For most NHL players, proper nutrition is a vital part of in-season training. Former NHLer turned trainer-to-the-stars Gary Roberts, for example, assigns his protégés a diet that has "no processed or packaged foods." Or else you have to answer to Gary Roberts.
Eating a big meal from a fast food joint the night before a game? Generally frowned upon in the NHL, circa 2012. Unless you're Olli Jokinen of the Calgary Flames, you haven't scored a goal since Dec. 23, 2011, and you remember some advice the best goal-scorer in hockey history shared with you:
So, to summarize: Olli Jokinen's slump-buster is a Big Mac from McDonalds, and it was on the advice of Wayne Gretzky.
"If the Great One tells you to have a burger, you better go and do it," said Jokinen after the Flames' 3-1 win over Chicago.
(Gretzky's request was easier to accept in the 1980s. Not because players ate what they wanted to, but because Semenko and McSorley would accompany you to the drive-thru to ensure it.)
Alas, Jokinen said this will not become a pregame ritual. From the Calgary Sun:
"You can't eat a Big Mac meal before every game," Jokinen said. "It wasn't that good, but whatever it takes. You've got to suck it up. We got two points and can move on. I did it for the team. It's all about the team. A little upset stomach (Friday), but it's all good."
There goes that endorsement deal.
In a related story, Dustin Byfuglien, who hasn't scored since Dec. 9, has announced he'll try not eating a Big Mac the night before a game. For once.