Right, so apparently the thing to do when you’re about to take a 12 hour flight is to write a capslocky introduction to the fic of a fandom you’re not fully in!
So, hockey RPF. Firstly, this is a very handy list of hockey-related primers that are much more in-depth than this. This is really just a guide to help you understand who is who in hockey fic without needing to understand the sport (although you will pick some things up) or knowing everything about everyone.
So my personal favorite pairing is Sidney Crosby/Geno Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins because the person who got me into them really likes them (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE) and also Sidney and Geno are the BEST OKAY.
Sidney Crosby: Known as Sid the Kid! He is more or less used as the face of the NHL and often thought to be the best player currently skating. He has big lips and a big ass (seriously, his draft involved commentators saying, “and of course, his generous…quads”) so even though he’s kind of short for a hockey player, he makes up for it with leg power. Mostly what you need to know about Sid is that a) he is married to hockey, b) no really, he is insanely dedicated to hockey, c) some speculate that he is still a virgin?? although since he scored the gold medal goal for Canada at the 2010 Olympics, I’m inclined to think that someone jumped him in the village, and d) he fails as an adult and understanding humans. He has lived, on and off, with the owner of the Penguins, Mario Lemieux, who is like a secondary father figure to him. He is also the captain of the Penguins. He has gotten a couple of concussions because people like to go after him on the ice. Some people think he’s a whiner, but he gets hit a lot and he SUCKS at fighting.
Geno Malkin: Real name is Evgeni Malkin. He is Russian! And doesn’t speak English all that well, though he’s gotten a lot better, and uses a LOT of Rusian emoticons on his twitter. Much more social than Sid — there are a lot of photos of him making out with girls?? The story of him coming over from Russia is like a spy novel, for real, and also he and Sid are best friends. He is the alternate captain for the Penguins. He also goes after people who hit Sid.
Yeah, so here are some recs:
This is one where Sidney turns into an actual penguin
This is a long one about Sidney being gay and falling for Geno and it’s a good starting off point I think? Though also the high school au is good too!
Here is one where Geno is Sidney’s accidental mail order bride
This is a sweet one about cohabitation
and FINALLY this one is the best, but it involves a LOT of other players so you may have to do some googling. Basically ALL OF THE RUSSIANS interfere in Geno’s huge-ass crush on Sid.
Another super popular pairing featuring Sid is him and Alexander Ovechkin.
Alexander Ovechkin: Captain of the Washington Capitals. Often considered kind of a douchebag, especially on the ice?? The Caps and the Penguins are rivals, and Ovechkin and Sid are often pitched against each other in media. Ovechkin is actually dating tennis player Maria Kirilenko, but people like rival fic, so. Ovechkin is also often cast as the crazy best friend in Sid/Geno fic.
This is a super long fic that involves coming out and is the only Ovie/Sid fic I’ve ever read because they’re not my favorite pairing?? But it’s a good start and is intense and emotional and LONG.
OKAY SO THAT’S THE SID SECTION.
So let’s move onto the pairing that is, hands down, the most popular one: Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks.
Jonathan Toews: He is the captain of the Blackhawks and the youngest captain in the NHL. I kind of think he looks like a 12 year-old serial killer?? But I guess his intensity is attractive to some people. He’s called Tazer (incidentally, his name is pronounced Taves) and is Canadian. He also speaks French. He’s the youngest person to join the triple gold club (Stanley Cup, World Championship, and Olympic Gold). Mostly he’s known for being intense and kind of angry?? So thus he tops in pretty much every fic.
Patrick Kane: He is kind of a douchebag! He gets drunk a lot and is known for, like, punching cab drivers while he’s drunk. He’s also kind of a spaz, from what I can tell, and while he’s a good hockey player, he’s also a mess. He’s usually called Kaner. He is also one of the people who can consistently get Toews to smile.
Alternate universe royalty AU where Toews is the prince of Canada and Kaner is the useless prince of America and they have an arranged marriage and there are a lot of negotiations. Good because you don’t need to know shit about hockey to read this.
The one where Kane writes books based on him and Toews
Some other people you’ll need to know for Blackhawks fic:
Patrick Sharp: mostly known for being hot!
Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith: (from left to right) mostly known for being insanely married (they are the ones with that proposing photo!)
TJ Oshie: good friend of Toews’; they got arrested together once.
Honestly, there’s SO MUCH FIC of them that it’s hard not to find it (I have like 10 loaded up on my kindle for the plane) so good luck!! Go with God, etc.
And now Jeff Skinner and Eric Staal of the Carolina Hurricanes!
Jeff Skinner: Cutest angry rookie. Just turned 20. Used to figure skate when he was younger, then picked hockey. He is mostly known for being young and cute and insanely talented. Canadian, of course. He was just signed for six years to the Hurricanes.
Eric Staal: Oldest of the Staal clan (we’ll get to them) and captain of the Hurricanes. He is a prankster, like his brothers, but also a fairly responsible captain. He’s married with a super young kid (who he is already teaching to skate), but that doesn’t stop people from shipping him and Jeff.
So my favorite fic ever is the one where Jeff is a runaway and Eric takes him in. Then there is also the one where Jeff becomes Eric’s live-in nanny and it’s adorable. There is not nearly enough fic for these two imo.
Cam Ward is the Canes’s mildly insane goalie and usually shows up in fic to be all menacing and knowing at Jeff. It’s great. This is an amazing fic from his POV.
Then there are the Staals. Eric, I’ve already mentioned, but there’s also Marc who plays for the Rangers and likes mowing down his brothers, Jordan (Jordy) who used to play with the Penguins (and was friends with Sid and Geno) but was recently traded to the Hurricanes so he could play with Eric, and Jared who is technically signed to the Hurricanes but is still in the minor league teams. They come from Canadian sod farmers and are all exactly the same height. It is terrifying.
Okay, those are my top 3 pairings, but some others to be aware of:
Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall of the Edmonton Oilers — two young ‘uns who are good friends. This is a cute fic about them.
Jeff Carter and Mike Richards who have the most tragic love story, lol. They played together on the Flyers (Richards was captain) before they got traded suddenly to the Columbus Blue Jackets and the LA Kings, respectively. The Blue Jackets SUCK, okay, so Carter was very unhappy, but he got traded out to the Kings and then they went and won the cup this year, so!! Here is a fic of them being HUGE DOUCHEBAGS who pick up girls together.
This is a great high school/college au series that I read without knowing ANYTHING about the pairings or hockey. The couples are Duncan Keith/Brent Seabrook (see above) and Ryan Kesler of the Canucks and Andrew Ladd of the Blackhawks.
…I don’t really know what else to say! There are others, of course, but these are the ones I know most about, so HERE GO HAVE FEELS.