It’s not uncommon for Nick Bonino to pull into the Honda Center parking lot in his 2010 Jaguar XF Supercharged on game day only to see Anaheim Ducks teammate Teemu Selanne parking his Mercedes SLS or Lamborghini, or fellow American George Parros arriving in his Fisker Karma.
“It’s crazy,” Bonino admits. “They say the Ducks have one of the best lots in the league because the weather allows you to have all the sports cars.”
However, an NHL player does not have to play in The Golden State to ride in style.
Seven years ago, Bonino was cruising through the streets of upstate Connecticut in a maroon Hyundai Santa Fe that he still to this day calls an “awesome car.”
Fast forward to the end of last season, Bonino was passing through Albuquerque, N.M., during a cross-country road trip with his girlfriend Lauren in his newest ride.
“I had never done it before so it was fun,” Bonino says. “It wasn’t too bad.”
Bonino traded in the Audi S4 he drove for several years for a 470 horsepower, black Jaguar at the end of last season.
His latest ride features black tinted windows, black rims, heated and cooled seats, a sunroof, keyless entry/start, Bluetooth capabilities, a variety of touchscreen features, and a feature called “dynamic mode.”
Then there is the shifter, which is actually shaped like a hockey puck, and rises two inches when the car is turned on.
Regardless, it was the speed, along with the luxurious features, that were the main selling points for Bonino.
“This thing just rips, and it’s so fun to drive,” Bonino says. “We took it for a test drive and just loved it right from the first drive.”
Piper Cherokee Lance
David Booth’s father always stressed education. Although after becoming so accustomed to learning throughout his life, David kept up his quest for knowledge long after leaving Michigan State University.
“I tried to learn the guitar and that was impossible,” says the Vancouver Canucks forward. “When I thought of the idea of being able to fly I was like, ‘man, I really want to do this,’ and was pretty determined.”
Unlike the guitar, Booth succeeded in his quest for flight and earned his pilot’s license in 2000. He currently shares a 1976 Piper Cherokee Lance with friend and U.S. Hockey Hall of Famer John Vanbiesbrouck.
“The first time I was behind the controls of a plane I got in a small little 152 taking off and I thought our plane was going to fall right out of the sky,” Booth says. “I was kind of scared, to tell you the truth.”
Since then the winger has flown all over the country, including an eight-hour flight to Three Forks, Mont., for a hunting trip last year.
“It’s very peaceful. It is something I love doing,” Booth adds. “The time goes by so quick up there. You get to see some cool landscapes, listen to some music and throw on autopilot and look at a magazine.”
New York Rangers center Derek Stepan still has his black 2011 GMC Denali with heated/cooled seats and a DVD player in the back. Yet he has no plans of upgrading his truck.
“I’ll never do anything like that,” admits Stepan, a member of the 2010 U.S. National Junior Team. “I’ll leave it just as is and run it until it dies. Then I’ll go buy a new one and I won’t put anything new on that either. Keep it simple.”
Eden Prairie, Minn.
Last year the Chicago Blackhawks were scheduled to play the Florida Panthers as the Windy City was blasted by a winter blizzard. Nick Leddy remembers that it took him nearly two hours to get to the United Center, a commute that normally takes 15 minutes.
Therefore, it’s no surprise that he owns a 2008 pearl-ish white Cadillac Escalade with tinted windows, heated/cooled seats and a navigation system.
“It was the first car I bought with my own money,” he says. “It was exciting but nerve racking. It’s one of those possessions you want nothing to happen to it.”
Columbus Blue Jackets
Before purchasing his Cadillac Escalade this July, Columbus Blue Jackets forward Cam Atkinson owned a white 2011 GMC Denali with tinted windows, Internet, a navigation system and a TV screen. Atkinson even added in a 450 horsepower corvette engine.
“I just like to be on top of the road as much as possible,” Atkinson says. “A Denali is a man’s car. It has some [guts]. I try to play with an edge and hopefully my truck exemplifies that on the road.”
St. Louis Blues
Ann Arbor, Mich.
Cadillac CTS-V Coupe
St. Louis Blues defenseman Ian Cole’s father Doug is a dentist, and many of his patients work in Detroit’s automobile industry.
Therefore, when Ian decided it was time to buy a car with money from his first NHL contract there was no doubt he wanted something American-made. But he didn’t want your typical Camaro, Mustang or Challenger.
His choice? The Bat Mobile.
An eight-cylinder, supercharged 556 horsepower 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe special edition features metallic black paint with tinted black windows, black rims and yellow brake calibers.
“It’s a lot of fun especially when you turn off traction control and you can ‘Tokyo Drift’ around any corners you want,” Cole says.
Toronto Maple Leafs
On the ice is not the only place where Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Jake Gardiner picks up speed. He also cruises in his black, 6.2L Hemi V8, 2009 Jeep SRT8.
Gardiner’s Jeep features a touch screen navigation system, tire pressure sensors and 20-inch rims. It also keeps track of how fast you’re going a step further than the basic speedometer.
“It’s really cool,” Gardiner says. “It gauges how fast you go every quarter mile, half mile and mile.”