If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. If you still don’t succeed – hire cheerleaders. That’s what the NHL’s New York Islanders did as they made history in hiring the world’s first group of ice girls after the 2000-2001 regular season. From there, it snowballed. Several other struggling hockey markets took notice of the Isles’ attempt to put bodies in seats and followed suit.
Despite facing early criticism from hockey purists, ice girls have grown to become a popular and welcome part of the live experience. In fact, 25 of the 30 NHL teams happily employ some type of spirit squad – the lone exceptions being Detroit, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary and Ottawa. For you hardcore Toronto fans about to pipe up with “Pretty sure we don’t have ice girls," just relax, we’ll get to you later.
Now, ice girls aren’t your typical “Rah! Rah! Rah!" cheerleaders. While they do maintain the attention of your stare, they also maintain the ice. These girls double as a working crew. But, like all professional cheerleaders, whether they’re shoveling the ice during TV timeouts, pumping up the crowd or handing out team merchandise, they’re always consistent with one thing – looking good.
These girls are known for their love of the sport. They love it. They are what a hockey fan would deem a dream girl. And, while the best NHL teams battle it out in the playoffs, these dream girls are battling it out in Chill.
#8 New York Islanders Ice Girls
These pioneers are practically a shoe-in. No, not just for their history, but for their ability to ease the pain of 27 consecutive seasons of failure. These short-skirted girls bring their A-game to Nassau Coliseum every night – even when the Isles don’t.
#7 Leafspace Monika
Monika-with-a-K; if you’ve been to a Toronto Maple Leafs game, you know her. She’s the always smiling, ever-enthusiastic in-game host. This lone soldier could quite possibly be the most die-hard Leafs fan around, bringing energy to the ACC night in and night out. As she says on her Leafspace page, “hold up! Is this work?"