When a group of hockey players spend just about every waking hour together, strong friendships are bound to happen.
Over the last few years, The NHL has seen some unbreakable family bonds…
… and it’s also witnessed some lifelong BFFs.
A good bromance is a beautiful thing. So, in honour of Thursday’s #FriendshipDay (wait — isn’t everyday friendship day?), we’ve compiled a list of the NHL’s top 12 bromances.
Roberto Luongo + Eddie Lack = Long distance love
The duo formed their friendship as the Canucks’ one-two punch in net, refusing to let the team’s starting goaltender qualms get in the way.
Both goalies are now no longer in Vancouver, but their love lives on — just look at Eddie Lack’s Instagram bio for proof.
Brian Elliott + Jake Allen = Budding bromance
Ah, new bromance. Is there anything better? Brian Elliott tweeted this sweet photoshopped movie poster following news of Jake Allen’s new contract with the Blues.
No crease controversy here.
Marty St. Louis + Mats Zuccarello = Short-lived affair
Short being the key word, of course. Zuccarello (aka Frodo Baggins) posted this gem of a photo upon St. Louis’ (aka Samwise Gamgee) retirement announcement with the caption, “Great playing with u my Sam. We will chase the ring without u now”
Tyler Seguin + Michael Del Zotto = Just a couple a Goons
“The last two single guys in the NHL,” according to Seguin, the two have lived and trained together in Toronto during the last two summers — Del Zotto does the cooking — and just recently filmed a cameo together in Goon: Last of the Enforcers.
But when summer’s over… and the two say farewell…
Seguin’s Stars teammate (and BFF) Jamie Benn is waiting with open arms.
Toews + Kane = Opposites attract
Are they or aren’t they? While the two Blackhawks’ superstars seem worlds apart in personality, their on-ice chemistry points to yes.
Of course, this pair isn’t without its qualms.
(Thanks, Kyle from Chicago, for asking this question back in 2011!)
Duncan Keith + Brent Seabrook = Blueline bromance
Much like their offensive counterparts, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, these elite defencemen have some of the best on-ice chemistry in the league.
They’ve developed a strong friendship as a result, with Keith saying that Seabrook is one of his best friends in hockey.
Fun fact: The defensive duo also appeared on an episode of the TV show Chicago Fire together.
Jeff Carter + Mike Richards = Best friends for life
Best friends do everything together, and Carter and Richards have been an excellent — uncanny, at times — example of that: The two played together twice at the World Junior Championships and were both drafted by Philadelphia in the first round. The longtime linemates (and locker room neighbours) were then dealt to two separate teams on the same day, only to be reunited less than a year later in Los Angeles. What’s next for these besties is unclear, of course, as Richards’ contract was terminated in late June.
Ryan Getzlaf + Corey Perry = First-line friends
Born just six days apart, drafted just nine spots apart and playing on the same line for the majority of their time with the Ducks, Perry and Getzlaf are two inseparable greats.
And, judging by the duo’s near-matching contract extensions they signed just days apart, they’ll continue in their (t)winning ways for a while yet.
Phil Kessel + Tyler Bozak = Perfectly quirky bros
We got a glimpse into the (now former) roommates’ lives during the leadup to the 2013-14 NHL Winter Classic on HBO’s 24/7, and it was pretty amazing.
Shawn Thornton + Tuukka Rask = An unlikely pair
The longtime Bruins teammates were neighbours while Thornton was in Boston, and even owned a boat together. (Rumour has it, they still do!)
Ryan Suter + Zach Parise = An unbreakable bond
Matching contracts and on-ice chemistry aside, longtime teammates Suter and Parise’s already-strong friendship became an important support system for both players as they leaned on one another through tragedy.
Just months after Ryan Suter’s father, Bob, died of a sudden heart attack, Zach’s father, J.P. died of lung cancer.
“It was really important to have someone to talk to who literally just went through it,” Parise told NHL.com in April. “I know it was a different situation but it’s the same result, and someone who just went through the exact same thing can help. Ryan had a similar relationship with his dad that I did with mine, so he knew exactly the feelings I was dealing with. To have someone you’re a friend with going through the same thing was important.”
Sidney Crosby + Nathan MacKinnon = Nice neighbours
When two of hockey’s biggest names come from the same small East Coast town, they’re bound to be friends…
Despite MacKinnon claiming the elder Cole Harbourite gave him the cold shoulder during a game in March, the two have been making the rounds in their hometown, doing good deeds — first making an appearance working the local Tim Horton’s drive-thru and, more recently, bringing a little cheer to a 7-year-old Dartmouth boy battling leukemia.