Vinnie Lecavalier on his throne in his penthouse. Or possibly posing for a magazine. (image: Getty images)

Take Five: The Name Game

Jussi, Jussi, bo-bussi, bananafana, fo-fussi…Oh hi! Sorry I was just over here playing the name game! It’s been a long week. What’s in a name? When it comes to hockey players’ names I say FUN. There are certain names in hockey that I love. They are not necessarily exotic or reminiscent of foreign lands. I just get a kick out them. Here are five of my favorites and the ridiculous explanations for my affections.

1. Pekka Rinne – During the Stanley Cup playoffs I loved hearing the announcers talk about Pekka Rinne, the Nashville netminder. Pekka Rinne. Pekka Rinne. Say it alot and it sounds like he is Italian. “Mr. Pekkarinne your table is ready.” It is also highly evocative of cheese, pecorino cheese. “Would you care for some grated Pekka Rinne on your pasta?” Yes please!

2. Jordin Tootoo – Another Predator, Jordin Tootoo ends up on a lot of lists of fun hockey names and for good reason. His name is super fun to say. Jordin hails from scenic Rankin Inlet in Nunavut, Canada. He is Fluent in English and Inuktikuk. His interesting heritage gives us additional fun words to say. “It’s all Inuktikuk to me!” Is this enough to forgive the feisty forward for dating Kelly Pickler? Only time will tell.

3. Justin Abdelkader – I am in love with this Detroit winger’s last name. Every time an announcer says Abdelkader I think it sounds like a car part. “Sorry I am late again Bob. My car wouldn’t start. I think it needs a new Abdeldaker.” It’s totally appropriate for someone hitting the ice in the Motor City.

4. Steve Montador – I bet you think this former Sabre and new addition to the Blackhawks blue line has an average name. Not so fast there puck heads. You have to say it like you mean it with unbridled enthusiasm and an accent, preferably that of Ricardo Montalban while speaking of “fine Corinthian leather.” Steve MONNNNNNNN-tador! See how that works? He no longer sounds like a fella hailing from British Columbia. He sounds like a Spanish bullfighter! Olé!

5. Vincent Lecavalier - Yes. Vinnie Lecavalier, captain of the Bolts makes the cut. Lecavalier! Just like the car! That’s not the way to pronounce it unless you are one of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills or possibly Jay Mohr. It’s French and pronounced (luh-KAV-uhl-YAY). Having a French surname is somewhat colorful, but it’s the combination of the last name and the nickname that I find so amusing. Vinnie sounds so Italian. Lecavalier so French. When you put them together I have visions of him wandering around his penthouse wearing a smoking jacket, his pet tiger by his side.

Hockey is a fun sport but sometimes it seems like serious business. I like to think these world class athletes like to laugh as much as the rest of us and might even enjoy my crazy imagery. Hopefully I have convinced you to think outside the rink next time you hear an interesting hockey player’s name. Or I have convinced that you that I have gone completely mad.

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Tags: Buffalo Sabres Canada Chicago Blackhawks Detroit Red Wings Funny Hockey Names Hockey Humor Hockey Names Inuktikuk Jordin Tootoo Jussi Jokinen Justin Abdelkader Nashville Predators NHL Awards Nunavut Pekka Rinne Rankin Inlet Steve Montador Vincent Lecavalier Vinnie Lecavalier

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