What’s your favorite hockey movie?
If you’re reading this post, there’s a good chance you love some good old classic hockey movies.
It’s hard to pick a favorite though….
In this post, we’ll give you our 11 Best Hockey Movies of All Time.
There's likely a few you haven’t seen before or watched since they were on VHS (remember those)….
Grab some popcorn and let’s get started….
This list of hockey movies wouldn’t be legit if we didn’t start out with this one…
Slapshot goes down as one of the all time greatest hockey movies.
Released in 1977, Slapshot took place in a fictional town called Charlestown, PA.
With the local mill closing down, it’s on player coach Reggie Dunlop (Paul Newman) to re-ignite interest in the semi pro hockey team, the Charlestown Chiefs.
Otherwise it’s likely the end of his hockey career.
Redge brings in a few comical goons (aka the Hanson Brothers). Along with a host of other characters, they bring life back to the minor league team and town.
What year did the movie Snapshot come out?
Let’s move onto the next hockey movies here on our list...we're just getting warmed up.
The Mighty Ducks
Say whatever you want about the Mighty Ducks movies.
One thing we can all agree on is the following...
The Mighty Ducks trilogy helped shape hockey culture for many hockey players throughout the 1990’s and beyond.
As you’re reading this…I’m sure you can picture a classic scene from any of the series movies.
Whether it’s the Bash Brothers smashing opponents...
Julie the Cat Gaffney stopping the puck as well as Nikolai Khabibulin...
or the Ducks players skating with style through the Mall of America…
There’s so many classic scenes.
Therefore, these 3 movies take up the next 3 slots on our best hockey movies of all time list…
#2- The Mighty Ducks (1992)
When former attorney Gordon Bombay gets in trouble, he's forced into coaching the youth hockey team as punishment. This is his community service hours (not a bad gig).
What starts out as a dysfunctional program (lazy hockey players wearing football equipment) turns into a good youth team.
They soon contend for the peewee championship against Jack Reilly, Bombay’s former coach.
We won’t mention what happens next in case you haven’t seen the movie.
Chances are you have though....and should watch this classic again.
#3- D2: The Mighty Ducks (1994)
Inspired by his hockey itch from coaching, Gordon Bombay gives pro hockey another go in the minor leagues.
A career ending injury to his knee derails his path to the NHL. Following this, Bombay has the opportunity to coach the US Team in the Junior Goodwill Games.
The roster brings a mix of his former Ducks as well as many new faces (Luis Mendoza, Bash Brothers, Kenny Wu, and so on).
The arch rival of the movie is Team Iceland and their coach, Wolf Stansson.
Fun fact: Iceland actually does have a real hockey league. We covered it briefly in our European hockey leagues piece. We don't think they'd fare well versus Team USA though.
What a set of hair on that guy #flow
As D2 progresses, the Ducks overcome various obstacles on and off the ice. Bombay eats ice cream with the enemy (Iceland’s asst coach), and USA goes all the way….
#4- D3: The Mighty Ducks (1996)
The first two Mighty Ducks movies had Gordon Bombay (Emilio Estevez) as the main character.
D3's main characters are star player Charlie Conway and his teammates…
Based on Team USA’s performance in the Goodwill Games, the players are given scholarships to Eden Hall Academy.
With Gordon Bombay no longer behind the bench, Coach Orion steps in (always thought it was coach O’Ryan…anyways)
Throughout the movie, there’s a huge rivalry between their team (JV) and the Varsity team. There's an eventual showdown between the two to see who’s top dog at Eden Hall.
In all, these three movies in the Mighty Ducks trilogy will live on as hockey classics. Let’s continue with more hockey movies...
Released in 1986, Youngblood follows the story of Dean Youngblood (Rob Lowe). Dean is a high school farm boy from the US who’s given a hockey tryout north of the border in Canada.
Throughout the movie, Youngblood aims not only to prove he’s worthy on the ice at the Canadian junior hockey level, but also to win off the ice with the coach’s daughter.
Youngblood is a classic hockey movie and stars many well known actors/actresses. From Patrick Swayze and Cynthia Gibb to Ed Lauter (played the Dad in Step Brothers) and Keanu Reeves (the goalie), it's an impressive cast in hindsight.
Also can’t forget tea with McGill?
For any player young or old who’s played junior hockey or is an avid fan, this movie will resonate with you.
#6- Miracle On Ice
Miracle on Ice is based on the story of the 1980 US Men’s Olympic hockey team who beat the world dominant Soviets in one of the biggest upsets in sports history.
Following this win, they went on to win the gold medal match versus Finland.
The movie follows Herb Brooks as he brings together a collection of young college stars primarily from New England & Minnesota to compete in the Lake Placid games.
Throughout the movie, the chips are stacked against Brooks methods and roster decisions, but in the end, it pays off for all who took part as the team won gold. Miracle on Ice paints an optimistic story of belief and patriotism during this Cold War era in the early 1980’s.
Any one looking for an uplifting flick on the game of hockey, you can’t go wrong with this one…
For many in the United States, it’s one of the great hockey movies and a must watch!
Canadians like it as well….although they do joke that it’s a little overhyped (Canadians have the Summit Series & Salt Lake Games).
It’s only fitting after this movie for us to cover another hockey flick that is much less known. It tells the other side of the “Miracle on Ice” story…..from the Russian teams perspective.
#7- Of Miracles & Men (30 for 30)
Most of us reading this post know how Team USA beat the Soviets in “Miracle on Ice.”
The Soviets side of the same story wasn’t told.
In this documentary, director Jonathan Hock looks at the events through a Soviet view point.
This is a wonderful documentary because it takes you back in time to the origins of how Russia rose to hockey prominence.
Through the vision of Anatoli Tarasov (via the Big Red Machine), they were able to dominate over time.
Though the Soviets were seen as big and mean from afar, this story paints the Soviet players in a different light on and off the ice. Viewing their training habits in the Red Army is equally impressive.
These Soviet players during this era paved the way for many Russian players we all watch in the NHL today.
We recommend watching this one.
#8- Mystery Alaska
Released in 1999, Mystery Alaska covers the tale of the folks in a remote town in Alaska who’s obsessed with hockey.
A publicity stunt somehow brings the New York Rangers up to Alaska to face the local amateur team.
Sheriff John Biebe (Russell Crowe) and local players must put their differences aside. Doing so helps them put up a formidable opponent for the big match.
The movie was filmed in Canmore, Alberta and provides no shortage of great outdoor hockey footage.
Goon stars Doug Glatt (Sean William Scott) as he unexpectedly becomes a minor league hockey enforcer.
As a bouncer at a bar in New England, Glatt is not happy on his career path. His dad and brother have more successful careers as doctors.
After sticking up for his friend in a brawl with a player in the stands at a hockey game, Glatt gets a surprise call from the minor league coach to tryout.
This lands his with the job of enforcer. Throughout the rest of the movie, he has a big rivalry with Ross “The Boss” Rhea (Live Schreiber). Ross was demoted to the minors after a 20-game suspension.
Goon lands on this list due to it being a funny hockey movie that many (including yourself) might enjoy.
#10- Ice Guardians (documentary)
This 2016 documentary is one of the best made stories on the complexities of fighting in hockey. They cover why it’s a necessary part of the game to the negatives that play a heavy burden on those who take on the job.
Seen through the lens of enforcers from Seth Westgarth and Brian McGrattan to Dave Schultz and Joe Kocur, you get a deep look into the mental side of fighting.
If you haven’t seen this documentary yet, it’s definitely worth checking out.
#11- The Rocket- Maurice Richard
This 2005 movie tells the story about the province of Quebec’s most well known player, Maurice “The Rocket” Richard.
The story covers the struggles he goes through as a French Canadian in the NHL. A league full English speaking people.
Not only does this movie have that great old school hockey vibe. You’ll also walk away from watching it with a better appreciation with what players during this era went through.
Happy Gilmore (honorable mention)
Although Happy Gilmore isn’t a hockey movie per se, we wanted to toss it in at the end as an honorable mention.
It’s a great movie. Gilmore loves hockey as much as you and I.....and it’s only 364 days until tryouts.
Happy Gilmore wants to play hockey at a higher level, but he has one major problem.
He can’t skate for his life…
When his grandma loses her house….he needs to come up with a way to make money fast (hockey ain’t cutting it).
Golf is the answer….and his putter of choice is a hockey stick.
In closing of this post, we hope you were able to find some hockey movies that you like. Some of which you’re already familiar with....and maybe a few new ones.
If you’re reading this and you are a legitimate player looking to continue playing hockey in Europe, feel free to reach out to us.