IN THE D: Pickup Hockey in the D

By: Scott Davis | December 9, 2014

While ice arenas are open year-round and hockey is played more or less at all times by travel teams and other leagues, the winter season is when it is at top of mind. This is especially true in Metro Detroit, where Detroit is nicknamed as “Hockeytown” for our beloved Red Wings.

Drop-in hockey games are a good way to get your old high school buddies, former teammates or family together to play a little puck and have some fun. After all, you want to prove to your friends (and yourself) you can still skate circles around the competition, right?

If you are an avid reader of “In the D” articles, you have by now realized that there are a ton of things always going on in Detroit and its metropolitan area. If you are a newbie or just skimming, then you are soon to realize our main goal is informing you of all the things this area has to offer. At this exact point in time, you’ve probably figured out we’re highlighting ice arenas and places to play pickup hockey this time around. Let’s do it, shall we?

Novi Ice Arena, 42400 Nick Lidstrom Dr., Novi, offers some drop-in hockey action. Full equipment is recommended and each session is limited to the first 24 skaters and four goalies. There are sessions for those 18 years of age and older, as well as a session for high school students (those in grades eight through 12). Drop-in sessions are generally on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and cost $10 per skater (goalies skate for free). Sticks and pucks and open skating are also viable options. On another note, how could you not love a place that resides on a street named after arguably the greatest (and I’m using the term “arguably” loosely) Red Wings defenseman of all-time?

Troy Sports Center, 1819 E. Big Beaver Rd., Troy, allows for those 16 years old and upwards to play in its adult drop-in league. Full equipment is required to play, and it allows a few more players than the Novi Ice Arena, as there are 28 player positions available and four goalies. Sessions take place pretty much daily and there are morning, afternoon and night sessions throughout the week. The cost is $10 per person for a session. Make sure to bring your driver’s license, or another form of identification, as it is required to be able to play. Don’t say you weren’t warned!

John Lindell Ice Arena, 1403 Lexington Blvd., Royal Oak, is another fine venue for a little drop-in fun. John Lindell Ice Arena welcomes players of all skill levels, and gives everyone the opportunity to participate in a pickup game. Full equipment must be worn at all times including helmets, and although it is recommended for everybody playing, full facial protection is required for players 17 years of age and younger. All skaters and goalies must sign in at the front desk prior to playing. Sessions are limited to 24 skaters and goalies and there are several drop-in options. The cost is $5 for high school drop-in and $8 for adults, women 18 and older and youth. Goalies always skate free!

Arctic Coliseum, 501 Coliseum Dr., Chelsea, is quite the spectacle. It is an 85,000-square-foot facility with two ice rinks, a fitness center and a restaurant and sports bar called Arctic Breakaway. In terms of drop-in hockey, there are several different sessions: adult, 35 and over, women’s, 50 and over and more. For your convenience, here is the full schedule for upcoming times. There are all kinds of other things going on here as well, including sticks and pucks and the opportunity for your little one to skate with Santa for the holiday season! This is definitely a place to check out if you’re a hockey or ice skating fan.

Yost Ice Arena, 1116 S. State St., Ann Arbor, gives you an opportunity to play some drop-in puck at the same place as the Wolverines. I bleed green, but even I will admit that is pretty cool. Get your friends together on a Thursday afternoon at 1 p.m. While there aren’t a whole lot of opportunities in December, there are drop-ins scheduled every Thursday in January, February and March. Admission is $8 and no players under the age of 16 are permitted.

Arctic Pond, 40475 Plymouth Rd., Plymouth, offers drop-in and sticks and pucks for adults ages 19 and older each Tuesdays and Thursday from noon to 1:30 p.m. The cost is $8 per player, except for those pesky goalies who once again skate for free! There is also an over 50 league Tuesday and Fridays from 9 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. and as an added bonus, there are coffee and donuts available after skating. Arctic Pond also offers a session for “Puck Masters,” or those who are 60 years old and older on Monday mornings at 9 a.m. and 10:25 a.m. Kudos to them for still being active! Also, check out Arctic’s Pond sister venue, Arctic Edge, in Canton.

Well, there you go. Have some fun and relive the old glory days. There seem to be ice arenas close to or in every city, so nothing shall stop you from being active and shooting some puck! Happy skating.