Hockey is a game steeped in tradition, and a new trend is taking hold in the NHL these days: comically bad holiday videos by NHL teams. You’ve seen enough of the local car commercials, or pre-game promos to know these guys couldn’t act their way out of a paper bag, but to see them “star” in these Holiday videos is cringe worthy. 7 teams have blessed us with their festive greetings, so let’s take a look at these masterpieces.
Let’s set the bar unrealistically high with the 2011 Chicago Blackhawks singing their own versions of classic Christmas songs:
Highlights: John Scott’s dancing, Frolik Navidad (kills me every time), Jonathan Toews smiling.
The Hawks followed up that gem with a slightly less enjoyable remix of popular movies starring your favorite Blackhawks. A bit long and drawn out, but there are some winners:
Highlights: Bryan Bickell doing his best “Taxi Driver,” Nick Leddy delivering an Oscar worthy “Napoleon Dynamite,” and Duncan Keith’s “Braveheart.”
The Pittsburgh Penguins follow the “Holiday Songs” template and do their own renditions of traditional Holiday sing-a-longs. Clearly, even the players know how bad this is turning out:
Highlights: Rob Scuderi says its “terrible,” “Do Jussi What I See,” and the magic of Kris Letang.
Over in Beantown, the Boston Bruins are known for their audio/video prowess when it comes to marketing. Their hilarious “Bruins Bear” series of fan etiquette videos is the stuff of legend, and the bear makes his return again with anthem singer Rene Rancourt in a great 80’s sitcom style holiday video featuring the Boston players and coach Claude Julien:
Highlights: Brad Marchand reading “Who’s A Pest,” Creepy Chara, slightly disturbed Jarome Iginla, and Patrice Bergeron with a weed whacker. Pure gold.
St. Louis Blues
Over in St. Louis, the Blues have cranked out an awkward rendition of the 12 Days Of Christmas that is right on par with an elementary school musical. Try not to grit your teeth too hard:
Highlights: “Eleven Lessons English.” Vladimir Taresenko nails it. They included the outtakes.
Not to be underdone by the Blues, the Ottawa Senators go the “12 Days” route too, but do themselves a disservice by repeating it over and over. Props if you can sit through it:
Highlights: Chris Neil needing two front teeth, that’s about it. If they just started with 12, it would be so much more watchable.
Washington was smart enough to not try and make their players sing, or talk even, and they crank out one of the better videos of festively clad Capitals players jamming to a rockin’ version of jingle bells. It’s hilariously bad, and great at the same time. Well worth the watch:
Highlights: Ovechkin’s Jingle Bells breaking mid song, Troy Brower not knowing how a bass is played and saying “HEY,” John Erskine on the toy xylophone, and a giggly Joel Ward playing a pink inflatable saxophone.
San Jose Sharks
Finally The San Jose Sharks delivered a 6 minute long play-by-play of their annual Holiday Party by their own announcing team. Chock full of bad jokes and worse delivery, it gives the Bruins a run for their money on the awkward scale. You keep thinking it will end, but it doesn’t. There is always one more groan-inducing pun up the commentators’ sleeves:
Highlights: Dan Boyle’s comedy routine, Logan Couture’s gross mustache, Brent Burns’ Snakes on a Train, and Tomas Hertl at the Kids’ Table.
Looking forward to next year, and it would be great to see more teams get in on this tradition of absurdity. We’ll probably (hopefully) start to see the quality go up if teams start trying to out-do each other.
Scott Huntington is a writer, reporter, blogger, and long-time hockey fan. When he’s not watching hockey he’s doing research for Maxwell Systems or spending time outside with his family. Find him on Twitter @smhuntington