August 08, 2015
We all know hockey players are some of the toughest people on the planet. They play through blood, broken bones and pretty much anything that would put most normal people in bed for a couple days.
However, when you go back in history, some hockey players did try to give it a go in other sports. We've compiled a list of five hockey players who had some success in other sports as well.
Peter Zezel: Soccer
Zezel played for an assortment of NHL teams including the Flyers, Canucks and Capitals before he retired and sadly passed away at the young age of 44. However, some of you might not know that Zezel also played the "beautiful game".
In 1982 he played in three exhibition matches for the Toronto Blizzard of the NASL and in 1991 he played with the New York Rockets of the Canadian Soccer League during the summer. Zezel was also named to the 1982 Canada U-20 team during the CONCACAF U-20 Tournament.
Jarome Iginla: Baseball
Iginla might be nearing the big 4-0, but that hasn't seemed to stop him, as he still manages to find success with whatever team is lucky to grab him at the trade deadline. For years, he was the face of the Calgary Flames and came very close to bringing Calgary the Stanley Cup in 2004, only to beaten by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the finals.
Before Iginla was an NHL star though, you could find him crouched behind home plate for Canada's Junior National Baseball team. Iginla however credits his Grandfather for choosing the path of hockey.
Hayley Wickenheiser: Softball
Most of us would be pretty excited just to compete in an Olympic games. Hayley Wickenheiser on the other hand has competed in six. Four of those Olympics she helped Canada win Gold after settling for a silver at her first Olympics in 1998 (Nagano, Japan). The sixth Olympic games she competed in though didn't involve any ice, in fact she was in the 2000 Summer Olympics where she led team Canada softball in batting average and managed to keep them competitive in each game albeit their 1-6 record.
Joe Nieuwendyk: Lacrosse
Joe Nieuwendyk is best known for being a three time Stanley Cup Champion, but hockey isn't the only sport Nieuwendyk won a championship with.
As a junior box lacrosse player, Nieuwendyk led the Whitby Warriors to the 1984 Minto Cup before choosing hockey as his main focus.
Lionel Conacher and Carl Voss: Football
Lionel Conacher and Carl Voss share a very interesting thing that you don't come across very often. Sure we see our fair share of multi-sport athletes, but it's very rare to find athletes who were champions in more than one sport. Conacher and Voss are the only two athletes ever to have their names engraved on both the Stanley Cup and the Grey Cup (Canadian Football).
American born Carl Voss (picture on the right) scored the Stanley Cup Winning goal for the Chicago Blackhawks against the Toronto Maple Leafs, but 14 years before that, Voss had already won a Grey Cup with the Queen's Golden Gaels.
Conacher had the moniker of Canada's Greatest Athlete during the 1920's and 1930's. Conacher's first love was rugby, but he excelled at football, lacrosse, baseball and wrestling as well. Conacher won his second Stanley Cup with the Montreal Maroons in 1935, but back in 1920 Conacher, just like Voss, had his name engraved on the Grey Cup when the Toronto Argonauts beat the Edmonton Eskimos 23-0, a game where he scored 15 points.
Now it is worth noting that back in 1920, the Grey Cup was the trophy given to the best Rugby Football team in Canada. This was before the sport evolved to what we now know as the CFL.
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