March 24, 2005, marked the premiere of the U.S. version of “The Office” — one of the greatest TV comedies of the 21st century.
We were introduced to the quirky employees of Dunder Mifflin, which was, yep, based in a hockey town: Wilkes-Barre Scranton, Penn., the home of the Pittsburgh Penguins AHL affiliate, the Penguins.
Another interesting hockey-related nugget: Steve Carell, who played main character Michael Scott, grew up playing hockey in Massachusetts and actually played college hockey at Div. III Denison University.
“I am the LeBron James of rec league hockey,” he told Rachel Nichols back in 2014. “There was a period of time I thought, ‘Wow, maybe I could play this professionally.’”
What a Michael Scott thing to say.
With that, here’s a quick look at the four best hockey moments from “The Office.”
Season 2, Episode 19
Hockey reference: To celebrate Michael’s birthday the staff heads to the local hockey rink for some ice skating. Of course, Michael is always a bit extreme and comes out in full hockey gear — Louisville gloves with the laces, Tackla pants, Bauer helmet sans chin strap and an Easton composite stick — and after deking around some skaters like Jim and Pam, he, of course, checks Toby into the glass.
However, the best hockey reference is the gift from Dwight, a black Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins jersey with the No. 1 and “From Dwight” on the nameplate.
Memorable quote: “Yeah, I’ve been pretty much skating my whole life. I thought about playing in the NHL but you’re on the road so much, you have no time to spend with your wife and kids [dramatic pause] and I really want a wife and kids.” — Michael Scott
Fun fact: Jenna Fischer, who is a massive St. Louis Blues fan, is actually a really good skater, as she told TV Guide back when the episode came out in 2006. She had to learn for her role in “Blades of Glory” but for television, she couldn’t show off her skills.
“I don’t have any routines in the movie, but it was important that I be able to skate well,” she wrote. “They started me on lessons, and I was getting quite good. It was right at that time that I found out about this episode of The Office. We decided that Pam [Beesly] was not such a great skater. She has to lean on Jim. So, when you see me fumbling around on the ice, I’m only acting.”
From 2019 Stanley Cup Final: Jim and Pam from ‘The Office’ a house divided
“Threat Level Midnight”
Season 7, Episode 17
Hockey reference: Ten years in the making, Michael releases his action flick “Threat Level Midnight” where he, secret agent Michael Scarn, must stop Goldenface (played by Jim Halpert) from blowing up the NHL All-Star Game. To save the game, he has to learn how to play hockey — and as we know already, Carell knows how to skate; he showed off some fancy footwork and a big-time slapper.
Memorable quote: “Hey! We’ve got sports games again.” — Billy the bartender (Andy Bernard)
Fun fact: B.J. Novak, the writer of the episode, picked the NHL All-Star Game because “all-star games are a little flashy and silly and insignificant, compared to championship games, but I could see Michael Scott falling for their appeal and mistaking them for something gravely important.
He added: “Michael would have chosen hockey because he can skate and would want to show off.”
Season 2, Episode 7
Hockey reference: Everyone is discussing their worst first dates in the kitchen, and Pam chimes in that hers was when she went to a minor league hockey game where the date brought his brother and while she was in the bathroom the game ended and they left without her. The kicker? It was her then-fiance Roy.
Memorable quote: “I have some faxes to get out.” — Pam to Jim when he makes fun of her being left at the game.
Fun fact No. 1: This is the episode where the staff finds the script for “Threat Level Midnight” and conduct a table read.
Fun fact No. 2: Honestly, what happened to Pam is not as bad as this:
“Michael Scott Paper Company”
Season 5, Episode 23
Hockey reference: The episode features the new paper company spirited by Michael, Pam and Ryan Howard. In their shared office space, on the dry erase board, Michael quoted the famous Wayne Gretzky quote, with a Michael Scott-only twist.
Memorable quote: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” — Wayne Gretzky — Michael Scott
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