The Columbus Blue Jackets finally confirmed what we’ve all known for a year, which is that they’ve been sneaking around with Local Handyman And Male Love Interest in A Nicholas Sparks’ Novel, Nick Foligno. Good old CBJ sewed that “C” to his sweater earlier this week and made us all more honest men. 1
Anyway, given that Nick Foligno’s whole personality appears to be “Gentle Stepdad Who Wins Over The Complicated, Angry Teenage Son of His New Wife After Building Him A Tree House”–a fact acknowledged by CBJ & Co., who pushed the Team Dad metaphor hard during their press conference–Ella and I immediately 2 began to argue about which NHL captains were the most Dadly.
Please keep in mind, when we talk about “Dads” here, we are discussing a very particular degree of Dad. This is not a reflection of these men as fathers of actual children. The difference between this type of Dad (“Team Dad”) and an actual Dad is the difference between President Obama during the White House Correspondents Dinner and President Obama actually, you know, being President. Don’t ask me to make a joke about his day-to-day activities as the President of the United States of America, I don’t know his life.
Anaheim Ducks: Ryan Geztlaf
M: Ryan Getzlaf is “Dad Who Gives You Beer At Age 12,” or, to classify him by genus and not by species, a Chill Dad. He’s responsible about it, though. You’re probably at a family reunion and he just lets you have a little pull of his open brew. “You’re not gonna like it, son,” Ryan Getzlaf tells you, but lets you have some anyway. He chuckles when you don’t, in fact, like it. “Don’t tell your mother,” says Chill Dad Ryan Getzlaf. Chill Dad Ryan Getzlaf laughs at you when you fall down, but he helps you up, though. He helps you back up.
E: Ryan Getzlaf is far too chill a dad because he hasn’t sent Corey Perry off to military academy yet. Please, Mr. Getzlaf, he is terrorizing the neighborhood children.
Arizona Coyotes: Shane Doan
M: Shane Doan is not your dad. He’s your friend’s dad, and you like him just fine at first–after all, every time you come over he makes you these really delicious burgers on the grill, Boars Head meat and everything–until, for NO GODDAMN REASON AT ALL, HE PUTS YOUR FRIEND KRISTOPHER LETANG IN THE HOSPITAL WITH A CONCUSSION. And then you’re like, wtf, Other Kid’s Dad Shane Doan? I thought we were cool. I thought those burgers meant something. Whatever. I’m gonna go to college and leave Arizona, just like you can’t. 3
E: This is the second meanest thing I’ve ever read about an Arizona Coyote, right behind that one fan’s bizarre Keith Yandle rant. This comment has nothing to do with dads. I just want to remind everyone about that rant.
i can’t hear keith yandle’s name without remembering this weird moment on instagram pic.twitter.com/Y0xChV581N
— molls (@ofgeography) April 17, 2015
Boston Bruins: Zdeno Chara
M: Professor Dad. No doubt. Hands down. Super famous academic Professor Dad, who greets you when you come home from school with an earnest, “What did you learn today?” You can’t brush it off. Professor Dad wants to know. He’s going to ask you questions about what book you’re reading in English, and he’s going to want to more deeply investigate your answers. Indiana Jones-level Academic Dad Zdeno Chara.
E: In Mr. Zdeno’s Opus his wife Patrice keeps telling him he needs to work to connect to their son Tyler, but Zdeno doesn’t know how. 4
Buffalo Sabres: Brian Gionta
M: Stanley Yelnats, Sr., Dad. Brian Gionta keeps desperately trying to invent something that will make sneakers smell good, despite the whole world being against him and trading away all his friends in a bid for Conner McDavid, only to see even that glimmer of hope be stolen away on a false accusation of Sneaker Theft.
E: Great. Thanks. Now I’m crying about Holes AND the Buffalo Sabres.
Calgary Flames: Mark Giordano
M: “It’s Not My Dream, Dad…It’s Yours” Dad. Mark Giordano just wants you to be the best you can be, bud. He pushes you because he cares. In a twist on this type of dad, Mark Giordano does this for whatever interest his fake children have. Do you like ballet? He’s gonna be a Hella Dance Dad. Do you like to write? Welcome to the world of international speed typing competitions. Do you like One Direction? Mark Giordano’s favorite is Harry Styles.
E: Mark Giordano has at least twenty pamphlets on how to raise a confident son even if that son is Different Than the Other Children and by different I mean several feet shorter.
Carolina Hurricanes: Eric Staal
M: Sorry, but Eric Staal is the Inexplicably Hot Dad. Keep in mind that an IHD is different from a Standard Hot Dad, or SHD. An IHD is that dad that you’re like, “Objectively, I feel like this shouldn’t work for me, but for some reason when you say hello to me in the school parking lot I begin to emit an uncontrolled, high-pitched hysteric giggle.” Much of the IHD appeal comes from their laid-back nature and willingness to engage with you on a peer-to-peer level, rather than a Dad-to-teenager level. An example from the wild: Stanley Tucci in Easy A.
E: Have you ever seen Eric Staal pause, smack his lips, and contemplate for a moment before answering an interview question? He might be the Dadliest Captain-Dad in the entire NHL.
Chicago Blackhawks: Jonathan Toews
M: Look, I maintain that Jonathan Toews is not a dad, but Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez from The Sandlot (who was, in his own way, Child Dad, I suppose). That’s it, I’ve said my piece. I won’t be budged.
E: I’m sorry but if you had to bet actual American currency on which NHL Captain has, in their lifetime, told a teammate “I’m not angry, I’m just disappointed” you are a sucker and a fool if you don’t put it all on Jonathan Toews.
M: I WON’T BE BUDGED.
Colorado Avalanche: Gabriel Landeskog
M: Lorelei Gilmore Dad. I’d say that he could be the actual dad on that show (…Chris? Right?), except that Gabriel Landeskog would never abandon his family for a motorcycle. Gabriel Landeskog would move into a quaint B&B and raise his brilliant children with acerbic aplomb.
E: Did you guys know that the kid who starred in Lifetime Original Movie “Too Young to be a Dad” was also the son in Little Miss Sunshine? And also that I have seen both of those movies?
Columbus Blue Jackets: Nick Foligno
M: The “AT LAST” Dad! The “Colin Firth” Dad! The “Friday Night Lights” Dad!
E: Daaaaad. Staaaaaahp it. You’re embarrassing me in front of all my frieeeeeeends.
Dallas Stars: Jamie Benn
M: Oh, man. I don’t know. This one’s tricky. I just kind of feel fundamentally that Jamie Benn isn’t a dad. Not yet. I’m sorry. I’m not saying he couldn’t/won’t be an excellent actual father, one day, if Jamie Benn ever decides to have children, I’m just saying that right at this moment he’s more of a “Neighborhood Teenager Who’s Never Too Busy To Babysit. It’s okay, Mrs. Seguin, I like Tyler. He’s a good kid.”
Give Jamie Benn some time. I see a very bright Dad Future for him.
E: Jamie Benn may not have his own kid yet but he has been to three different parenting classes and is the only non-medical professional in America who updates his CPR certification every single year without fail. Just in case.
Detroit Red Wings: Henrik Zetterberg
M: STANDARD HOT DAD STANDARD HOT DAD STANDARD HOT DAD STANDARD HOT DAD STANDARD HOT DAD STANDARD HOT DAD STANDARD HOT DAD.
E: Henrik Zetterberg as a dad is the guy whose own father is still so legendary in their hometown that Henrik can’t walk down the street without being stopped and told at least three anecdotes about something the old man did. Not that he minds. Henrik knows he had a good role model growing up.
Edmonton Oilers: Andrew Ference
M: Aggressively Cool Dad. Cool hippie dad with tattoos. Dad all the kids in your high school want to be like. Dad everyone hopes will chaperon field trips and school dances. Dad that builds his kid a car for their 16th birthday. Dad who makes all their home furniture. Dad who bakes for bake sales. Dad of the Year Dad.
E: Which makes it really hard to understand why his kid is failing chemistry this year. And geometry. And European history. And gym somehow is that even possible?
Florida Panthers: Willie Mitchell
M: Literally, Mollyhall’s Stepdad Dad. Genus: Country Dad. Dad who doesn’t understand all the things that you’re into, but by God, he’ll drive you to that one band’s concerts and patiently wait for you all night in his pick up truck. Just bring him a snack every once in a while and he’s happy. While Mark Giordano aggressively gets into whatever you’re into, Willie Mitchell aggressively does not. But he supports your being into it. “Let the kids be kids, Jan.” 5
E: Unlike most dads, Willie Mitchell didn’t wait until the kids were off at college before relocating to a condo in Florida.
Los Angeles Kings: Dustin Brown
M: Uh. Honestly the only thing my brain is giving me for Dustin Brown is Raymond from Everybody Loves Raymond Dad. So… sorry about that, Dustin Brown. In defense of both of us, I don’t know you very well.
E: [Response redacted because apparently “libel” is “”illegal”” in the United States.]
Minnesota Wild: Mikko Koivu
M: Old Dad. I know–he’s not that old. But in hockey years, he’s like 100. Mikko Koivu is like the dad that had kids pretty late in life? So he’s more or less ready and available if you have any questions, but like, otherwise he’s got his own stuff going on. I feel like, as a dad, Mikko Koivu is really into building ships in bottles.
E: There are players on this team who aren’t Zach Parise or Ryan Suter?
Montreal Canadiens: ????
E: In Les Fresh Canadiens de Montréal the role of Will Smith will be played by Alex Galchenyuk.
M: PK can be Uncle Phil.
Nashville Predators: Shea Weber
M: Hmm. My first instinct here is “Gibbs from NCIS Dad,” but to be honest I think that at his heart Shea Weber is a softer dad than that.
E: Shea Weber is the bear who raised you after you got abandoned in the forest as a baby.
M: YES. SHEA WEBER: BALOO DAD.
E: Possibly more Bagheera Dad.
M: I accept that compromise.
New Jersey Devils: Bryce Salvador
M: “Not My Real Dad” Dad. It’s honestly not your fault, Bryce. Your children, the NJD, are just going through an intense transitional period right now. They don’t have their identity all worked out yet. They’ll get there.
E: You know how sometimes there will be angsty scenes in TV shows where an old guy finds out he’s going to have a kid and then he monologues about how he’s gonna be old and senile before that kid gets to college?
M: Bryce Salvador Stars in “Father of the Bride 2: New Jersey.”
New York Islanders: John Tavares
M: Oldest Son Taking Care Of His 7 Children Dad. Boxcar Children Dad. Shania Twain Dad. John Tavares didn’t have children, he inherited them, but goddamnit he’s going to be the best dad to those boys that he can. “Who cares if they’re not my real children?” John Tavares says, shrugging, when (years later) a reporter asks him what it was like to give up his youth for his siblings. “Family is family. Nothing matters more than that.”
E: Otherwise known as: Charlie from the West Wing dad. Stop and think about it, guys. Charlie somehow held down an 100 hour a week, extremely prestigious job all while going to night school and raising his sister after they were orphaned because someone shot his policewoman mother. AND YET WE ALL JUST ACCEPTED IT. NO ONE BATTED AN EYE AT THE REALISM HERE. God damn, Aaron Sorkin. God damn, John Tavares.
New York Rangers: Ryan McDonagh
M: [grumbles] RANGERS [grumbles] Hilary Knight Likes You And That’s Enough For Me Dad.
E: I can never actually remember who the captain of the Rangers is. Would anyone be really surprised if Henrik Lundqvist did most of the parenting here anyway, while Rick Nash cracks open a brewski and makes comments from the back of the room.
Ottawa Senators: Erik Karlsson
M: Lil’ B from The Pack Dad. I know what you’re thinking! I know. But just stay with me a moment:
Right? I mean. When I’m right, I’m right.
E: The uncle you came out to in middle school six years before you worked up the courage to tell anyone else. Also takes you to get your first tattoo, probably.
Philadelphia Flyers: Claude Giroux
M: Bob from Bob’s Burgers Dad. Look, we all know that I’m bound by fate and blood to hate Philly, and I don’t care how well you and Sidney Crosby got along during Worlds, Claude, you’re still my enemy. That being said though, I’m very, very sure that at some point someone has said, “Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin–what an incredible pair!” in his presence, to which Claude responded:
E: Dad, please stop touching mom’s butt. We’re in public.
Pittsburgh Penguins: Sidney Crosby
M: Expectant Dad. “We’re” Pregnant Dad. Lamaze Dad. “Don’t Care If It’s A Boy Or A Girl, So Long As It’s Healthy” Dad.
E: Winner: Dadliest Laugh ten years running.
St. Louis Blues: David Backes
M: Okay, this one’s a little bit of a stretch, but lean with me. Queen Elizabeth Dad. Now before you all get crazy, let me explain: you probably would not want to fight David Backes, just like you probably wouldn’t want to fight Queen Elizabeth. When David Backes decides to be firm, David Backes ain’t gonna budge.
But like, in his heart of hearts, David Backes just wants to hang out in his backyard with a small army of corgis.
E: You may want to clarify which Queen Elizabeth as I was imagining David Backes fighting off Spanish Armadas. Though that might work, too.
San Jose Sharks: >:(
M: Joe Thornton.
E: Yeah, sorry. Shut up, Doug. We all know it’s still Joe Thornton.
Tampa Bay Lightning: Steven Stamkos
M: Genus Work Dad, species Easygoing Businessman Dad. Steven Stamkos always has time to play catch with you in the yard–as long as you let him know in advance, or if it’s written into his schedule. If not, he’ll do his best to make it work, because he loves you, but…well, he’s a busy Work Dad. He always brings you presents from his work trips, but he only ever goes to places like Cincinnati. And Schaumburg.
E: Steven Stamkos’s kids love him a lot, but sometimes they wonder what life is like for their friend whose dad is a rocket scientist.
Toronto Maple Leafs: Dion Phaneuf
M: Any Dad From A Sports Movie Where A Hotshot Athlete Finds Out He Has A 6-to-10 Year Old Daughter That Has To Come Live With Him Dad. Or maybe Tracy Reynolds from Like Mike.
E: After the Bruins can’t take care of him anymore, Dion has to take in little Phil Kessel.
M: When a problem comes along, you must whip it!
E: Is that a thing from this movie? I… actually haven’t watched this movie.
Vancouver Canucks: Henrik Sedin
M: Take Your Daughter To Work Day Dad. He’s so excited to show you how the printers work, and where he always goes for lunch, and the cool stuff he gets to do “out in the field.” As a member of the Take Your Daughter To Work Day Dad genus, I feel like Henrik’s species is “Nonprofit Dad.” Henrik Sedin wants to take his daughter out to see the lives his organization is affecting in a positive way–to teach her the value of compassion.
E: Actual footage of Eddie Lack when he first joined the Canucks.
Washington Capitals: Alexander Ovechkin
M: Dick Van Dyke Dad, specifically of the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang variety. We Didn’t Have a Full Glass of Any One Type Of Juice Left, So I Just Poured Them All Together And Now I Call This DAD JUICE Dad. Phil Dunphy Dad. Alexander Ovechkin loves you and wants you to be happy no matter what, but he’s also gonna make the whole family sing the entirety of Queen’s Greatest Hits album on your family roadtrip to Wyoming. You’ll each be assigned parts. Learn your harmony before go-time.
E: I have a friend whose dad spent time in the Russian navy and apparently they all broke the fire suppression system because they used it to make their own homebrew vodka distillery anyway I think you all know where I’m going with this.
Winnipeg Jets: Andrew Ladd
M: Always Talks in Car Metaphors Dad.
E: If he’s said it once he’s said it a thousand times: “kids, stop playing on the train tracks.”