TORONTO — Despite their busy travel schedules and tendency to be missing teeth, professional hockey players don’t seem to have any trouble scoring themselves famous girlfriends and wives.
Some of these off-ice relationships are enduring (See Wayne Gretzky and actress Janet Jones, who will celebrate their 25th anniversary this summer) and others are decidedly short-term (See Alanis Morissette and ex-Senators player Mike Peluso or tennis pro Anna Kournikova and both Pavel Bure and Sergei Fedorov).
While Canadian hockey fans are focused on the action on the ice, we take a look at the top 10 female stars who fell hard for guys on skates:
1. Janet Jones
The American actress, whose credits include The Flamingo Kid and A League of Their Own, met Brantford, Ont. hockey phenom Wayne Gretzky on Dance Fever in 1984. They reconnected three years later at an NBA game and, a year later, tied the knot at a lavish wedding in Edmonton. The Gretzky couple has five children.
2. Elisha Cuthbert
The Calgary-born actress loves hockey — or at least the men who play it. Cuthbert got engaged last year to Toronto Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf, who she started dating in 2008. Prior to scoring with Edmonton-born Phaneuf, though, the Happy Endings star had a two-year relationship with NHL star Sean Avery.
3. Hilary Duff
The American actress-singer started dating NHL player Mike Comrie in 2007 and married in August 2010. Edmonton-born Comrie, son of The Brick founder Bill Comrie, played for a number of teams including the New York Islanders and his hometown Oilers. Duff and Comrie became parents to son Luca in March 2012.
4. Rachel Hunter
The New Zealand model-actress, who was married to singer Rod Stewart for almost a decade, was engaged to Saskatchewan-born NHL player Jarret Stoll in 2008. A year later, the couple split up. Stoll played for the Edmonton Oilers and Los Angeles Kings.
5. Carrie Underwood
The country singer was introduced to Peterborough, Ont.-born NHL player Mike Fisher at one of her concerts in 2008 — and they were engaged a year later. Underwood, an Oklahoma native, and Fisher tied the knot in July 2010 and built a home in a rural area of Ottawa while he played for the Senators. The couple relocated to Underwood’s Nashville estate when Fisher was traded to the Predators in 2011. How do they keep their marriage strong with such different schedules? “When you make that promise to somebody,” Underwood recently told People, “and you stand before God and your family and friends, you’ve got to do everything that you possibly can to make that work.”
6. Lucie Vondráčková
A well-known singer and actress in the Czech Republic, she married Montreal Canadiens player Tomáš Plekanec in 2011.
7. Keshia Chanté
The Ottawa-born pop star revealed in 2010 she was dating NHL goalie Ray Emery, a native of Hamilton, Ont. Emery has played for several teams, including the Chicago Blackhawks. “Our communication is key,” Chanté told the Ottawa Citizen. “Our understanding of where we want our relationship to go is always on the same page. Marriage is definitely something we are interested in.”
8. Noureen DeWulf
The American actress, whose credits include The Back-up Plan and the made-in-Toronto hockey film Breakaway, tied the knot with Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller in 2011.
9. Maria Kirilenko
A Russian tennis pro who made the quarterfinals at Wimbledon last year (and won a bronze medal at the London Olympics), Kirilenko went public in 2011 with her romance with Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals. The couple got engaged last year. “She is my queen,” Ovechkin once declared on Twitter.
10. Candace Cameron
The American actress, best known for playing D.J. Tanner on Full House, was introduced to Russian hockey player Valeri Bure by her former sitcom co-star Dave Coulier. Bure, who played for several NHL teams including the Montreal Canadiens and Calgary Flames, were married in June 1996 and have welcomed two sons and a daughter.