I know Sidney Crosby eats a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich 2 hours before game time.
In Ed Willes' book, "Gretzky to Lemieux" about the 1987 Canada Cup, he tells of Team Canada head coach Mike Keenan's interest in nutrition and how he had his Philadelphia Flyers teams eating chicken and broccoli before games.
With an influx of Oilers on the Canadian team during the tournament, Keenan's attempt to instill nutritional ideas failed. Oilers players were used to steak-and-potato dinners with ice cream for dessert as a pregame meal. When the Oilers players first saw the chicken and broccoli, Gretzky walked into the kitchen and told the staff he needed 25 steaks ready for his team and he got them, along with the ice cream.
Gretzky also had food superstitions: after warm-up he would return to the dressing room and proceed to drink a Diet Coke, a glass of ice water then a Gatorade…… followed by another Diet Coke.
I know a lot of NHL players drink coffee.
Derek Sanderson said that his pre-game meal was a steak and a blonde.
I heard Gretzky used to eat 4 hot dogs and a can of Coke/Pepsi before a game. Or something like it.
Gretzky wrote in his autobiography, he used to "eat like a prisoner." And yes, by the time he got to LA he played best on four hot dogs with plenty of mustard and onions. For a game-day breakfast, he'd eat two or three scrambled eggs with bacon and whole-wheat toast. For lunch he'd chow down on steak or veal with some vegetables and then right before he went on the ice he'd have a sandwich, a milkshake and a big piece of pie.
Guy Lafleur. Cup of coffee and a cigarette. Like a boss.
Reminds me of playing street hockey with my buddies, cigarettes in mouth, hands on your stick. I usually played goal for a change of pace when on the streets, hilarious seeing a guy coming in on you with a smoke in his mouth.
Not NHL but I read somewhere that Dale Earnhardt Jr used to eat a spaghetti dorito sandwich before races. You read that right. Toast 2 pieces of bread, put spaghetti in and then nacho doritos on top of the spaghetti.
Keeping with the non-NHL and also returning to the "having a couple smokes" rituals:
Charles Roberts, former Winnipeg Blue Bomber running back apparently had either tacos or spaghetti most game days. Leading up to game time it was a Snickers and Red Bull (with another Snickers thrown in at half time). I'm sure you can throw a few smokes in to that somewhere.