Hockey dads often get a bad rap. You see them getting slammed in the media all the time. They yell too loud and too much. They act like they are the coach and put way too much pressure on their player to win. These dads fully expect their child to make the NHL and if you disagree? Well then they will just pummel you at the next youth hockey game.
But us hockey moms know better.
I have seen the best and worst of both genders and have witnessed a side of the hockey dad that the outside world, not to mention the media, never recognizes. Dads who wipe away tears and tell their players how proud they are of them. Dads who miss work and beers with the guys just to be there to cheer on their player. Dads working a side gig to pay for all that new gear or that out-of-town tournament. The dad who puts aside his own hobbies to help their kid with their shot or play a little knee hockey.
I know quite a few of them...personally.
My husband happens to be a hockey STEP-father and has often put his own concerns and comfort aside to assist my goalie. From rescuing missing equipment from home in time for games or practice to cooking meals because I am away and can't do it...although that may just be because I am a terrible cook and hate to do it, but still.
He's been a great partner and this is all new to him!
He's never been a sports dad. He's never experienced the holes that hockey can leave in your social life or wallet. He certainly didn't understand the etiquette of being at a youth hockey game which is far different than cheering on the Arizona Coyotes. I had to inform him that, no, yelling at the ref at a youth game IS not considered just part of the experience.
But don't worry, he's come a long way baby!
So, the next time you see that dad hovering by the glass at a game, hauling in their kid's equipment or giving their player a high five or hug after the game, know this.
They are the rule, not the exception.
Know any good hockey dads? Mention them in the comments and spread the love!