Hockey dogs and their famous dads


Canadians love hockey – it’s our national winter sport! For those talented enough to make it to the NHL or world class competition, it demands dedication and focus. So how to players like to spend their downtime? Hanging out with family, of course, and that includes the furry, four-legged members. After a tough game, a busy season, or a stellar career (for those who are retired), the “hockey dogs” are there to provide companionship and support.

Take a look at a few famous Canadian hockey players who posed with their pups to help raise money for charity.

Matt Duchene & Paisley

Renowned for his fast reaction time, it only makes sense that Duchene shares his life with a Brittany Spaniel – a breed known for its quick feet. In the off-season, Matt and Paisley love spending time at the cottage.

Hometown: Haliburton, Ontario
Current team: Colorado Avalanche
Claims to fame:

  • Represented Canada on the World Cup team three times, winning two gold medals and one silver. Duchene is also a forward on the 2017-18 World Cup team.
  • Became the youngest player in Avalanche history to reach 100 career points.
  • Won a gold medal with Canada at the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Corey Perry, Ace & Max

While his sturdy stature is certainly more similar to that of his Bulldog, Ace, seeing this 210-pound hockey great snuggle a toy breed is nothing short of adorable. Max originally belonged to Corey’s wife, Blakeny, but now the happy couple co-parents these loveable pups.

Hometown: Peterborough, Ontario
Current team: Anaheim Ducks
Claims to fame:

  • Helped the Ducks’ win their first Stanley Cup in franchise history in 2007.
  • Led the NHL with 50 goals in 2010-11, winning the Hart Trophy as the League’s MVP.
  • Member of Canada’s gold medal-winning Olympic teams in 2010 and 2014.
  • Member of the 2016 IIHF World Championships team and the 2016 Canadian World Cup team.
  • Helped lead Canadian junior team to a gold medal in the 2005 World Junior Championship.

Bernie Nicholls & Stanley

Nicholls held his title as one of the top scorers in the NHL throughout his 20-year career. No surprise, then, that he ended up with a hound – a category of dogs known for their stamina.

Hometown: Haliburton, Ontario
Current team: Retired
Claims to fame:

  • Scored over 1,200 career points while playing for six NHL teams.
  • Played in NHL All-Star Games in 1984, 1989 and 1990.
  • Won a silver medal in the 1985 World Ice Hockey Championships.

Johnny Bower & Jackson

Much like the Long-Haired Daschund, this talented hockey legend was often described as warm and fun-loving by both his fans and teammates. In honour of this beloved sport icon, Johnny Bower Park was erected in Mississauga, Ontario and is now a popular recreational site for many other pet parents and their pups.

Hometown: Prince Albert, Saskatchewan
Current team: Retired
Claims to fame:

  • Won four Stanley Cup championships with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and became the oldest goaltender to play in a Stanley Cup playoff game at the age of 44.
  • Nicknamed “The China Wall” due to his outstanding skill as a goaltender.
  • Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1976.

Want to see more hockey dogs? Visit to buy your own “Shelter Shots” calendar in support of the Peterborough Humane Society.


Emily Watson is a staff writer for Animal Wellness Magazine and Canadian Dogs Annual. She is a certified yoga and medical Qi Gong instructor and has been writing — creatively and otherwise — for ten years. Off the mat and away from the keyboard, Emily can be found hiking, camping and travelling with her wife and fur babies.