Hockey Hugs: Atkinson’s lift and lick, Staal goes Alien, Blackhawks huddle up

Last week on Hockey Hugs: we celebrated the excellence that is the hockey hug. It was fun and uplifting.

It's always fun and uplifting. Nothing moves quite like the hockey hug, which is why we're definitely doing it again this week. Gather round for your biweekly dose of dude love.

We begin with the tender embrace up above, featuring Steve Ott and the ever so tiny Nathan Gerbe. Ott was brought to the team for protection, among other reasons, and you can see how just emboldened Gerbe feels when he's wrapped up tight by the checking forward. He's clearly just said something inappropriate to Michael Del Zotto, but safe behind Steve Ott, all Del Zotto can do is cringe and skate away.

Meanwhile, at right, the Columbus Blue Jackets give us what just might be the jumpingest hug of all time. There are three guys in there.

Amazingly, all three landed safely, which is your clue that the team is beginning to put it all together. A synchronized hug like that takes chemistry.

Anyway. These are just this week's honourable mentions. Let's get to the goods:

No. 5. Vancouver Canucks

It suddenly dawns on Jannik Hansen that he's the odd man out in this hug.

"Wait, nobody told me we were growing beards..."

No. 4. Columbus Blue Jackets

Cam Atkinson is notorious in the Columbus dressing room for his patented "Lift and lick".

"Aw gross, Cam."

"Ha ha the licker strikes again!"

No. 3. Carolina Hurricanes

Jordan Staal describes his favourite scene from Alien to Jay Harrison.

"... So then, Brett's trying to get the cat to come, but he doesn't realize the alien's behind him so he's like, 'Come here, little guy', and then he notices the cat is scared of something behind him, so he turns around and he sees the alien and then the alien grabs him and opens like mouth like THIS..."

No. 2. Minnesota Wild

Zach Parise leaps exuberantly into the arms of Mikko Koivu.

"Hey Zach, after the game, you wanna go get ice cream at Conny's Creamy Cone?"


No. 1. Chicago Blackhawks

Was there ever any doubt? The Chicago Blackhawks may not have saved hockey, but you can understand how Sports Illustrated might hyperbolize the grandeur of what this hug is. Seriously, they look like the family from The Impossible.

"Guys, gather round. I, Daniel Carcillo, have a fabulous idea. Come down here. Closer.... closer.... cloooooserrrr..."

"What's the idea, Danny?"

"... Let's always be this close."

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