Pickleball and hockey: A partnership on the rise

Pickleball and hockey: A partnership on the rise

DALLAS, TX - One of the reasons for pickleball’s popularity is its accessibility for people of all ages and athletic backgrounds.

But another aspect of this accessibility reaches players coming back from injury, and few are more familiar with this benefit than former Dallas Stars goaltender Marty Turco.

Now the president of the Dallas Stars Foundation, Turco underwent hip replacement surgery in March and has used pickleball to ease himself back into an active lifestyle.

“Pickleball was the first thing to do because I could just stand there and not have to move as much,” he said.

And just eight months removed from that procedure, the former Michigan Wolverine recently stood strong against some of the best players in the world.

He took part in the Deep Eddy Vodka Celebrity Pickleball Showdown in early November alongside fellow Dallas sports icons Dirk Nowitzki, Scottie Scheffler, Jason Kidd, and John Isner, and a handful of pro pickleball players.

Having discovered the sport two years ago in his hometown of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Turco knows that his experience between the pipes serves him well at the kitchen line when opponents try to attack him.

“When you play tennis or have a puck coming at you, it comes so fast,” he explained. “Well, this ball slows down quicker, so you have more time.”

Turco lost both his matches playing alongside Catherine Parenteau and Jay Devilliers during the event, but he’s come to see that, at its core, pickleball is just like any other sport, including hockey.

“You take advantage when you can, you play defense when you have to, and try to get back on offense. Pickleball’s no different,” he remarked.

Turco’s participation in the event signifies a growing partnership between pickleball and hockey, especially in North Texas.

This partnership will continue to grow with the Stars hosting a “Pickleball Night” on Jan. 25 at the American Airlines Center in conjunction with their game against the Anaheim Ducks.

Fans can purchase discounted tickets that include a limited edition USA Pickleball tournament-approved Stars Volair paddle. Click here for more information.

Paddles and pucks coming together—who would’ve thought?