(Puck Daddy presents its annual look back at the year in hockey. Check back every day through the New Year for our many lists and hot takes.)
Let’s face it, hockey is nothing without fans. They’re what make the sport great – and also keep it economically thriving.
Fans are the heartbeat of the game. They’re the backdrop to all great events that occur in hockey. They make us laugh and they make us cry.
Because of all these reasons we laud their praises in our Top 10 Fan Moments of 2014.
They shall select a shootout expert to join the team, and they will eventually call him ‘T.J. Sochi’…
This was when the Blues forward became legend, in an epic shootout victory over Russia in the 2014 Olympics. And the people responded at the wee hours of the morning in bars across the United States, sort of like Landon Donovan’s late goal in the 2010 World Cup against Algeria.
Just look at the smile on this kid’s face when Tootoo, then of the Grand Rapids Griffins, gives him his stick. Pure joy.
You’re a goaltender. You’re 25 years old. You win your NHL debut. And your father is there to share in the incredible joy. This was the situation for San Jose’s Troy Grosenick who shut out the Carolina Hurricanes with a 45 save performance on Nov. 16. His dad celebrated and cried. It was awesome.
Barys Astana won its first playoff series, and fans celebrated big-time. But it was probably not the smartest type of celebration. Talgat Zhailauov was lifted and sadly dropped in said ruckus and suffered a concussion. So what … this again proves that KHL fans are the best fans in the world.
P.K. Subban is a wonderful treat to fans. He wins Christmas with them. And when he injures them with a flying puck, it’s important for him to see that they still want to go to Canadiens games. The latter happened with a young fan last April. And it was adorable.
Is there a better role model for young female future hockey players than Shannon Szabados? No really. She is just an inspiration to many. Read all about it here.
Wonder if Craig MacTavish included this in his ‘forensic’ investigation that got Dallas Eakins fired. Regardless, the Oilers fan walk is one of those special hockey moments that many teams try to recreate. But maybe the team should tone it down while the team sucks.
3. Calgary Hitmen's Teddy Bear Toss hits 25,124
Hockey holiday time rules. And whoever came up with the Teddy Bear toss, thank you. And props to the Calgary Hitmen for making it extra awesome.
Earlier in the year, ‘Mr. Hockey’ was in a fight for his life after multiple strokes. So Red Wings fans decided to cheer for him. Howe watched on his iPad, and it was incredibly touching.
1. Sam Tageson night in San Jose
The 17-year-old Tageson was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome. He will need a heart transplant at some point in his life and the condition is potentially life threatening. So the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the San Jose Sharks made him a member of the team for one day. And the Sharks fans responded with an incredible ovation for the young man. It was a Kleenex-inducing moment and showed hockey fans at their finest.