I confess, I used to be puck bunny.
A puck bunny (also known as a hockey bunny) is a female fan who watches hockey for the players.

You’d know them if you’ve been to a hockey game. They’re the ones with big signs claiming their love for a player, squealing the player’s names in hope they’d look their way.

The extreme bunnies are the girls every single player loves. These bunnies don’t mind “putting out” to their favourite player.

Now, I wasn’t an extreme, over the top like the bunnies I’ve just described.

I was a more closeted one.

I’d watch games and interviews hoping to catch “my” player (who happened to be Todd Bertuzzi).

I started out as Bertuzzi’s fan during the cup run in 2003, when the Vancouver Canucks faced the Minnesota Wilds. I was riveted by this huge, good looking man, who zipped back and forth with a scowl on his face.

He’d hit, he’d score. He could pick up players snarl at them, then toss them aside.

Bertuzzi would also grab his teammates into bear hugs and grin whenever he or his teammates had scored. I couldn’t care less about watching what happened on the ice. I just wanted to watchTodd Bertuzzi.

The next season, I entered a contest during high school and was picked from the draw to attend a game. From there, my love of hockey as a sport, really began and expanded beyond Bertuzzi-gazing. I picked up the essence of the game and to understand the rules. I graduated from a puck bunny to an actual hockey fan.

In fact, my love for hockey grew so much that during the last year of high school, I took up the sport. Our high school had a girl’s team.

The boy’s team had been too violent and uncontrollable to continue with. My friends and I joined the girls.

I was a horrible skater. I would fall every few feet and the only way I could stop was either running into the boards or into a player.

But joining the team was one of the best things I did in high school. I still play hockey to this day, although I gave up playing on the ice and switched to playing indoors, without any skates.

Meet any true female fan and she’d venomously tell you that she “despises puck bunnies and hope they all go to hell.” I’ve seen a few and watching a puck bunny meet a female hockey fan isn’t pretty.

Take my friend, Kimberly, for instance. We were recently at the Canucks SuperSkills and when she heard a few fans screaming, “We looooooooooove you [Alex] Burrow,” she went nuts.

“Stupid bunnies! I hope they die. Arg,” she ranted to me. Given the chance, I’m sure she would have run down to where they were and throttled them.

I laughed; I recalled my days watching Bertuzzi, as if he were the only player out on the ice. Then my vision began to expand. I began to love hockey, just for the sport of it.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m like every heterosexual female out there: I can’t help but find some of the hockey players extremely attractive.

But I’ve learned to love the sport for the sport itself.

Like Kimberly likes to say, “The good looking players are the added bonus.”

Listening to the bunnies cheer, I thought, "they’re here and that’s the first step."

There are many ways to learn to love hockey.

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