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Hearing the NHL was bringing back its "History Will Be Made" campaign didn't immediately strike us as the keenest of notions. The ads last year were simple and effective, and it led to a memorable collection of fan-created parodies and tributes that eclipsed the initial campaign.

The NHL, NBC Sports Group and VERSUS, in consultation with global advertising agency, Young & Rubicam, have brought the campaign back for the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs; and while we were concerned, they haven't necessarily repeated themselves. Via Broadcasting and Cable, here's a Jonathan Toews(notes) "History Will Be Made" spot for 2011:

Broadcasting and Cable has four promo spots for the campaign: "Wish," with Toews; "Mess," featuring the celebratory trash on the ice and during parades; "49 Years," about the Chicago Blackhawks breaking their Cup drought; and this spot, "Easter Epic," featuring the New York Islanders and Washington Capitals:

From the NHL:

The first pair of TV spots in this season's campaign - "Wish" and "Mess" - will debut on March 13 during the NBC Sports broadcast of the Chicago Blackhawks at Washington Capitals game and more than 20 additional spots will launch by April 13, the first day of the Playoffs. Starting April 14 through the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Final, a new spot will be produced each day, highlighting a key moment from the previous night's games.

For the second straight year, fans will be able to download the music composed for the History Will Be Made campaign from the NHL's Facebook page for fan-generated spots.

So real-time commercials featuring last night's action -- previously shown on NHL.com last season -- and another chance for fans to create their own spots.

We're happy they don't look like last year's commercials, but they also don't seem to have the simple structure that allowed (what the NHL said were) 2,400 commercial parodies to be produces last season.  

What's your take on the 2011 "History Will Be Made" campaign?

Stick-tap to Broadcasting and Cable for the embeds.

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