Real Hockey Men Wear Cartoons

An ant with pecs, interesting. I like it. (Credit: FireAntz/SPHL)

We all know the saying, “It takes a real man to wear pink.” The statement must apply to hockey players as well. It never fails to amuse me to see a tough, burly guy working the ice with a pansy arse cartoon on his jersey. Despite the child-like logos, players from many hockey leagues prove the can toughen up the softest of sweater logos.

Locally, Fayetteville’s SPHL’s FireAntz is an interesting example. In all honesty, how can a minuscule ant be fearful looking? The FireAntz figured out this recipe…give the red ant firm pecs, devil horn looking antlers and sharp pinchers. The boys, especially one Phil Sbrocchi, can wear their jerseys with minimal shame.

At the AHL level, the Charlotte Checkers and Hershey Bears did a good job at making their bears more fierce than cuddly. However, there are players who must really buff up the testosterone to pull off these cartoon ridden get-ups. Here is my AHL ranking from tolerable to would-even-make-the-Hulk-look-pansy:

5. Binghamton Senators: This dude is a mildly more evil version of Family Guy’s Quagmire.

Bingo Man & Quagmire...seperated at cartoon birth? (Photo via

4. Hamilton Bulldogs: Yes, a bulldog can be intimating, but this cute guy is nearly smirking.

3. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins: A broad shouldered (Do penguins even have shoulders?) penguin with a naked butt has to be the cutest sweater in the AHL. Poor Pens boys.

2. Peoria Rivermen: Oh my God, a sailor! Hide your wife, hide your children. Really, he is no scarier than Popeye. I may be more scared of Popeye actually.

1. Connecticut Whalers: First of all, the killer whale is really the only manly choice when it comes to whales. Second, this fuzzy blue whale is blowing his blow hole. (no words) The poor Whalers boys must have to watch hours of porn after wearing those sweaters for 60 minutes.

Cute lil'bulldogs. (Photo via

Surprisingly, I did not have much beef with the ECHL. Unfortunately, only my native state challenges its player’s manhood. The Toledo Walleye’s are as cartoon as it gets.

The OHL on the other hand boasts a number of shrinkage-causing jerseys. The Sudbury Wolves, Sarnia Sting, Erie Otters, and the worst, the Niagara Icedogs.

NHL maintains a pretty cartoon-free league. The Pittsburgh Penguins and Anaheim Ducks players may have the most difficult time pulling off extreme masculinity in their jerseys. Clearly birds do not make for manly mascots. I would love to see Chara play in the Icedogs get-up. I think even he would lose a bit of his intimidation.

We're gonna get you...arf, arf. The dude in pink looks more manly. (JEFF SCHRIER/The Saginaw News)

Topics: AHL, Binghamton Senators, Charlotte Checkers, ECHL, Erie Otters, Fayetteville FireAntz, Jerseys, Logos Mascots, NHL, Niagara Icedogs, OHL, Peoria Rivermen, Sarnia Sting, Toledo Walleye, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins

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