Our THW colleague Joseph Robin said it right in one of his recent articles: “There is a need for celebration in sports. Goal celebrations are honestly awesome. The excitement of Patrick Kane dropping to one knee after a sweet goal is palpable. Or how about a funky dance by Jordin Tootoo after his goal last week? It’s just something for fans to love and appreciate.”
In other sports such as football or soccer , fancy and creative celebrations are already part of the game and this is a topic which gets discussed more and more in hockey as well. While usually it is more players who wildly celebrate after scoring an important goal or after a highlight-reel moment, sometimes goaltenders celebrate enthusiastic too. Like last season when Avalanche goaltender Reto Berra scored an empty netter for the Lake Erie Monsters and then skated over to the bench to tap gloves with his teammates.
When you think that Berra’s celebration was an unusual one, then Slovakian goaltender Julius Hudacek from the Swedish Hockey League club Orebro takes celebrations to a whole new level. He is probably one of the most entertaining goalies ever played in the game and is meanwhile very famous for his after game celebrations in Sweden and on social media.
He is not only celebrating with the team or fans, he is actually also involving fans and team mates in his specatcular after game celebrations. Julius “HudaShow” Hudacek even became a hashtag on Twitter, under which you will find a lot of fun stuff and crazy celebrations of him. Hudashow meanwhile is so famous in Sweden, his club Orebro even dedicated an own department on its webpage, where you can find all his celebrations.
I have listed some of his best after game celebrations below for you:
“We have no mascots, so sometimes I take the help of some fans,”Hudacek told Swedish Sport Expressen. “At first the kids were a little hesitant, but then we just started dancing. I said I would dance and that they would just imitate me. Everyone can [do] this song. It was perfect.”
Santa’s in town!
HudaShow dressed as Santa on a sled.
In a country like Sweden, of course you have to enjoy a little fishing, followed by a ride on the zamboni.
HudaShow got some serious dance moves. He was joined by team mates to perform YMCA.
Played in 4 Different Countries Already
Hudacek is a well-travelled sportsman. He played in four different European countries at the age of only 27 years and is currently in his second season with Swedish club Orebro, where he put up decent numbers so far. In an interview with a German hockey magazine he was asked how the celebrations started and where he gets the ideas from: “It all started at my first professional team HC Kosice. I went into the locker room after my first home win when the fans were chanting my name. Backup goalie Miroslav Lipovsky told me what I have to do and I did it. This is how it started.” However, at the beginning the celebrations were more spontaneous but meanwhile he is planning them as he wants to make the fans smile. “It is not really a show for me, it is more that I want to give them (the fans) something back as a big thank you for all the support”, Hudacek said.
Orebro currently is in the middle of the league after the first 12 regular season games with half a dozen wins already. So plenty of celebrating already for Hudacek and his team. Surely there will be more home wins which equals to more “HudaShows”.
Wants to Play in the NHL One Day
His biggest dream by the way is to play one day in the NHL of course. It would definitely be fun to see how NHL-fans react to his celebrations. There are a lot of hockey fans who see fancy celebrations as a disrespectful gesture towards the opponent team. At least it should be mentioned at this point that Hudacek’s celebrations all come after the game and when the opponents already left the ice.
If you like goal celebrations or not, I ask you to please see this all from a lighter site. I do believe that celebration is important, not only in sports but also in private life. Especially as we all live in a society which tends to become more and more serious, a little fun and joy here and there cannot harm. Hudacek is definitely an exception to the sport of hockey and surely one of the most loved players ever played in any team he ever played in.
Independent Scout covering European Hockey and Prospects for TheHockeyWriters. Located in Switzerland and blogging on www.scouting-factory.blogspot.com. Opinions on blog are my own