There’s a weird nickname going around the Islanders locker room right now. According to Mathew Barzal, “Gary” is a nickname?
Hockey players are bad at giving each other nicknames. The Athletic’s Sean McIndoe (subscription required) had an entire piece about how the media needs to take back responsibility for giving out nicknames to players. Today we learned that there’s a weird nickname going around the Islanders dressing room.
That’s right. Gary. Like SpongeBob Squarepants pet Snail. Like Hall of Famer and former New York Mets Gary Carter. And like current NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.
OG = Original Gary
According to Barzal in this NHLPA interview, Andrew Ladd was called Gary from back in his days with the Winnipeg Jets.
Barzal says that they still use the team still uses the nickname. When Barzal is on the ice with Ladd he’ll call out “Gary! I’m open Gary!” Not ‘Andy’ or ‘Ladder’ like typical NHL’ers. No, he uses Gary. In game.
It’s wild to think about players yelling random names at each other on the ice.
Every part of me wants to know where the nickname comes from. Why Gary? Last I checked Andrew Ladd’s middle name isn’t Gary. It’s actually Locklan. So where does Gary come from?
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Is it simply just the most random generic-sounding name they could think of and so it stuck because…why not? There has to more to this than that. Please let there be more to this nickname than some sort of Family Guy flashback sequence.