The 11 Best Hockey Documentaries

A TV with one of the best hockey documentaries on, it's in the living room.

Discover the untold stories beyond the ice with a thrilling hockey documentary. Dive deeper into the game beyond the exhilarating action and learn the rich history, unique culture, and intriguing characters that make hockey the greatest sport on earth. We watched every documentary we could find and put together our list of the 11 Best Hockey Documentaries.

From inside the locker room to beyond the arena walls, hockey documentaries are great ways to explore the unique aspects of this beloved game. Not only can viewers experience the incredible plays and pulse-pounding moments, and delve more into the fascinating histories of some of the sport’s most renowned players, teams, and leagues. Let these exciting documentaries be your window into discovering why hockey has captured the hearts of millions for generations.

We’ll take a look at our favorite hockey documentaries, everything from a player’s incredible journey to escape the Soviet Union and join the NHL, to the secretive underworld of a minor league team controlled by the mob, the LA Kings‘ historic trade, to a fascinating look at the lives of some of the most fearsome enforcers in hockey history. No matter your level of fandom, these documentaries offer a riveting and unforgettable experience!

Of Miracles and Men (2015)

“Of Miracles and Men” is part of the critically acclaimed series ESPN 30 for 30.   It takes you inside the “Miracle on Ice” hockey game at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid between the United States and the heavily favored Soviet Union.  Except it tells the story from the perspective of the losing Soviet Union team and all the pressures they had to deal with from their country.  

It also gets into how global politics can affect sports as you follow the story of hockey phenom Slava Fetisov who became one of the best Russian players of all time. You’ll see his struggle to join the NHL to showcase his skills in the best league in the world while trying to please everybody and stay loyal to his homeland during the Cold War.  Through interviews with former players and coaches involved in the game, you’ll get a deep dive into what life was like playing for the mighty Red Army hockey team.

The Last Gladiators (2011)

Experience the intense and fascinating world of ice hockey’s toughest players in The Last Gladiators. This documentary follows the remarkable journeys of enforcers like Chris Nilan, Donald Brashear, and Dave “The Hammer” Schultz as they reveal their profession’s emotional, mental, and physical challenges. Through powerful archival footage, interviews with coaches and experts, and personal insights from the enforcers themselves, you’ll see firsthand the remarkable resilience and bravery needed to succeed. 

Discover the evolution of this complex role over time while exploring the psychology of violence in sports. With sheer determination and courage on display, this film is a must-see for all hockey fans and anyone interested in humanizing the most physical role in this brutal sport that allows fighting.

Check out our article on The Best Hockey Fighters of All Time.

Untold: Crime & Penalties (2021)

Get ready to be taken on a gripping journey in the world of minor league ice hockey with “Untold: Crime & Penalties.” This mesmerizing Netflix hockey documentary follows the Danbury Trashers, a team that wasn’t afraid to take penalties.

They were owned by the questionable businessman Jimmy Galante who had connections with the mob. Witness the Trashers’ rise to the top and how Galante’s illegal activities brought them crashing down. 

Featuring firsthand accounts from former players, coaches, and league officials, this documentary offers a rare glimpse into the challenging world of minor league hockey. So get ready to uncover the dark truth about how easily corruption can seep in and tear everything down in the blink of an eye.

The Russian Five (2018)

A hockey stick and hockey puck on top of the USSR flag, for the hockey documentary The Russian Five.

Prepare to be entertained by The Russian Five. This incredible ice hockey documentary shares the remarkable story of how five Soviet-born hockey players revived the Detroit Red Wings team in the 90s. They were coached by Scotty Bowman, the greatest coach of all time.

Journey with them as they go from their early days in the Soviet Union to becoming revered members of this legendary franchise and discover how their perseverance and outstanding teamwork not only changed the fate of the Red Wings but had a significant impact on the game of hockey, and leagues across the world. This inspiring tale of courage and resilience is a must-see for any fan or anyone interested in sports history.

Tough Guy: The Bob Probert Story (2019)

Get ready to delve into the world of one of hockey’s toughest and most notorious players in Tough Guy. This enthralling documentary takes you on a journey alongside Bob Probert, a larger-than-life figure both on and off the ice rink. This forward, known for for his physical prowess and aggressive style of play, was adored by fans.  Probert wasn’t just a goon, he could put the puck in the net too.

From his early days in the OHL to his glory days in the NHL and tragic death in 2010, this film chronicles the captivating life story of a legend.  Not only does it recount his stats and achievements, but it also illuminates his battle with addiction and the significant consequences it had on his life.  Don’t miss out on the chance to uncover the man behind the legend and experience the thrilling highs and devastating lows of Bob Probert’s life.

Pond Hockey (2008)

a person playing pond hockey, which is the title of one of the best hockey documentaries.

Get ready to be taken on an inspirational journey in the heartwarming 2008 documentary, “Pond Hockey”!  Follow along as this group of amateur players from all over North America compete in a pond hockey tournament in northern Minnesota.

Witness the beauty of outdoor hockey and feel the connection that is created through their shared love of the game.  “Pond Hockey” captures the spirit of friendship and camaraderie that comes with playing hockey and how powerful it can be! It serves as a reminder that our passion for hockey has the power to bind us for life. So don’t miss it; grab your friends and watch “Pond Hockey” today!

Unrivaled: Red Wings v Avalanche (2022)

Relive one of the NHL’s most epic and storied rivalries with ESPN’s E60 documentary “Unrivaled: Red Wings v Avalanche.”   Feel the intensity as both teams battle for supremacy on the ice, but also discover how it all took a toll emotionally & physically on the individuals involved.  

Check out some never-before-seen footage and interviews you’ll hear from legends like Steve Yzerman, Nicklas Lidstrom, Brendan Shanahan, and Joe Sakic, offering a rare look at their perspective on this unforgettable era of hockey history.


Stickhandling Deke Trainer

A hockey stickhandling and deke trainer

Slide Board Pro Training

A hockey player training on a slide board, a great piece of hockey training equipment

Hockey Topics is reader-supported; when you purchase something through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. To learn more, click here.

Ice Guardians (2016)

Two ice hockey players fighting one is punching the other in the face.

“Ice Guardians” is an intriguing documentary that digs into the fascinating world of hockey enforcers. They examine the physical and psychological costs of this demanding but necessary role and shed some insight on its unique place in hockey culture through in-depth interviews with former NHL enforcers.

This thought-provoking documentary challenges preconceived notions about enforcers and reveals the deep passion and dedication that these players brought to their teams. They were frequently the unsung heroes who put their bodies on the line every game to protect their teammates. “Ice Guardians” is a must-watch hockey documentary if you want to take an eye-opening journey through the life of the enforcers!

Red Army (2014)

Get ready for a history lesson and take a deep dive into the riveting story of the Soviet Union’s legendary and formidable hockey team in the documentary “Red Army.” Uncover the political and cultural significance behind their operations through fascinating interviews with former players and coaches.

Follow the team’s journey from humble beginnings to soaring international success while discovering the personal sacrifices the players made along the way. Prepare to be in awe of how hockey broke down barriers and rallied people from all walks of life to commemorate the incredible talent and perseverance of the Red Army team.

Kings Ransom (2009)

Wayne Gretzky in his black LA Kings jersey.  Learn more about the trade in one of the best hockey documentaries "Kings Ransom".

Don’t miss the fascinating, untold tale of the most significant trade in NHL history in the documentary “Kings Ransom.”  This compelling ESPN 30 for 30 film explores the incredible story of Wayne Gretzky’s 1988 trade from the Edmonton Oilers to the Los Angeles Kings.  

Journey deeper into the fascinating secrets behind the trade and its ultimate impact on Gretzky, hockey, and pop culture.  Get a behind-the-scenes look at the complex decision-making that drove this illustrious transaction by listening to exclusive interviews with prominent players engaged in the deal, such as The Great One himself.  Additionally, examine the cultural relevance of Gretzky’s arrival in LA and how it helped propel hockey’s influence throughout the United States. Get ready for a thrilling ride into history with “Kings Ransom.”

Broad Street Bullies (2010)

“Broad Street Bullies” is an enticing 2010 HBO documentary that tells the story of the Philadelphia Flyers‘ rise to dominance in the 1970s. The film chronicles the team’s journey from a perennial underdog to a fierce contender and eventual Stanley Cup champion.

You will thoroughly understand the Flyers’ distinctive playing style, which was renowned for its roughness, toughness, unrelenting forechecking, and intimidation techniques.  It also looks at the team’s off-ice troubles and how they affected the players and Philadelphia as a whole.

“Broad Street Bullies” vividly portrays a squad that defied expectations and won over supporters throughout the league through interviews with former players, coaches, and other significant figures.  This documentary serves as both a celebration of the Flyers’ resiliency and persistence and a warning about sports’ influence on a neighborhood.

Final Thoughts on Hockey Documentaries

Now that we’ve gone over the best hockey documentaries, it’s time to make some popcorn and fire up Netflix. Hockey documentaries offer a riveting glimpse into the dynamic world of this high-intensity sport. They showcase the triumphs, trials, and tribulations of individual players, teams, and even entire leagues, through an engaging blend of storytelling and unique perspectives.

Whether it’s the high-stakes drama of “The Last Gladiators,” the emotional journey in “Of Miracles and Men,” or the intriguing insights from “Red Army,” these films offer viewers a deeper understanding of the game’s history, culture, and characters.

Related Articles

What is NHL Salary Arbitration – We Explain All the Details

The National Hockey League is not just a showcase for elite hockey players to display their skill…

When Did the NHL Require Helmets? We Explain The Hockey Helmet Rule

Safety is a critical element of any sport, especially in hockey and the National Hockey League. With…

What is High Sticking in Hockey? When is it a Penalty?

We’ll take a deep dive into high-sticking and explain why it’s a critical penalty to ensure player…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *