The season is often ravaged with intense rivalries, controversial calls and exciting displays of skill. But professional hockey players have a life outside of the ice too. In fact sometimes, they spend their time off the ice together.
For one special due on the New York Rangers, its speed demons Carl Hagelin and Mats Zuccarello who’s friendship has blossomed during this past season.
Let’s take a look back at some of their golden moments:
In celebration of the 2014 World Cup, Zucc and Hags traded in their skates for long socks and headbands.
But even with the Ranger’s untimely end in the Stanley Cup playoffs, that gave the LA Kings their second cup in three years, these two couldn’t stay off the ice for long.
Being an ambassador for “Right to Play,” a non-profit organization that prides itself on teaching children life skills to overcome adversity through sports, Zuccarello hosted an All Star benefit game in Stavenger, Norway on Friday, June 20. Of course, he brought his best friend along for the ride, to what Hagelin referred to as “Zuccarello-land” in a tweet.
Tough finish but i have to say its been a fun season! Thanks for all support rangers fans! Proud to be a Ranger!! Now off to norway.!
— Mats Zuccarello (@zuccarello36) June 18, 2014
But this year wasn’t all glitz and glam for the duo as they found themselves victim of social pressure, unable to shake this year’s “selfie” craze, as seen at the annual Ranger’s Casino Night in this classic instagram picture, captioned: “selfie with my bbf at casino night!”
The club hosts the annual Casino Night event to benefit the Garden of Dreams Foundation, an organization that helps children face obstacles, in which the players throw on tuxedos, deal cards, join guests for a buffet dinner and take part in live and silent auctions featuring special team memorabilia, according to rangers.nhl.com.
But prior to these great moments marking the growth of a beautiful friendship, the year of 2014 started off with a bang for the two, celebrating together with matching hats and party horns.
However, despite the perception that hockey players live on the ice, occasionally these stars just like to relax and enjoy nature during their free time, finding picture perfect photo-ops in front of lovely mountains with strands of sun gleaming down in the background.
But let’s not forget where it all began, right on the ice of Madison Square Garden as teammates on the New York Rangers.
I’m a journalism major at The College of New Jersey where I’m pursuing a career in sports journalism. I’ve currently been interning as the beat writer for the Philadelphia Wings for the National Lacrosse League and working as the sports editor for The Signal.