September 8, 2011, - 3:03 pm

Wholesome Hockey?: 1st Official NHL Tattoo & Body Piercing Shop Opens

By Debbie Schlussel

We know that the wholesome image major sports leagues and their marketing execs pimp on us is just that–an image and not reality.  As a recovering former sports agent, I know first-hand what isn’t exactly news:  most pro athletes in the major leagues are spoiled cretins and scumbags.  And, yes, that includes the National Hockey League (NHL) players (though it, arguably, has a lower per capita level of scumbaggery than the NFL and NBA).

Get Nasty With the NHL . . .

Send Your Kids to an NHL Game & They Could Come Home Looking Like This

But, now, the NHL has thrown all pretense to the wind, as the New York Islanders have pro hockey’s first official tattoo shop, and they couldn’t have done it without NHL approval. Mommy, Mommy, I want a tattoo of the Hanson Brothers with skulls and bones on my pelvis.  I can just see it now:  teen girls getting “No Defensemen or Goalies Here” tramp stamps on their lower backs. Maybe an official Islanders “He Shoots, He Scores” tattoo on the lower front torso would get the message across.

It’s an especially disgusting development because the NHL markets itself as family-centric, wholesome  entertainment for kids.  But the owner of the new tattoo place knows what I know–that it’s a victory for the tattoo industry.  And not a good influence on kids.

The New York Islanders announced today the addition of Tattoo Lou’s to their sponsor group.

“Our team is thrilled to bring another Long Island institution to the Coliseum, especially one from such a unique industry,” said Justin Johnson, Senior Vice President of Corporate Partnerships & Marketing for the Islanders.

Tattoo Lou’s has become the official tattoo shop of the New York Islanders Hockey Club marking the first time a professional sports franchise has ever designated an official tattoo shop. . . .

Tattoo Lou’s will set up a tattooing station on the Nassau Coliseum concourse at each of the team’s 10 home games. Two tattoo artists and one professional body piercer will be present to help fans achieve the art they want. The tattoos will average about $60, but can range from $160-$300. Tattoo Lou’s will also sell Islanders-centric body jewelry and tattoo-inspired Islanders t-shirts and sweatshirts.

Additionally, Tattoo Lou’s will create an Islanders-inspired mural on the concourse, using the team’s logo and tattoo artwork.


Would you get a tattoo or piercing at a hockey game? The fans in Long Island, N.Y. will get their chance with the NHL’s New York Islanders naming their first “official” tattoo shop.

Tattoo Lou’s will set up a tattoo/body piercing station at 10 Islanders home games at the Nassau Coliseum during the 2011-2012 season. The Islanders claim they’re the first pro franchise to designate an official tattoo shop. The mini-shop, in the form of a penalty box, will also sell body-centric Islanders souvenirs and tattoo-inspired T-shirts.

“This is another victory for the tattoo industry,” said Tattoo Lou’s president Lou Rubino. “For a long time, tattoos were frowned upon, but now, we’ve become more and more mainstream.”

And this is a good thing because . . . ?

What’s next–the first official NHL Hustler store?  Why not a whole chain of NHL head shops, where you can buy official NHL “blue line” bongs.  If official NHL tattoo and piercing shops are okay, why not hockey stick sex toys on sale at NHL arenas?  It’s a slope more slippery than Zamboni-smoothed ice.  And tattoos are the gateway drug.

20 Responses

That’s disgusting, Debbie. You hit the nail on the head in exposing this hypocrisy. I imagine that milquetoast conformist apologists will argue that tattoos have become so “mainstream” that they somehow fit in with the “family-centric” bullsh#t that pro sports is purporting to be worried about and represent. Of course, when drunken fans and minors start coming home with regretful tattoos, then the true impact of this endeavor will truly be felt, at least on an individual level. I regret every tattoo I ever got in my life and spend a considerable amount of stress and time thinking of ways to dissuade my children from getting tattoos when they are of age. Crap like this is annoying and bespeaks of the moral decay of our culture.

DS_ROCKS! on September 8, 2011 at 3:21 pm

Well, we know they won’t get the religious or Orthodox Jewish fans (and to those Christians who are unaware, religious Jews do not get tattoos. Tradition and Jewish law dictates that a Jew with a tattoo cannot be buried in a Jewish cemetery, as they have desecrated their bodies).

JEG: That’s a myth that has become urban legend–about burial not being allowed in a Jewish cemetery for tattoos. While you are correct that it’s against Jewish law to get tattoos (it’s considered mutilation and desecration of the body and branding–only G-d can brand his flock), it is not against Jewish law to bury a Jew with a tattoo or tattoos in a Jewish cemetery. I’m not sure how that myth got started, but it’s widely believed, even though it isn’t true. Jewish law does not allow murderers or those who committed suicide to be buried in a Jewish cemetery. However, even in many of those cases, the rabbis say the person was “insane” or “mentally ill” and thus, find a loophole to bury that person in the cemetery. DS

Jonathan E. Grant on September 8, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    Debbie might have mentioned the wholesale Nazi adoption of tattooing and cremation is why Jews consider those practices even more abhorrent. They contradict the dignity of the human creature. Its no accident those who hate Jews are fond of them.

    NormanF on September 9, 2011 at 1:39 am

I would hate to see where the “hat trick” tattoo would be placed on a woman.

Jonathan E. Grant on September 8, 2011 at 3:25 pm

Debbie, I just commented on you’re facebook page on this particular topic. Since my NHL team is the New York Rangers, I won’t a NY Rangers tattoo on any of my body parts.

And since my other teams in sports (in general) are the Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Mets & Kansas State Wildcats (in football and mens & womens basketball), I won’t put tattoos on my body from those other teams I cheer/support!

“A nation is defined by its borders, language & culture!”

Sean R. on September 8, 2011 at 3:41 pm

Tattoos are a choice that people should be allowed, of course. Still, when I see folks with tats…I think “no class” (Holocaust survivors aside, of course, as they had no choice), even if they are otherwise nice people.

And am I the only one sick of these (almost always white) middle-class college pukes with the corks and discs in their ears? What are they saying, how “artistic” they are? How “multicultural” they feel despite their lilly white spoiled backgrounds? They look like freaking goofballs with big looped ear lobes.

The inked and pierced crowd site “freedom of expression” as the reason they mutilate themselves…but why do freedom of expression jumping on some tacky bandwagon and making yourself look like a weirdo?

I can’t think on anything I want permenantly on my body. Except maybe Alessandra Ambrosio,…ha.

Ink Stinks on September 8, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    Inky, I am with you! I love the rocker look and I love tattoos on the male (and female) BUT I get nauseated at those ear-hole extenders and face piercings! Ugh. They are not attractive at all and I get queasy!

    I don’t mind multiple ear-piercings and a solo nose ring…but THAT’s IT! Those lip and face piercings and the huge holes…ugh. Just ugly, ugly, ugly! Make it stop!

    Skunky on September 8, 2011 at 9:46 pm

Sean R: I think the point is that by installing an official tattoo parlor at a NHL facility, then the NHL is promoting tattoos and piercings which is antithetical to the “wholesome” image that they and other pro sprots are so quick to push, defend and victimize players for violating, or supposedly violating like the heinous punishment of Ben Roethlisberger last year for not being charged and for being accused by an admitted psycho and liar.

The point isn’t that you shouldn’t get a Rangers tattoo – you can tattoo whatever you want, this is America – but that its hypocritical for the NHL to promote them for its own profit.

DS_ROCKS! on September 8, 2011 at 5:10 pm

Tramp Stamps, Like the old email going around saying in 40 years we are gonna have a bunch of old shriveled up grannies with tamp stamps above their booty.

georgie on September 8, 2011 at 5:59 pm

I’m not a fan of tattoos, but I really wouldn’t mind what these people do if only I did not need to pay for their resulting health problems (emotional and physical) by means of higher taxes and insurance premiums, and if their actions didn’t infect our culture as a whole (I realize these are big ‘buts’.)

I also think tattoos are a substitute for those personal qualities that used to command respect in our society, intelligence, caring, personalities based on varied interests, etc. This dumb generation has none of these things, so they come up with trashy substitutes to ‘distinguish’ themselves from others.

Little Al on September 8, 2011 at 6:39 pm

Do you know that the GOVERNMENT is paying for the removal of some tattoos? Seems that people don’t want to hire people who have tattoos, and now we are paying for the removal thereof.

Jonathan E. Grant on September 8, 2011 at 9:13 pm

I am old enough to remember when only carnies & sailors had tattoos. Yes, they are low class. When I see someone with tattoos or smoking cigarettes, I feel sorry for then, and disgusted at the same time.

Dr Dale on September 8, 2011 at 9:24 pm

I love the art of tattoos, but I have to admit that I have NOT been liking them as much as I used to, because almost everyone gets them these days. I like the look on certain people (rockers, punk rockers, hipsters) but on everyone else, I really hate the look.

When they became mainstream, they took the specialness away.

I am glad DS posted about the myth. I believed the myth but now I stand corrected. And even though I love tattoo art (on a certain look…I think it looks trashy/horrible on others) I have come to really believe in the Jewish law (even thou’ I am not Jewish) for about 7 years now. I love the art, but some things are more important.

And everyday when I see just about everyone with a tattoo, I do get sick to my stomach. I like the Jewish law. Discipline builds character…certainly more than tattoos do!

Skunky on September 8, 2011 at 9:39 pm

Whenever I tell anyone under 30 that I am old enough to remember when getting a tattoo was an act of rebellion instead of an act of conformity, they often tell me that I look pretty good for 90.

It’s difficult for the younger generation to envision a time when tattoos were actually a rarity even among rock stars. The first one to sport a serious amount of visible body ink was Greg Allman, who subsequently got Cher hooked on the habit in the mid 70s. The trend quickly mushroomed from there.

If you ask me, even if it’s a tattoo of a butterfly, flower, or fairy, it still only looks appropriate at a Hell’s Angels convention. To me, when displayed by a woman in an evening gown at a red carpet event, the sheer incongruity of the situation is somewhat comical.

If there’s a bright side to any of this, at least for the last 30 years, concentration camp survivors can claim an ironic victory in that they lived long enough to see those numbers on their arms actually become fashionable.

Irving on September 8, 2011 at 10:58 pm

Hockey is too violent. I prefer NASCAR. :+)

All kidding aside, I prefer NCAA hockey to the NHL game.

Not sure what any of this has to do with tattoos.

Hey Deb! Thanks for the note about the Jewish prohibition on tattoos. I don’t consider myself overly knowledgeable on Jewish religious law, but I always thought that tattoos were considered a form of “willful self-mutilation” that is typically prohibited. I think your explanation confirmed that.

There is NO Santa Claus on September 9, 2011 at 12:16 am

I would appreciate it if the women would tighten up their mid-drift somewhat if they want to show off their tramp-stamps. to see that muffin spilling over the belt buckle is horrendous.

Koeteus on September 9, 2011 at 12:52 am

When I see a tattoo on a female, I know where at least one burly balding bikers hairy hands have been.

PDMac60 on September 9, 2011 at 11:23 am

the “Red Wings” Tattoo might have a lot of meaning.

Randal P on September 9, 2011 at 1:52 pm

I hate tattoos. Whatever happened to nice girls? Hard-to-get is so much nicer. Most guys do not like the high heels and bikini girls that are constantly marketed to us, we just want to date a nice librarian. And the slutty, dumpy tattooed pig look…who the hell came up with that? Yuck!

David Lanham on September 10, 2011 at 3:06 am

Totally want a MTL tattoo!!!

Jannie Stanzel on October 23, 2015 at 9:55 am

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