Kukla's Korner

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What’s in a name?


Before I even get into what I want to talk about, there’s two things that I would like to cover. I have been asked why I haven’t commented on when Patrick Kane will return from his wrist surgery.There’s a very simple answer. What is there to comment on? I am not going to rush to the computer every time there is a “so called update.” On several occasions this pre-season, I have read an update only to have another report contradict all that was said a day, and sometimes even hours earlier. When he’s healthy, and the doctor’s give it the OK, then he’ll return. I’m tired of hearing that he is an hour ahead of schedule one minute, only to be followed up with news of his delay up to 5 weeks.

Also, on a side note, I read Bob Probert’s autobiography, “Tough Guy”. I couldn’t put the book down. It was a pretty honest evaluation of himself. I guess the times spent in rehabs will do that. (Not a mean joke, I’m being serious) Anyway, I really recommend it.

Now, to what I want to say. I’ve been thinking about hockey nicknames, both from the Hawks and the NHL in general. I’ve noticed certain patterns that intrigue me.


Pattern # 1
There is, as always in a nickname, a tendency to shorten a person’s name. Over the years,Keith Magnuson was Maggie, Cheilos was Cheli, Stan Mikita was Stosh More recently we had Brian Sopel—Soaps, Marion Hossa—Hoss, Dustin Byfuglien—Buff, Antii Niemi—Nemo and so on.Taking a part of some one’s name has been around a long time. Ask any of your Thomas’s, Michael’s, and so on. This is of course nothing new. The next pattern is the one I find intriguing and more exclusive to hockey.

Pattern # 2
When some on already has a short mane, the tendency then, is to elongate the nick name. For example, we have Patrick Sharp—Sharpie, Patrick Kane—Kaner, Jonathan Toews—Taser and so on. I just really think that it is amusing that way. I guess you can’t make a short name even shorter, so your only route is to go longer. If you didn’t I guess it really wouldn’t be a nickname then, would it?

Pattern # 3
The other way to go is like this. Besides Brian Campbell, how many other Campbell’s were called Soup or Soupy? Probably too many to mention. I’m sure that there are other “play on words” names now that I am not thinking about. Then there are just made up monickers such as these. Booby Hull, as we know was the Golden Jet. His brother Dennis Hull, the Silver Jet..There is a whole list of The_____ names, to be sure.

What are some of your favorite nicknames, both famous or not. Post them here.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Vince Maranto, | KK Hockey | Permalink



Is Brian Sopel any relation to Brent Sopel?

Posted by VL from USA on 09/01/11 at 07:31 PM ET

KelseyAnn's avatar

I like Darren Helm’s nickname “Danger”, given to him because of his incredible speed. He and Abby (as Justin’s usually called since it’s shorter than Abdelkader) are also sometimes referred to as Dumb and Dumber, although I think that’s kind of an ‘inside the locker room only’ thing, and it’s a far from an official nickname.

Posted by KelseyAnn from Ahwatukee, Arizona on 09/01/11 at 07:35 PM ET


Vince, I read Probie’s book, too. Completely agree with what you said: ” I couldn’t put the book down.” Me neither. It was a great read.

Posted by wingsluver4ever from TC on 09/01/11 at 08:05 PM ET

Vince Maranto's avatar

Hey VL, I believe that Brian is Brent’ s “evil twin”... Good catch, my bad.

Posted by Vince Maranto on 09/01/11 at 08:24 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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