Archive for the ‘Offbeat’ Category

It’s opening night in the NHL and there’s a lot to talk about. At least, there will be in about 2 hours when the first two games of the season are over and the Penguins/Canucks game is about to begin. By the way, you should watch that game because they are two of the best teams in hockey. That’s right, I’m advising all you east coasters to stay up past your bedtimes. It will be worth it.

Sure, there are a few things happening around the league: I could talk about naked Ryan Kesler or point out that Sidney Crosby is, y’know, still not playing hockey, but instead I’m going to talk about something else that has been discussed to death: Crosby vs. Ovechkin.

For better or worse, the NHL has hitched its marketing wagon to the thoroughbred pair of Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin. While Crosby’s concussion last season and long recovery period have illustrated the dangers of this style of marketing, it likely won’t be changing any time soon. The marketing push of this dynamic duo has spilled out into endorsement and commercial deals outside of the hockey rink.

Crosby has an endorsement deal with Reebok and appears in their commercials and has appeared in commercials for Gatorade, Dempster’s Bread, Tim Horton’s, and SportChek. Ovechkin, on the other hand, has a new endorsement deal with Bauer and has appeared in commercials for CCM, Eastern Motors, and Capital One.

What do these commercials tell us about these two players? Who has the better commercials?

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The NHL Zoo

The NHL is a crazy place filled with a variety of interesting characters.  It’s tough to keep track of all of them, so we’ve put together this easy guide to all of the attractions you’ll see when you visit the NHL Zoo!

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Rule one of the NHL’s new social media policy: All blog posts and articles on this subject must begin with a photo of Paul Bissonnette.

Yesterday the news broke that the NHL is planning on implementing a social media policy for the upcoming season. The policy certainly makes sense. Other North American professional sports leagues and most companies have similar policies so it’s understandable that the NHL would follow in their footsteps.

However, we were all still a little confused as to what the policy would actually contain. Sure, we already know about the “social media blackout window before, during and after games, as well as during practice and any other team obligations,” but what else would be in it?

Would it prevent any future #DanEllisProblems? Would it stop former players from getting into arguments with angry fans? Would Daniel Carcillo ever be allowed near a phone or a computer again?

We have no idea, so we looked to the best possible way to find accurate information available today: Twitter. Somewhere in between Tweets about Scarlett Johansson and the little girls proclaiming their love for Justin Bieber, we found the #NHLsocialmediapolicy hashtag and all of our problems were solved.

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John Tavares is about to join Jeff Carter, Steven Stamkos, Brad Richards and numerous others on the list of people who, for one reason or another, still aren’t Toronto Maple Leafs. Despite all of the rumours and the message board threads and the radio call in shows and the Twitter rumblings, it looks like Tavares will sign a contract extension with the New York Islanders.

What? Doesn’t he want to play in the center of the hockey universe? Didn’t he grow up with dreams of wearing the blue and white and finally bringing another Stanley Cup back to the City of Not-Really-Champions-At-All? What’s wrong with him?

Didn’t he grow up with the Leafs? Didn’t he say that he “was always a Leafs fan?” And yet here he is, on the verge of signing a contract extension with another team!? This kid sure has some nerve!

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Video: Wayne Gretzky’s trick shots

Wayne Gretzky takes a stab at comedy in this latest sketch from College Humor. The trick shots are heavy on special effects, but worthy of a few chuckles.

Kudos for shooting the moon, for real.

Stick tap Sports Crackle Pop

NHL 12 is available on September 13 and we’ve spent quite a lot of time talking about the game in anticipation of the launch. However today we figured we’ve switch gears and take a look at NHL players who’ve played a starring role in a non-NHL video game.

What, you didn’t think that ever happened? Take a look at Super Mario Bros. up there. You can clearly see that Mario Lemieux is ready to stomp some Goombas but good. However, Mario Lemieux isn’t the only hockey star to cross over into the video game world.

Don’t believe us? Read on!

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Back to School with the NHL

It’s that time of year again! Time to throw a giant backpack on a child, put them on a bus and send them to school for yet another year!

This is an exciting time, a nervous time and a time of hope and new beginnings. But it’s not just for children. It’s a very little known fact that today is the day that NHL players go back to school as well. And just like Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin and Alex Burrows above, NHL players are happily running off to school with their backpacks and new shoes as we speak!

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