3 Players2By James Minger


Regularly writes for, Pattisonave.com


Congratulations to you, adult hockey person! You have successfully completed yet another year of Beer League hockey!

For most of you reading this, your team probably did not complete mission #16W (or however many games it takes for you to win your local championship). Alas, back to the drawing board we go, and it’s time to start recruiting various younger people to inject some desperately needed speed into next year’s roster.

But these are the problems of mere mortals. Every Beer League at every level had champions that were determined through some sort of playoff tournament. If you have ever experienced a Beer League playoff game, then you know that this is some of the most fun, ridiculous, unnecessarily argumentative/violent hockey you will ever play in your life.

Let’s check off some of things that you will automatically encounter during your post-season:


1.     You know how your team struggles to have two lines all year despite having 300 people on its roster? Well luckily for you, all 300 roster players are going to be “magically available” for every playoff game. Each and every one of these ghostly teammates will take 2 minute shifts each because of how well rested they are and as a thank you/FU for playing the whole season like a dweeb.

  2.     Not only will everyone be at every game, other teams will now be featuring a guy with a solid color jersey that doesn’t quite match everyone else’s. However, even though this guy’s jersey doesn’t match, you quickly notice that all of his gear matches as it is the gear issued to him by his college/junior/semi-pro team. Fuck you, Mr. Ringer! You have many skills but discretion is not one of them.



3.     There will be a dispute about playoff seeding. Let’s face it, the person keeping score is not about to win a Nobel Prize for Achievement in Beer League Data Entry. Point being is the people that keep track of your records and stats are fallible as fuck and you’re dummy for getting made when there is a mistake (that am 100% positive) that you yourself would make in the same job. No matter where you play, these three things will occur in your Beer League playoffs.



But this stuff is pretty benign and can be expected. Unfortunately, everyone can also expect for there to at least one – if not several –  Beer League Conn Smythe Candidates (CSC’s). You know exactly who I’m talking about. Just like the real Conn Smythe, a CSC presents their skills and value to a team in many ways:


Guy That Thinks Checking Is All Of The Sudden ‘Okay’, Because It’s The Playoffs. What is wrong with this person? I cannot understand what a regular day must be like for such a magnificent Beer League physical specimen. Really think about this for a second and think about the Beer League hero who jockeys a desk all day that can’t wait until their 10:45 PM to “grind out a victory for the boys.”   What is wrong with you? Do not tell me that you, “can’t turn it off” when you’re out there.




I don’t know what kind of narrative that you have constructed for yourself but you are not a Hanson Brother in Slapshot, nor are you Tyler Durden in Fight Club. Chill the fuck out, skate hard and battle in the rough areas, but leave your Rule 48 hits at home or in the top drawer of your desk at the job that you clearly hate.  


Coach, Jerk Adams. We all know that the Jack Adams trophy is awarded to the NHL’s coach of the year. Well, in the Beer Leagues we have something similar. The only difference is that it’s somebody on your squad that does not know how to properly communicate to the rest of the team.   Every team has one. This is the person who is personally offended when a play is not perfectly executed. “DAMNIT, BILL! YOU WERE OFF SIDES AND RUNINED THE GAME AND SEASON FOR EVERYONE BY MAKING THE SAME MISTAKE THAT I MADE BUT IT WAS TOTALLY OKAY BECAUSE I MADE IT!”   Why don’t we lay off poor Bill because he is A) Probably not that good and is just doing this as a fun hobby; and mostly B) Is a grown man and doesn’t need to be yelled at by some douche who thinks that yelling at everyone is the key to winning “The Big Game.”   You are not the coach. You are just some guy that clearly cares way more than they probably should.  



Finally, Guy Who Is Just All Round Way Too Into The Game. Now don’t get me wrong, I care about the games and I try my hardest every game. Believe me, I am not spending time away from my family for 11:00 PM start times because I don’t care about the games.   However, I also do not have my personal identity riding on my Beer League capabilities. I do not slam my stick like a child if something doesn’t go my way. I don’t say truly hateful and sadistic things to my opponents. I don’t yell at the ref for every little thing I have mentally constructed to have happened way differently than they actually did on the ice. Speaking of Refs.. they are tired of your BS too. They have started sounding off with ref rants




And to finish, I don’t show boat out there as if I’m a Danny Briere fist pump burning in the ashes of Ovechkin’s stick fire all while riding said burning stick like I’m Tiger Williams.

I’ve assembled this list not to be the Fun Police , but to really just say “Cool the fuck out” to the people that need to be told to “Cool the fuck out.”

Even if it is Beer League, hockey is still the best sport! (Softball can kick rocks!) Again, just like the NHL, the playoffs should be the most fun and exciting time of a hockey season. So if you are reading this and you are a Beer League Conn Smythe Candidate, my final plea to you is that:

I don’t know what your Beer League Agent is telling about Beer League signing bonuses, and Beer League endorsement deals, but for the sake of everyone else’s enjoyment, why don’t you turn it down a notch there, superstar?

On the real…let’s all settle down & have a beer or three because at the end of the game, winning a trophy or not, it’s all about having brewskies with the boys (or ladies)!


Know anyone on your team that needs to cool it on the beer league playoff heroics? Share this! If even one CSC gets the hint, you have made Beer League Hockey a better place!