This shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone, but the NHL isn’t exactly known as a promotions powerhouse.  It’s definitely not as strong of a brand as the NFL and it isn’t as cool as the NBA.  So what does the NHL do?  The same thing a lot of children do when they realize they’re not the strongest or coolest kid in the class.  They become the funny one.

Over the past few years the NHL has put together numerous promos that show just how funny and likable the players are.  Some of them are actually entertaining.  Some of them are insanely lame.  Some of them are creepy.

But funny is not all the league can do.  Despite the fact that most NHL commercials try to push personality and humour, there are quite a few serious commercials as well.  Just like the comical ones, some of these commercials are great while others are terrible.  Recently the NHL has put out some some great, serious ads.

Today we have a selection of our favourite NHL commercials for you.

This is probably our favourite NHL commercial.  It’s so simple, yet it does everything it needs to do.  A lot of great names have lifted the Stanley Cup and this promo shows that.  The trophy itself has a long history and many traditions attached to it.  Showing a long line of great players passing the Cup and taking part in the celebration and the tradition is an excellent way to showcase the Stanley Cup playoffs.

This commercial from the 2010 playoffs builds upon what the league started with the “Cup Lift” promo above.  Again, it manages to convey the history and the tradition of the Cup, but this one shows the emotions involved with winning it as well.

The 2008 Winter Classic didn’t have a historical stadium or a classic rivalry associated with it. All it had was amazing imagery and the unique selling point of an outdoor game.  Without saying anything, this ad featuring Ryan Miller tells you everything you need to know.

We said earlier that the NHL strives to be funny in most of their ads. This one actually accomplishes that goal while also showcasing some of the NHL’s biggest stars. It also pushes a Crosby/Ovechkin feud, which we all want more of, right?

Ignore the fact that Mario Lemieux would later come back to hockey and play alongside Jaromir Jagr for a second and enjoy this commercial. Gretzky, Howe and Lemieux passed the torch to the new generation of stars in this ad and it was a pretty good promo. We’re still waiting on the sequel where Jagr, Lindros, Bure and Kariya give way to the best players of today.

There are a few other promos that almost made the cut.  The “Swedish Twins” commercial featuring the Sedins was quite good, but also pretty creepy.  The original run of the “History Will Be Made” promos from the 2010 playoffs were great, but once the league started making them for almost every game they got pretty watered down and meaningless.  We get that the league wanted to connect the great playoff moments of the past with the games today, but it was too much and it weakened the concept.

Many of the fan parodies that followed were excellent though.

What are your favourite NHL promos?