The Top 10 Coolest Hockey Locker Rooms
As washed-up hockey players, we care about the integrity of the game more than anything else. We don't complain about getting Locker Room C at the local rink even though we secretly wanted Locker Room A because it has hot water in the showers and more than 100 square feet of actual space to get ready for our Wednesday night game. Last night marked the fifth week in a row where our team was exiled to the bottom feeder of locker rooms which sparked a conversation at the office about the various teams around the world that have it made.
Which schools shell out millions of dollars for their athletic departments? Which schools entice the most recruits during their college visits because of the LED lights in the ceiling of the locker rooms? Join us as we rank the top ten locker rooms in all of hockey (this excludes professional team locker rooms as they're on another level).
10. Oshawa Generals
With a lot of NCAA Division I programs dominating the top half of our list, we figured we'd show some love to our neighbors up north. With the Flint Firebirds missing the cut by only a few votes, the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League crack the top ten with their setup. Despite being a Canadian team that boasts the patriotic colors of the United States, their center logo dominates the entire room. Justin Bieber would have a field day stepping on the logo. The dim lighting arguably makes the locker room dramatically more enticing and the Oshawa alumni circling the stalls puts the organization's success on display.
9. St. Cloud State University
Coming in at #9, the St. Cloud State Huskies of the NCHC boasts quite the locker room. With what looks like a mahogany finish on the lockers with the fresh, clean-cut jerseys packed with heaping amounts of Downy fabric softener hanging from the stalls, it's certainly an impressive setup.
8. Benilde St. Margaret's
The name says it all. It's a Catholic prep school out of St. Louis Park, Minnesota. It's one of the biggest schools in the Twin Cities Metro Area and the Red Knights ensure that their hockey team is taken care of in the state of hockey. Some might think that it's blasphemous to put a high school locker room ahead of an NCAA Division I program and ahead of an OHL team, but we don't make the rules. The patron saints of Benilde-St. Margaret's would be proud of this locker room, albeit it doesn't have the "circular" floor plan in which every player would be able to sit across from every one of his or her teammates. Regardless, they've got a decent amount of alumni that went pro and any locker room with a flatscreen TV above the stalls deserves some recognition.
7. Minnesota Gophers
If you're a student at the University of Minnesota, you know that watching the football team get routed 41-13 to the Maryland Terrapins on a Saturday afternoon isn't necessarily your way of having a good time. You'd rather get all your homework done during the day so that you get a good seat over at Mariucci to watch the Golden Gophers take on Minnesota-Duluth in a thrilling in-state matchup. There's a reason why they call Minnesota the state of hockey and the University of Minnesota would lose their accreditation if their hockey team was subpar. With an open space concept, a hanging logo, and a generous amount of space to get rowdy after a big win, the Golden Gophers have an unbelievable locker room that resembles that of the Pittsburgh Penguins, and if your locker room is similar to a professional locker room, then you're probably doing something right.
Also, here's a bonus photo of their community space:
6. University of Alaska Fairbanks
When people think Fairbanks, Alaska, they think "cross-country skiing" and "sled dog racing", but they forget that the University of Alaska Fairbanks Nanooks plays out of the Carlson Center with quite the locker room tucked away inside the arena. Home to recent Stanley Cup champion, Colton Parayko, the Nanooks' locker room is almost as luxurious as the lobby of Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. With a tint of light blue that permeates the room, it gives off an eerie "igloo" vibe that brings out the crispness of the team's logo in the center of the room. I'm sure the college visits via Alaska Air are comped by the athletics department, but this locker room would be hard to walk away from if I was a recruit.
5. University of Notre Dame
The Top 5. This is where things start to pick up. We start the upper echelon of this list with the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The famous blue and gold trim outlines the heart of this locker room and makes you wonder about Rudy and what the movie would've been like if he wanted to be a hockey player. Compton Family Ice Arena probably has a maintenance team that ensures that the rink stays in tip-top shape, but I'm also convinced that they have a full-time carpet cleaner that vacuums, steams, and brushes the floor of this locker room every half hour. I could eat off the floor of their locker room. With that being said, there's not much to do in South Bend, Indiana, but the glory of wearing those gold-painted helmets and getting dressed in this locker room definitely makes up for it.
4. Dartmouth College
This isn't a knock on any of the other colleges on this list, but you simply can't just be a dumb jock that knows how to score goals to play for the Dartmouth Big Green. This is an Ivy League institution. The best of the best. It's no question that some sophomore engineering student with an affinity for Star Wars had a part in designing this locker room. It looks like the same material as the lightsaber Luke Skywalker used in the Return of the Jedi. An elite academic institution must carry their reputation with them wherever they go, and this locker room embodies that reputation in its entirety. The Big Green are competing against the Big Red in the ECAC for the Ivy League title and it just misses the top three in our list of the best locker rooms in the world.
3. Boston College
Hockey East starts our list off in the top three. The Boston College Eagles proudly wear their maroon and gold and has one of the most decorated hockey programs in the country. With an alumni network that features players like Johnny Gaudreau, Cam Atkinson, Brian Boyle, Kevin Hayes, Brian Dumoulin, Corey Schneider, and Noah Hanifin, their locker room doesn't have to be flashy in order to attract recruits to come to play for the Eagles -- but it is. With a recently updated design in 2017, the locker room features LED lights on every nameplate and stall, padded seats, a flatscreen TV, and a a hanging logo in the center to remind each player that they're part of one of the most coveted programs in all of hockey.
2. University of Denver
You don't have 12 straight years of NCAA Tournament appearances, three Frozen Four appearances in the last four years, and win the entire NCAA Tournament in 2017 without having a locker room like this. The Denver Pioneers showcase their jaw-dropping locker room along with their impressive alumni network, which features players like Jason Zucker, Stanley Cup champion Tyler Bozak, Paul Stastny, and Troy Terry. The NCHC powerhouse ensures that their crimson and gold colorways are on full display around the perimeter of the locker room and flashes their center logo with hues of crimson around the ceiling's surface. This locker room is extravagant and makes players feel bad for missing the trash can. It's deserving of the silver medal on our list but not as breathtaking as number one.
1. University of North Dakota
This one just isn't fair. It's got the same LED lights that the Dartmouth Big Green has, but it's flashier and quite frankly, staggering. The Fighting Siou-- err... I mean, the Fighting Hawks locker room could look like the Dallas Stars locker room at first glance, but the green LED trim that goes along with their futuristic design and spacious area makes for the top spot on our list. With guys like Ed Belfour, Jonathan Toews, T.J. Oshie, Brock Boeser, Drake Caggiula, Tyson Jost, Aaron Dell and Travis Zajac helping out with the alumni foundation, I can confidently say that this is one of the most astounding locker rooms in all of hockey. I've even included a bonus photo of their entryway below.
It pays homage to past players who wore the infamous Fighting Sioux sweaters and looks like a cross between the walkway into the Shark Tank and an evil villain's lair. The 2016 NCAA Tournament champions are on top once again in 2019 on our list. Congratulations, NoDak.