5 Jewish Players To Watch as Hockey Season Starts

NHL Guys Hit Ice as Puck Drops After Long Lockout

Hit the Ice! Jeff Halpern is ready to make an impact with the New York Rangers as the hockey season starts after the long lockout.
getty images
Hit the Ice! Jeff Halpern is ready to make an impact with the New York Rangers as the hockey season starts after the long lockout.

By Elliot Olshansky

Published January 19, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Five Jewish hockey players are preparing to hit the ice with the rest of the National Hockey League as the puck finally drops on the season after a 120-day lockout of players.

The NHL opens a whirlwind 99-day regular season on January 19, after a lockout-shortened training camp that started right after owners and the players settled the dispute that threatened to kill the entire season.

Enough about the lockout. Here’s the skinny on the Jewish guys on skates:

Jeff Halpern
New York Rangers
Center

The longest-tenured Jewish player in the NHL, the Princeton graduate signed with the Rangers this past summer, making New York his sixth stop during a 13-year NHL career. That career also includes seven seasons with his hometown Washington Capitals, along with stints in Dallas, Tampa Bay, Los Angeles and Montreal.

In 861 career NHL games, Halpern has 146 goals and 212 assists, including four goals and 12 assists for Washington during the 2011-12 season. A member of the Greater Washington Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, Halpern and his wife, Kelly (a former Washington Redskins cheerleader who converted to Judaism), welcomed their second child last week.

Mike Brown
Toronto Maple Leafs
Right wing

The rugged Brown logged 74 penalty minutes last season in 50 games for the Leafs.

Toronto is his third NHL team after stints with the Vancouver Canucks (who picked in the fifth round of the 2004 draft) and the Anaheim Ducks.

A Chicago native who played college hockey at Michigan, Brown has 14 goals, 10 assists and 449 penalty minutes in 242 NHL games.

Mike Cammalleri
Calgary Flames
Left wing

The native of Richmond Hill, Ontario, has been a productive scorer since making his NHL debut with the Los Angeles Kings in 2002. In 562 career games, the former All-American from Michigan has 197 goals and 228 assists. That includes 20 goals and 21 assists during a 2011-12 season that he split between Montreal and the Flames.

Early reports out of Calgary’s training camp have Cammalleri on a line with center Mikael Backlund and left wing Sven Baertschi.

Eric Nystrom
Dallas Stars
Left wing

The Long Island native is in his second season with Dallas, his third NHL team after stops with the Calgary Flames (the team that drafted him 10th overall in 2002).

In 360 career NHL games, the son of former New York Islanders star Bobby Nystrom has 39 goals and 33 assists, including 16 goals and five assists in 2011-12 with the Stars, a season that saw him record career highs in both goals and total points.

David Warsofsky
Boston Bruins
Defenseman

Warsofsky has yet to play in an NHL game, but he’s quite familiar with Boston. The native of Marshfield, Mass., played college hockey at Boston University, winning an NCAA title in 2009.

A fourth round draft pick of the St. Louis Blues in 2008, Warsofsky was traded to the Bruins in June 2010, and is in his second full pro season. In 30 games this year with the Bruins’ minor league affiliate in Providence, R.I., Warsofsky has two goals and seven assists.

The list doesn’t include a handful of Jewish players with NHL experience who are currently in the American Hockey League. In the coming months, don’t be surprised to see Jason Zucker (Minnesota Wild), Dylan Reese (Pittsburgh Penguins) or Trevor Smith (Penguins) on the NHL ice at some point.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • The eggplant is beloved in Israel. So why do Americans keep giving it a bad rap? With this new recipe, Vered Guttman sets out to defend the honor of her favorite vegetable.
  • “KlezKamp has always been a crazy quilt of gay and straight, religious and nonreligious, Jewish and gentile.” Why is the klezmer festival shutting down now?
  • “You can plagiarize the Bible, can’t you?” Jill Sobule says when asked how she went about writing the lyrics for a new 'Yentl' adaptation. “A couple of the songs I completely stole." Share this with the theater-lovers in your life!
  • Will Americans who served in the Israeli army during the Gaza operation face war crimes charges when they get back home?
  • Talk about a fashion faux pas. What was Zara thinking with the concentration camp look?
  • “The Black community was resistant to the Jewish community coming into the neighborhood — at first.” Watch this video about how a group of gardeners is rebuilding trust between African-Americans and Jews in Detroit.
  • "I am a Jewish woman married to a non-Jewish man who was raised Catholic, but now considers himself a “common-law Jew.” We are raising our two young children as Jews. My husband's parents are still semi-practicing Catholics. When we go over to either of their homes, they bow their heads, often hold hands, and say grace before meals. This is an especially awkward time for me, as I'm uncomfortable participating in a non-Jewish religious ritual, but don't want his family to think I'm ungrateful. It's becoming especially vexing to me now that my oldest son is 7. What's the best way to handle this situation?" http://jd.fo/b4ucX What would you do?
  • Maybe he was trying to give her a "schtickle of fluoride"...
  • It's all fun, fun, fun, until her dad takes the T-Bird away for Shabbos.
  • "Like many Jewish people around the world, I observed Shabbat this weekend. I didn’t light candles or recite Hebrew prayers; I didn’t eat challah or matzoh ball soup or brisket. I spent my Shabbat marching for justice for Eric Garner of Staten Island, Michael Brown of Ferguson, and all victims of police brutality."
  • Happy #NationalDogDay! To celebrate, here's a little something from our archives:
  • A Jewish couple was attacked on Monday night in New York City's Upper East Side. According to police, the attackers flew Palestinian flags.
  • "If the only thing viewers knew about the Jews was what they saw on The Simpsons they — and we — would be well served." What's your favorite Simpsons' moment?
  • "One uncle of mine said, 'I came to America after World War II and I hitchhiked.' And Robin said, 'I waited until there was a 747 and a kosher meal.'" Watch Billy Crystal's moving tribute to Robin Williams at last night's #Emmys:
  • "Americans are much more focused on the long term and on the end goal which is ending the violence, and peace. It’s a matter of zooming out rather than debating the day to day.”
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.