With the NHL pre-season in full swing and the 82-game regular season scheduled to kick off on October 12, hockey fans will see the Tampa Bay Lightning raise their third Stanley Cup banner to the rafters. They’ll also see the addition of a new team: the Seattle Kraken. While there are a few of us who tend to keep track of slapshots and goals-against averages, you can bet every single writer at this publication sits up and takes notice of the cars driven by these athletes.

And, yes, NHL stars do sometimes shop at dealerships just like the rest of us. Your author recalls a family member who was trying to buy a Cadillac XT5 when they were first released about five years ago, with the stipulation that it must have a factory navigation system. All was well until a day or two before delivery when the dealer suddenly asked my relative if they’d be OK with an identical car... sans navigation.

When asked what caused the change in plans, a bit of prying revealed the original unit was purchased that day by alternate captain for the Montreal Canadiens, Brendan Gallagher. I mean, we all know the man can find his way into the back of a net with the puck, but we figured he’d know how to reach the Bell Centre by now without a nav system.

Digital maps or not, here is a sampling of the cool cars owned by NHL players.

Brendan Gallagher

We might as well start with the man who provided the introductory tale for this list. Monsieur Gallagher has been a key part of the Canadiens roster for the better part of decade and has been shown in a video shot by the Habs as rolling around town in a... refrigerator-white Ford Edge. Oh. Well then. OK, moving on.

Sidney Crosby

Here’s a heart-warming story with which to brighten your day. During the 2019 NHL All-Star Game held in California, Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia’s own Sidney Crosby won a new vehicle as part of the MVP honours for the event. While speaking with a fan who was one of a dozen Armed Forces veterans touring the facility, he learned the 28-year-old single mom was taking the bus to work and her son’s daycare because they didn’t have a vehicle. Wishing to help, Crosby decided to donate the Honda Passport he had won to the veteran. It’s enough to bring a tear to a glass eye. At home, Crosby is said to have an affinity for Range Rover 4x4s.

P.K. Subban

Given the fact this man once showed up to an All-Star Skills Competition wearing a black wig and doing impressions of Jaromír Jágr, it’s safe to say he has a vehicle or two which equal his level of over-the-top personality. Despite saying he “ain’t a car guy,” P.K. proudly showed off an inky black Ford GT on his Twitter account. That counts as car guy status in our books.

Tomáš Tatar

While this Instagram post has the “ad” hashtag appended to it, the Slovenian nevertheless had the good sense to pair up with Lexus – and select one with an interesting colour combination to boot. We’ll not judge the left winger for looking confused while attempting to use the befuddling system which Lexus attempts to pass off as modern infotainment. In the past, Tatar has also been spotted whipping a Maserati Quattroporte around a racetrack while reducing its rear tires to an assemblage of steel belts and formerly useful rubber.

John Tavares

The captain better known as Johnny Toronto has a hankering for speed – and not just on the ice. Putting his money where his mouth is in terms of shopping local, Tavares has frequently been seen working with Pfaff Automotive, talking about electric vehicles and other performance-minded cars. According to a YouTube video from earlier this year, he’s rocking a Porsche Taycan as one of his whips after spending time in an Audi. While Tavares does cite the machine’s quiet operation as a plus in his books, a mischievous grin appears when he talks about its performance capabilities. Guess there’s no real excuse for being late to practice, then.

Henrik Lundqvist

No list of hockey stars and their cars would be complete without a mention of the only goalie in NHL history to record 30 wins in each of his first seven seasons on the ice. He told a lifestyle outlet earlier this year that while he has an SUV stateside in which to cart around the family, a Porsche Panamera awaits him when he visits his home in Sweden. Back in 2020, Nascar champ Jeff Gordon took Lundqvist on several rips around Lime Rock Park, starting with a massive Chevy Tahoe before switching to a droptop Corvette. The grin plastered all over his face as Gordon pounded around the racetrack cements the man as a certified gearhead; in other words, he’s one of us (albeit one with a Vezina Trophy and an Olympic gold medal).