How Hockey Players Talk

How Hockey Players Talk
Are you a hockey enthusiast who wants to dive into the world of how hockey players communicate on and off the ice? Look no further, as we have compiled a list of five interesting facts about how hockey players talk, along with seven frequently asked questions (FAQs) and detailed answers. Let’s get started!

Fact 1: Hockey players use a unique vocabulary.
Hockey players have a language of their own, often using specialized terms and slang when communicating. For example, they use phrases like “top shelf” (scoring a goal by shooting in the top part of the net) or “dangle” (referring to a player’s exceptional stickhandling skills).

Fact 2: Trash-talking is prevalent in hockey.
Trash-talking, or verbal intimidation, is a common occurrence in hockey. Players use it as a tactic to disrupt their opponents’ focus and gain a psychological advantage. Although it can sometimes get heated, most players see it as part of the game and just a way to get under each other’s skin.

Fact 3: Player-to-player communication is crucial.
On the ice, hockey players rely heavily on nonverbal communication to coordinate their movements. Hand signals, eye contact, and body language play significant roles in relaying messages quickly and efficiently during gameplay. This language of gestures is developed through years of teamwork and experience.

Fact 4: Coaches communicate through systems and strategies.
Coaches play a vital role in hockey, and they often communicate with their players through predetermined systems and strategies. By using specific hand signals, whiteboard drawings, or even coded messages, coaches convey instructions to players on the bench or during timeouts.

Fact 5: Off-ice communication enhances team camaraderie.
Successful hockey teams understand the importance of strong off-ice communication. Building relationships, trust, and camaraderie among players helps create a cohesive unit on the ice. Off-ice communication often occurs through team-building activities, group chats, meetings, and social gatherings.

Now, let’s move on to some frequently asked questions:

FAQ 1: Do hockey players communicate during games?
Yes, hockey players communicate during games. They use various methods like shouting instructions, calling for passes, or informing their teammates about the on-ice situation. Nonverbal cues and pre-established strategies also aid in communication.

FAQ 2: What language do hockey players speak on the ice?
Hockey players communicate predominantly in the language commonly spoken by the team. In North America, English is frequently used, while different languages are used in international leagues.

FAQ 3: Are there any penalties for excessive trash-talking in hockey?
Trash-talking is allowed up to a certain extent in hockey. However, if it becomes overly abusive, personal, or crosses any boundaries, players may receive penalties such as unsportsmanlike conduct or verbal abuse penalties.

FAQ 4: How do hockey players communicate with referees?
Hockey players may communicate with referees, but they must do so respectfully. Communication usually occurs when players need clarification on a call or penalty, though arguing too much can result in additional penalties.

FAQ 5: How do coaches communicate with players on the ice?
During games, coaches communicate with players through a combination of hand signals, body language, and shouting instructions. It’s crucial for players to understand these signals and quickly apply them to the gameplay.

FAQ 6: Do all hockey players understand each other’s unique slang?
Most professional hockey players understand the common slang used in the hockey community. However, specific slang terms can vary across leagues, regions, or even teams. Players may need some adjustment time when joining a new team or league.

FAQ 7: Is there any language barrier for international players in hockey?
International players who join teams in different countries may face a language barrier initially. However, most professional leagues have players from various countries, so language differences are typically overcome through using a shared language, interpreters, or learning basic hockey terminology.


Communication plays a pivotal role in hockey, both on and off the ice. Hockey players utilize their unique vocabulary, engage in controlled trash-talk, and rely on nonverbal cues during gameplay. Coaches communicate strategies, while off-ice interactions foster team bonding. So, next time you watch a hockey game, pay attention to how the players talk and understand the intricate world of hockey language.