Decoding the Dialogue: What Do Hockey Players Say in a Scrum?

For those unfamiliar with the term, a scrum is where a group of players come together to fight for the puck. It usually happens when the puck is loose or a player is pinned down. It can be quite intense and physical and is often a test of strength, skill, and strategy. But have you ever wondered what hockey players say to each other during a scrum? Do they trash talk? Do they talk about strategy?

This post will delve into this fascinating topic and explore what hockey players say in a scrum.

Trash talk, really?

Firstly, let’s talk about trash talk. It is no secret that hockey players are known for their brawls and fights on the ice. It is often reported that players trade insults and offensive remarks during a scrum. For instance, during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Canadian forward Chris Kunitz recalls a scrum where his opponent, a skilled trash talker, attempted to get under his skin. 

However, some players argue that this is not always the case. Some players say focusing on the game and your strategy is better than trying to rile up your opponents. It is not uncommon for players to exchange words, but it is often done in a respectful manner.

Strategy Time

Secondly, let’s talk about strategy. During a scrum, players will often discuss tactics and communicate with each other to plan their next move. This is especially important for the defense, as they must work together to block the other team’s attack. Players may also use code words or signals to communicate with each other so that the other team does not understand their plans. Veteran players and team captains often share vital observations during scrums. Wayne Gretzky, the “Great One,” was known for his ability to convey insights about the opponent’s vulnerabilities to his team in the heat of the moment.

The role of the Referee

Finally, consider the role of the referee. The referee plays an essential role in a scrum, as they must ensure that the game’s rules are followed and that players do not get injured. They may break up a scrum if it becomes too violent or a player is injured. They may also issue penalties or warnings to players who break the rules, such as using their stick or gloves to hit another player. A classic example comes from the feud between Chris Pronger and Sean Avery, who famously held an ongoing verbal battle during games.

Here’s What Happens After a Scrum

Once the puck is cleared or a goal is scored, players usually skate away from each other and regroup with their team. There may be some lingering tension or disagreements between players, but putting that aside and focusing on the game is essential. Players must also respect the referee’s decision and accept any penalties or warnings they receive.


In conclusion, a hockey scrum is a high-intensity moment in the game where players exchange respectful words and tactical discussions. The referee’s role is crucial in maintaining rule compliance and player safety. After a scrum, players regroup and refocus on the game. So, keep an ear out during these moments in hockey – you might be surprised by the conversations you hear!

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