These NHL Players’ Toothless Smiles Will Leave You Grinning

Hockey | 10/7/19

With all of the protective gear professional hockey players are required to wear, it’s a bit surprising that a mouth guard doesn’t make the cut of a "mandatory" safety measure. Mouth protection is only a highly-recommended piece of safety equipment for hockey players.

So, it makes sense that missing your front teeth is almost a rite of passage for NHL players. Even though it’s gruesome to see someone’s teeth get knocked out, we can’t help but smile at these professional athletes’ toothless, gummy smiles.

Bobby Clarke

Bobby Clarke
Denis Brodeur/NHLI via Getty Images
Denis Brodeur/NHLI via Getty Images

Bobby Clarke played his entire 15-year National Hockey League career with the Philadelphia Flyers. He is widely known in the hockey world for being one of the greatest players and captains of all time, winning his team the Stanley Cup in both 1974 and 1975. He wound up losing his front tooth during the former Stanely Cup season.

After his career, Clarke won some huge bragging rights, finishing as the 4th all-time player in assists and 11th in all-time points.

Brent Burns

Brent Burns' Megawatt Grin
Harry How/Getty Images
Harry How/Getty Images

Brent Burns is a Canadian hockey player, playing on the defensive line for the San Jose Sharks of the NHL. In 2013, after a rookie defenseman came to play for the Sharks, Burns was moved to forward, where he scored 20 points in 23 games.

Burns’ breakout season was in 2016 when he brought the Sharks to the Cup final for the first time since the team joined the NHL in 1991. If anyone deserves a toothless grin, it’s Brent Burns!

Teemu Selanne

Teemu Selanne
Harry How/Getty Images
Harry How/Getty Images

Temmu, "The Finnish Flash" Selanne is a retired NHL winger. For those of you here just for the goofy pictures and not because you live and breathe ice hockey, that means he played the right-wing. Temmu retired in 2014, gaining the top-slot of highest scoring Finnish player in the NHL and 11th highest scorer of all time with 684 goals.

Here’s to hoping the Hall of Fame committee decided to include Selanne’s toothless grin during his 2017 Hall of Fame induction. No need for that stick to his face going unnoticed!

Theo Fleury

Theo Fleury
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Fleury retired from the NHL in 2006. He is known for his small stature and a playing style that frequently resulted in physical altercations with other players. Well, the missing teeth now make sense! It was probably a fist, not a puck, that knocked those puppies out.

Theo was the type of player who was told he had no chance of playing with the pros, due to his size. He proved the haters wrong, scoring over 1,000 points in his career.

Alex Ovechkin

Alex Ovechkin
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

If his last name is any indication, Alex Ovechkin, aka Ovi or "the Great Eight," is a Russian hockey player who plays for the Washington Capitals. The native Russian is known for his flashy celebrations, once being compared to those of soccer player goal celebrations… something the league did not exactly appreciate.

It makes us wonder, was it a puck or an annoyed opponent who was sick of his celebrations that made his front teeth disappear? Alas, it was a high stick in a 2007 match against the Atlanta Thrashers that took Ovechkin’s front tooth.

Ken Daneyko

GettyImages-548889-70090
Al Bello/Getty Images
Al Bello/Getty Images

Ken Daneyko, or as fans like to call him, Mr. Devil, currently holds the record for most games played as a New Jersey Devil — 1,283. Daneyko, weirdly enough, is known for missing his front teeth, lost after being hit in the face with a puck.

His gap-toothed smile was not only known by Devil fans, but it was a face known by hockey fans around the world. As a professional athlete, we guess that’s one way to make sure you’re never forgotten!

Chris Neil

Chris Neil
Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images
Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images

Chris Neil is a former Canadian hockey player, playing right-wing for the Ottawa Senators for the duration of his professional career. Neil was known for his toughness and work ethic on the ice. His missing teeth are not due to any physical altercation.

When Neil was 16, his stick got caught in the goalie’s pads, having him go face-first into the crossbar of the goal. Ouch. At least we get to see a fully grown man spit water out from between his bottom teeth and gums.

Daniel Carcillo

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Andre Ringuette/Getty Images
Andre Ringuette/Getty Images

We can’t help but laugh at the goofy, toothless smile of Daniel Carcillo. The Canadian left-winger played for a few different teams during his NHL career. Most notably, his 2015 team, the Blackhawks that won the Stanley Cup finals.

After his retirement, Carcillo created a non-profit for former NHL-players who were suffering from post-concussion syndrome and mental health issues. The idea came after a player passed away unexpectedly, leading Carcillo to establish the "Chapter 5 Foundation."

Keith Tkachuk

Keith Tkachuk
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Keith Tkachuk is retired, having played a 19-year career with the Winnipeg Jets, Phoenix Coyotes, St. Louis Blues, and the Atlanta Thrashers. He is considered to be one of the greatest US-born players in NHL history, having scored 500 goals as well as 1,000 points during his career.

His missing teeth are a result of a puck hitting him right below his nose. His upper jaw shattered, crushing the bone so badly that his top four teeth simply fell out. Ouch.

Colin White

Colin White
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Colin White is a former Canadian player, making a name for himself playing for the New Jersey Devils and one season for the San Jose Sharks. White was known for being physical on the ice, leading him to get a puck to the face, hitting his nose and ear while blurring the vision in his right eye.

When he recovered he decided to put a facemask on his helmet. Too bad he didn’t decide to start wearing mouth protection as well!

Duncan Keith

Duncan Keith
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Duncan Keith is one of those lucky players who was able to stay with the same team throughout his career. Being drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in 2002, Keith has been playing on the defensive line for them ever since, winning three Stanley Cup championships in the process.

Seven teeth came falling out of Keith’s mouth when a puck coming off Patrick Marleau’s stick hit him square in the mouth — three from the top row and four from the bottom row.

Sean Couturier

Sean Couturier
Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images
Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images

We know he’s a man, but is it us or does Sean Couturier’s smile look a bit like Sloth’s from The Goonies. You know, the part where Chunk gives him a candy bar? Anyhoo, Couturier is a center for the Philadelphia Flyers, playing for them since 2011.

Interestingly, he was awarded the Yanick Dupre Class Guy Memorial Award for his sportsmanlike playing on the ice. So, it’s safe to say that his missing teeth weren’t on account of him fighting.

Patrick Wellar

Patrick Wellar
Toni L. Sandys/Washington Post via Getty Images
Toni L. Sandys/Washington Post via Getty Images

Weller’s beautiful toothless smile came to be during his professional career with the Washington Capitals. Being a Canadian-born hockey player, he was probably waiting his entire life to go home to his family and tell them that he finally lost his front teeth on the ice.

Everyone has to aspire to something! Weller’s retired from hockey after 12 years in the NHL and took up an assistant coaching position with the Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL. At least he’s safe from losing any more teeth!

Zack Stortini

Zack Stortini
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Stortini made his mark in the NHL on two teams, the Edmonton Oilers and the Nashville Predators. He plays a physical game and is known as an enforcer, meaning he is one who gets into fights on purpose to potentially gain an upper hand in the game.

After reading that resume skill, we can make an educated guess on how he came to be missing his front teeth. But he actually lost them from a loose puck when he was about 12 years old, in a pickup game of hockey!

Craig Berube

Craig Berube
Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Images
Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Images

It’s no wonder Craig Berube lost his teeth, as the enforcer of the team he amassed 3,149 penalty minutes during his career. With those minutes over the course of 18-seasons, it leads us to believe he’s been in one or two fights out on the ice.

Even after taking all of those hits he still couldn’t stay away from the sport. Berube took up coaching, even bringing the St. Louis Blues to the Cup finals and winning.

Dave Scatchard

Dave Scatchard
Jeff Gross/Getty Images
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Another one bites the early retirement dust, due to a concussion-related injury. Dave Scatchard played for a few different teams during his 15-year career in the NHL, the last one being the St. Louis Blues.

He lost his front teeth after being struck in the face by a puck during a game against the Red Wings. Being a hockey player, he didn’t let a few missing teeth stop him from playing his heart out a few days later.

Cody McLeod

Cody McLeod
Seam M. Haffey/Staff/Getty Images
Seam M. Haffey/Staff/Getty Images

Cody McLeod is no stranger to on-ice fighting. When he was 16, seeing all of his teammates being drafted to the AHL or NHL, he decided he was going to start scrapping. Funnily enough, the fighting is not what led to McLeod losing his front teeth the first time around.

"The first time was on a trampoline in middle school and then I’ve had them knocked out a couple of times in hockey from sticks, pucks, and fists." Maybe he should pretend it was just the games.

Paul Stastny

Paul Stastny
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Vegas Golden Knights center, Paul Stastny, lost his teeth the all-American way, playing baseball. In seventh grade, Stastny took his eye off the ball and got hit in the mouth. Maybe that’s why he decided to take up hockey instead. He already had the toothless hockey smile!

Or maybe it’s because hockey is in Stastny’s blood. He has a very long line of family members that have played in the NHL, including his father, brother, and even two uncles!

Erik Johnson

Erik Johnson
Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images
Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images

Often referred to as The Condor, Erik Johnson is an alternative captain and defenseman for the Colorado Avalanche. As a defenseman, his job is to stop the opponent from seeing his teammates’ shots on the opposing goal. He "screens" the shots.

Well, it turns out that some of Johnson’s teammates have some pretty hard shots because during practice, one day, he got a puck right to the mouth. Ouch. At least he can pull off the little-kid-missing-front-teeth smile!

Alexandre Burrows

Alexandre Burrows
Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images
Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images

After getting hit in the face with the rogue puck, most people would go straight to the emergency room or a plastic surgeon’s office. Maybe stay in their room until they can speak normally again. Not Alexandre Burrows.

This flyboy skated right to the locker room and then did a press conference after the game ended. Hokey players need to show their tough side at all times, though, right? No weakness and all the jazz.