Every team is different and no two parents are alike but over my 15+ years of playing hockey there are a few parents that seem to always make an appearance no matter what level you play, they are tried, tested and true. Simply put—they are hockey parents.
1. The Lone Wolf- Often found roaming lobbies and keeping a low profile, the Lone Wolf is never to be approached lightly. He is often that one dad who always finds himself a nice empty corner of the rink safely away from any other spectators or parents. Often found in the classic windbreaker, jeans and running shoes combo, the only time he uncrosses his arms is to bang on the glass or grab another sip from his XL Double-Double from Tim’s.
2. The Circus Clown- Like an entire circus act, these types of hockey parents often seek each other out and travel in a pack, directly in contrast to the behavior of The Lone Wolf. These are the parents who are found dead center ice in a pack of 4 or 5. The herd usually consists of almost exclusively hockey moms. They will be decked out in team colors sporting blankets and sharing thermoses of hot chocolate. You will most definitely hear them before you see them by way of their trademark cowbell and air horns. When these parents show up you know the circus is in town.
3. The Coach- This parent type normally manifests itself in the hockey dad but has been known to appear in the odd hockey mom. Characterized by constant hotstoving in the stands, this parent is never too shy to add their two cents on how the team should be coached and who should play. Often they are known to lose their voice half way through the season due to constant screams of “SHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT” and “PASSSSSSSS THE PUCKKKKKKKK”. In rare cases, these parents even start their transformation early in their son or daughter’s career. You know who they are, they are the ones yelling “DUMP & CHASE” or looking for harder back checking during Timbits minor hockey games.
4 .The Phantom- Just like the name implies, this is the parent that you never see for all intents and purposes they are an elusive shadow. The only time you will ever see this parent is when they are peeling out of the parking lot leaving a trail of dust and gravel. Or, in the winter, when they almost put the family van into the snowbank as they Tokyo Drift their way out of the parking lot. On rare Occasions they will make an actual appearance inside the arena. However, this is only after the practice or game is over and they are peaking their head into the dressing room to tell their kid to “HURRY UP!” or “DON’T BE LAST”.
5. The Northern Star- Just like their name suggests, The Northern Star is always there. Day in day out they are there every single tryout, practice, game, tournament and fundraiser. They are quiet, they keep to themselves. They often bring other family members along, brothers, sisters, uncles and grandparents. Normally reserved, these parents stay clear of hockey politics and don’t get too caught up in the game. Like the straw that stirs the drink, they are there to mingle and socialize. Often you will find that this is their first child in hockey and have not yet been soured and jaded by countless long hours on the road and in the rinks along with not having consumed thousands of cups of terrible arena coffee.