UPDATE: Global warming might be destroying the planet but it’s also having some underrated benefits, as NHL Ice Girl squads have continued to get hotter and hotter over the past few years. As proof, I’m adding a couple of bonus exhibits, so you can see how the lay of the land has changed since 2012. And if things ever get so bad that NHL Ice Girls are no longer attractive, you know it’s time to move into a cabin in the woods and never speak to anyone.
You know what I love about hockey? It’s not a pretentious sport. You don’t see too many guys taking dives to draw penalties; when you do, they’re disdained (right, Canucks?). And as far as I know, there’s not a single player in the NHL who’s changed his name to Metta World Peace, Ochocinco, or some other nonsense. So yeah, hockey is a blue-collar, hard-nosed kind of sport. And that even goes for the cheerleaders.
What’s that? Oh yeah, there are cheerleaders in the NHL. Only they don’t just get to stand around looking pretty. Even they have to do something useful. To earn their keep, these women clean all the snow off the ice during TV time-outs. That’s why they are more often referred to as “Ice Girls” rather than cheerleaders.
Today I’m celebrating hockey’s blue-collar cheerleaders with this list of the hottest Ice Girl squads in the NHL.
In discussing the NHL's hottest ice girl crews, we would be remiss—cue “I Will Remember You” by Sarah McLachlan—if we did not mention the late, great, Atlanta Thrashers Ice Girls.
They aren’t literally dead, of course, but they are figuratively dead now that the Thrashers are the new Winnipeg Jets.
And hey, don’t get me wrong: I’m as happy as anybody that the NHL is back in hockey-mad Manitoba. But I’m also a little sad that these fine young women have had to go out and find other work.
It was a real pleasure watching you clean the ice, ladies. Godspeed.
Honorable Mention: Thrashers
So apparently Phoenix is one of the few teams that actually just has cheerleaders rather than ice girls. They call themselves the Phoenix Coyotes Paw Patrol. Now, as far as regular women go, these gals are pretty attractive. But when it comes to cheerleaders? Eh, they’re just so so. (Though even so so cheerleaders are pretty great.)
15. Phoenix Coyotes
In Calgary they call their ice girls the Flames Big Country Ice Crew. Unfortunately, the Big Country Girls have the worst outfits of any crew in our top 15. Still a cute bunch, though.
14. Calgary Flames
The Devils are another NHL team that has actual dancers instead of ice girls. I always assumed having dancers at a hockey game would be pointless, since everybody knows the intermissions between periods is when you go to the bathroom and get another beer (thus nobody would be watching them dance). But hey, whatever gets fans through the gates I guess.
13. New Jersey Devils
The New York Islanders would be thrilled if their hockey team could do as well as their ice girls crew. Being 12th in the NHL standings would actually put this poor franchise in the playoffs. As it is, these attractive women are some of the very few reasons people have to visit to the decrepit old Nassau Coliseum night in and night out.
12. New York Islanders
It used to be that Original 6 franchises considered themselves “above” the whole ice girl trend. They had tradition and success on their side; they didn’t need spectacle. But then the Original 6 teams realized, hey, people just like hot chicks, no matter how much tradition there is. So, viola, the Boston Bruins ice girls come in at #11.
11. Boston Bruins
I was kind of surprised that the Flyers ice girls cracked the top 10. I had been led to believe that most female Flyers fans had mustaches. Apparently I received incorrect information. These ladies are in fact quite attractive.
10. Philadelphia Flyers
Honestly, I expected a better showing from the ice girls crew of a team based in Florida.
Oh, wait, scratch that. These aren’t ice girls. These are just cheerleaders. They’re called the Lightning Girls.
Well, whatever. I’m still disappointed. For the rest of the country, these gals are great. For Florida they are subpar. Good thing there’s another Florida team picking up the slack.
9. Tampa Bay Lightning
This hot ice crew surprised me as much as the Tampa Bay crew disappointed me. I mean, who would have thought you’d get such a hot bunch in Columbus? Just look at those two are the right. Holy crap.
Then again, Columbus is a college town. They probably have all the hottest girls from all over Ohio to choose from. So maybe it’s not surprising after all.
8. Columbus Blue Jackets: Exhibit A
Here's another shot of one of the Blue Jackets' ice girls, and in my opinion, a better one. It shows one of the crew in action, and the camera angle is one that it doesn't take a poet to appreciate. Well done, Columbus.
8. Columbus Blue Jackets: Exhibit B
See, I told you the other team from Florida picked up Tampa’s slack. I would have ranked them higher, but seeing them all in bikinis really doesn’t give you a good idea of how good they look on the ice. And when we’re talking about ice girls, that’s where it really counts.
7. Florida Panthers
With such a strong tradition of extremely hot cheerleaders in the Dallas metro area (hello, Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders!), the Stars had no choice but to go out and put together one of the sexiest ice girl crews in the NHL.
Want more proof of their hotness? Okay, fine. Click next.
6. Dallas Stars: Exhibit A
See? Just amazing work by the Stars.
How about one more?
6. Dallas Stars: Exhibit B
Yeah, folks in Dallas know how to put together a squad of attractive women, don’t they?
6. Dallas Stars: Exhibit C
Who doesn't love a girl who's friends with Darth Vader? If you don't, I think the above pic, taken from a recent game between the Dallas Stars and the Los Angeles Kings, is likely to change your mind.
6. Dallas Stars: Exhibit D
The Ducks are based in Orange County, California, a hotbed of incredibly attractive women. Their ice girls crew does not disappoint.
5. Anaheim Ducks: Exhibit A
Yep, not bad.
5. Anaheim Ducks: Exhibit B
And, no, still not bad. Pretty fantastic, actually.
5. Anaheim Ducks: Exhibit C
Nashville is what they call a “non-traditional hockey market.” So the Preds felt they needed a gimmick to get fans through the gates. For example: ice girls with no pants.
Or maybe, ice girls who are extremely well-endowed? (Click next for Exhibit B)
4. Nashville Predators: Exhibit A
Obviously, fans in Nashville come to the game for the huge boobs, then stay for the hockey.
4. Nashville Predators: Exhibit B
Okay, I’m just kidding. Nashville actually has great hockey fans. They’re just great hockey fans who like busty ice girls.
4. Nashville Predators: Exhibit C
Here we have another “non-traditional” market that just decided to have regular, old-fashioned cheerleaders instead of “ice girls.” And that’s okay by me.
3. Carolina Hurricanes: Exhibit A
Yep, nothing wrong with regular old cheerleaders.
3. Carolina Hurricanes: Exhibit B
Nothing like a good-looking Southern Belle. Am I right?
3. Carolina Hurricanes: Exhibit C
If the Kings couldn’t put together a fine-looking ice girl crew with all the aspiring actresses looking for work in LA, nobody could.
2. Los Angeles Kings: Exhibit A
Obviously, the Kings did not let us down, here.
2. Los Angeles Kings: Exhibit B
And apparently, the Kings have a thing for cleavage.
2. Los Angeles Kings: Exhibit C
Well, don’t we all have a thing for cleavage?
2. Los Angeles Kings: Exhibit D
Coming in at #1 on our list of the NHL’s hottest ice girl crews are the stunning ice girls of the Chicago Blackhawks.
1. Chicago Blackhawks: Exhibit A
I wouldn’t have though the Hawks would come out on top. But what can I say?
1. Chicago Blackhawks: Exhibit B
No other team in the NHL has put together a more appealing bunch of ice cleaners.
1. Chicago Blackhawks: Exhibit C
Congratulations, Blackhawks fans. You are one lucky bunch.
1. Chicago Blackhawks: Exhibit D
Beautiful Women, hockey, hot chicks, NHL Ice Girls,