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Xcel Energy Center on March 22, 2011 in St Paul, Minnesota.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    Can you imagine a defensive line pairing of Klinkhammer and Clutterbuck? Crazy!

    Way cool mustache too. Bitchin'!

Zarley Zalapski

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    7 Mar 1998: Zarley Zalapski #3 of the Montreal Canadiens looks down the ice during a game against the Buffalo Sabres at the Molson Center in Montreal, Canada. The Sabres defeated the Canadiens 2-1.
    Robert Laberge/Getty Images

    I absolutely love names with alliteration. 

    Wonder if they nicknamed him "Bob Zarley?"

Hakan Loob

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    INGLEWOOD, CA - 1988:  Hakan Loob #12 of the Calgary Flames skates during warm-ups prior to a game against the Los Angeles Kings in the 1988 NHL season at the Great Western Forum in Inglewood, California.  (Photo by Tim DeFrisco/Getty Images)
    Tim DeFrisco/Getty Images

    Håkan Loob played for Calgary from 1983 to 1989 and was actually a great player, posting almost a point per game during his NHL career.

    But oh, what a name!

    It could have been worse though. He too could have been named Richard.

    Now THAT would have been awesome!

Lonny Bohonos

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    I've always thought Lonny's name just sounded great! All those O's and N's—just rolls off the tongue.

    Sounds like he should be playing in Hawaii. Actually, it sounds like a Hawaiian island. Do they even have ice rinks out there?

Fred Sasakamoose

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    He was the first Canadian aboriginal player in the NHL and the first First Nations player with a treaty status.

    And on top of all that—how Canadian can you get?

    He's an Aboriginal AND he has "moose" in his surname.


Dick Duff

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    NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 22: Dick Duff attends the ceremony honoring Andy Bathgate and Harry Howell prior to the game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the New York Rangers on February 22, 2009 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Benne
    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    I love how it's short and to the point.

    First name? Dick. 

    Last name? Duff. 

    Dick Duff.

    Some alliteration with some allegorical. Rhymes with just about anything.

    Pure awesome!

Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond

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    NEWARK, NJ - SEPTEMBER 28: Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond #22 of the New Jersey Devils skates against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Prudential Center on September 28, 2010 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    How pretentious are his parents? Let's not just saddle our little bundle of joy with a hyphenated last

    Let's also hyphenate his first name!

    Now that's a mouthful.

Harry Dick

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    Yeah, I said it!

    Played defense for 12 games for the Chicago Blackhawks in the 1946-47 season.

    What were his parents thinking?

    Was his best friend growing up Mike Hawks?

Jonathan Cheechoo

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    ATLANTA - JANUARY 12:  Jonathan Cheechoo #41 of the Ottawa Senators against the Atlanta Thrashers at Philips Arena on January 12, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Jonathan Cheechoo.


    Let's move on...

Tony Twist

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    13 Jan 1999: Tony Twist #18 of the St. Louis Blues stretches out on the ice before the game against the Buffalo Sabres at the Marine Midland Arena in Buffalo, New York. The Blues defeated the Sabres 4-2.
    Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    His name sounds like a product.

    "Tony Twist Vodka Poppers!"

    "Tony Twist Pocket Knifes!"

    "The Tony Twist Slap Chopper!"

    No wonder the boy was a goon, posting 1,121 career penalty minutes!

Dion Phaneuf

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    TORONTO, CANADA - FEBRUARY 26: Dion Phaneuf #3 of the Toronto Maple Leafs prepares for a faceoff during the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Air Canada Centre February 26, 2011 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)
    Abelimages/Getty Images

    (Remember that Muppets song "Mahna Mahna"?)

    Dion Phaneuf

    Do doo be-do-do

    Dion Phaneuf

    Do do-do do

    Dion Phaneuf

    Do doo be-do-do be-do-do be-do-do be-do-do-doodle do do do-doo do!

Frank McCool

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    To me, hands down the most awesome name!

    "Are you cool?"

    'No, I'm McCool!"

    Recipient of the 1945 Calder Trophy—he had to be pretty cool under pressure playing goal for the Leafs with no mask!

Sergio Momesso

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    Though a bit on the spicy Italian meatball side of things, it rolls off the tongue very nicely, and it's just such a tough-sounding name.

    Sounds like the name of a kneecapper for the Gambino crime family.

    Now that's pure awesome!

Rico Fata

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    VANCOUVER, CANADA - OCTOBER 27:  Rico Fata #22 of the Washington Capitals stretches during warm up prior to the game against the Vancouver Canucks at General Motors Place on October 27, 2006 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  The Canucks defeated th
    Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images

    Let it roll over your tongue with a Spanish lilt:

    Riiiiiiiiiico Faaaaaaaaaaata!!!

    Sounds so suave. So "Rico Fata!"

    Sounds like he should be playing in a boy band at Madison Square Garden.

    Or opening a ladies' handbag and shoe store.

Merlin Malinowski

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    Actually not too bad a player, getting 165 points in 282 games.

    Maybe not the "magician" his parents envisioned him, but not too bad.

    Real name too, and with a last name like Malinowski—well, it really rather rolls off the tongue!

Lindy Ruff

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    RALEIGH, NC - JUNE 01:  Head coach Lindy Ruff of the Buffalo Sabres watches play from the bench during the first period of game seven against the Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference Finals in the 2006 NHL Playoffs on June 1, 2006 at RBC Arena in
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Another badass name!

    His parents decided to name their son a "girly"-sounding name like "Lindy" (think "Linda" and you'll get where I'm coming from).

    Any other given name with that last name would have been more manly-sounding. Curtis Ruff. Bruce Ruff. Garret Ruff. Even his own middle name of Cameron Ruff would have been manlier.

    But he made his name badass. And you know why?

    Look at the above picture and tell me if you would laugh at his name.

    See. Badass!

Grant Clitsome

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    COLUMBUS, OH - MARCH 09:  Grant Clitsome #14 of the Columbus Blue Jackets looks on the St. Louis Blues on March 9, 2011 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    We've had Dick Duff, Harry Dick and now we have...


    ...Grant Clitsome.

    This is just one odd surname!

    What if he married a girl named Dolores?

    Yup. Dolores Clitsome would be a pretty darn funny name!

Per Djoos

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    Whenever you have a name that sounds like "Pear Juice," you've got problems.

    North America just wasn't ready for a name like Per Djoos, and after just three years and 82 NHL games, he packed it up and went back to Europe.

    They really like their juice over there in Europe.

    Preferably fermented.

Kevin Shattenkirk

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    UNIONDALE, NY - MARCH 05:  Kevin Shattenkirk #12 of the St. Louis Blues skates against the New York Islanders at the Nassau Coliseum on March 5, 2011 in Uniondale, New York.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    Did Kevin Shat in Kirk? 

    That's just such a wrong image, but alas, it's all I'm getting out of this name.

    It's a pretty powerful name though.

    It kind of makes me giggle, like the word "titmouse."

    My wife says I act like I'm 12 years old—she may be right!

Honorable Mentions

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    There were so many more names I could have added, and there are names I've probably missed. 

    Harri Sateri, Wojtek Wolski, Ben Lovejoy, Nolan Yonkman, Tuuka Rask and Robin Big Snake are a few off the top of my head.

    Feel free to add some more in the comments section below.

    Cheers :)


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