With 82 games in the regular NHL season, and a potential 28 Stanley Cup playoff matches, hockey is one of the most demanding sports out there. Not only do teams play multiple matches each week, but they also spend large amounts of time on the road, traveling to other arenas across North America.
This puts a lot of pressure on the personal lives of players, and can be especially demanding for the NHL Players' wives. Whether they choose to travel and watch their husband's team or stay put at home and wait for them to come back, there are some basic rules that all NHL Wives need to follow.
10. Only Wives (And Kids) Are Allowed Into The Wives' Room
The Wives' Room is a room reserved for wives of hockey players to hang out and have a glass of wine before the match and between periods. It is also normally equipped with an area for their children to play.
According to Sean Avery, this room is only for wives and serious girlfriends; any girlfriend who has not yet been seeing a player for at least a few months in ineligible to enter. The only way that a girlfriend gets accepted into the Wives' Room is by earning an invitation from one of the NHL Wives to attend an event that they are hosting, where the wives wear their husbands' jerseys. Until then, not even a hockey wife can invite a new girlfriend into their den.
9. Don't Expect A Stable Home Life
With so many last-minute trade deals and constant traveling when playing away, it would be unrealistic for any hockey wife to expect a stereotypical home life. As Jane MacDougall, wife of Kirk McClean put it, "I learned what NHL really stands for: No Home Life".
This hockey wife spent time living in Florida, Vancouver and New York, all in the space of 11 months. In addition, she had 12 telephone numbers and was constantly in search of schools for her children.
Meany hockey wives also have to make large sacrifices in order to keep their family together. For Jenner Keith, her marriage meant giving up her dream of attending law school.
8. Do Not Wear Dresses to Games...
Noureen DeWulf, wife of goalie Ryan Miller, stated that wearing a dress to games is a poor idea. Not only is it impractical, cold, and means that the person wearing the dress will be drawing attention by being the only person dressed up like that, but the hockey wife should make an attempt to wear clothing that displays the logo (or colors) of the team she is supporting.
DeWulf reveals that the wives' dress code centers on being comfortable and warm, and that "fitted jeans, a light sweater and a leather jacket is a winning combo"... designer, of course.
7. ...But Make Sure You ALWAYS Look Perfect
Barbara Blank (better known as WWE Wrestler Kelly Kelly) who is currently separated from husband Sheldon Souray of the Anaheim Ducks, explained that hockey wives are constantly competing to see who looks best. She explains that designer clothes and makeup are a must, "especially on game day, when your No. 1 responsibility is to show up and support your man."
Also important to consider is that Hockey Wives' lives are incredibly glamorous, and consist primarily of parties, photo shoots and expensive vacations, and they have to look the part at all times.
6. Look Out For The Other Wives Of Your Team
Melinda Karlsson, wife of defenseman Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators, recently went through a traumatic time when she had to file an order of protection against the fiancee of another NHL Star. This was due to cyberbullying, and the alleged perpetrator used numerous fake Twitter accounts to make threatening comments about the Karlsson couple and write disturbing things about Melinda.
Fortunately, Melinda's fellow Senators' Wives rallied behind her in support, with Kodette LaBarbera stating on Twitter that "Her fixation with Mel has always been unhealthy. Then it became scary. So glad Mel is protecting herself. No team will welcome this girl to the room." This shows that when the going gets tough, NHL Hockey Wives should always be there for each other.
5. Have A Hobby
Some hockey wives say that once their husbands are traded to a new franchise and the move to a new city is completed, life can get tedious pretty quickly. One of the best solutions to this is to find a hobby. Laura Goehring, wife of former player Karl Goehring, added that joining social groups also helps, and justifies this statement by explaining “I took part in groups at the local university, and I also took dance classes. It is important to meet people right away and get involved immediately because it helps to adjust to the city.”
Angela Price, wife of Montreal Canadiens' goalie Carey Price, agrees with this sentiment, stating that it is tough for wives to follow the players on the road, and that keeping busy by having a hobby is a solution to the issue. She explains, "It’s nice to have something for yourself again, somewhere you can have a voice and you’re just not behind your husband". Price also joined the cast of Hockey Wives to keep busy.
4. Never Show Up At A Stanley Cup Championship Game Without A Garbage Bag
This piece of advice is courtesy of Krista Ference, former pro snowboarder and wife of Brian Ference of the Boston Bruins. She explained that celebrating a Stanley Cup triumph is a messy affair, with champagne and beer spraying all over the locker room, so it is important to have a garbage bag to put the wives' designer handbags inside as protection.
This rule is an extension of the rule stating that NHL wives should keep up appearances at all times, as those perfect designer handbags are an important part of a hockey wife's outfit.
3. Be Prepared To Marry Young
Noureen DeWulf, well-known actress and wife of Ryan Miller of the Anaheim Ducks said that she was shocked when she first entered the world of hockey and saw how many hockey players were already married in their early twenties.
DeWulf mostly puts this down to players having turbulent lifestyles, where they are constantly moving around and have little stability. She explains that many of the players' wives are women they have known since high school, and that they provide them with a sense of stability. She further elaborates by stating, "They really need stability. These guys are regimented. They need habits. Not having stability doesn’t work for their mentality."
2. Hockey Wives Have A Strict Social Hierarchy
Erin Valois of the National Post made the observation that the hierarchy of hockey wives is similar to that of NHL teams, particularly with reference to those who star in the Hockey Wives television series. She explains that "The captains' wife is top of the food chain", while wives of players in lower leagues typically do not form part of the inner social circle.
Kaitlyn McGrath, also of the National Post, agrees with Valois' sentiment, by pointing out another dynamic that she noticed; that wives of captains, star players and other players with big contracts cannot always relate to wives of enforcers and veterans who are nearing retirement.
1. Hockey Wives Need To Be The Backbone Of The Family
Emilie Blum, a former U.S. Military Intelligence Specialist and wife of Jonathon Blum, explained that she operates like a single mother, making sure that all of her family's affairs are in order so that her husband can focus on hockey. Blum explains, "I feel like I'm a maid, a massage therapist, an actual therapist".
She justifies her need to do this by explaining that taking the burden off her husband could help him avoid injury and win matches. She also mentions that there's a constant worry about families being uprooted due to players being traded, and this further emphasizes the importance of hockey wives being the rock of the family. This shows that NHL hockey wives do not always live the glamorous lives that outsiders think they do, and that these women have more stress and responsibilities than meets the eye.