The National Hockey League's marketing department takes a lot of hits for the way it does things, but one thing universally regarded as one of its strong points is the quality of the commercials.
While no commercial the NHL creates will come close to matching the love received by "Cup Raise" in 2008, their efforts to promote the Winter Classic, as well as the campaigns begun before each season like "Is This the Year?", have been solid. With the playoffs 24 (!) days away, the League has released their latest campaign, "History Will Be Made", focusing on the iconic memorable moments from the Stanley Cup Playoffs. There will be six moments featured in the commercials: Bobby Orr's Cup-winning goal in 1970, Mark Messier and his guarantee, Mario Lemieux splitting the Minnesota North Stars defense during the 1991 Cup, Ray Bourque finally capturing the Cup, Patrick Roy leading the Montreal Canadiens to the Cup in 1986 during his rookie season, and Steve Yzerman's double-overtime goal against the St. Louis Blues in 1996.
During Hockey Night in Canada last night, the Orr and Lemieux spots debuted. The “History Will Be Made” campaign will run across all of the NHL’s national and local broadcast partners, NHL Network, NHL.com, in-arena, and through digital and social media networking websites beginning with day one of the playoffs, April 14th.
First up, "What if Bobby didn't fly?:
Next, "What if Mario wasn't so super?":
That one gets an easy answer. If Mario wasn't so super, Shawn Chambers would be known more as a two-time Cup winner and not the guy who Lemieux beat for that all-time goal along with the worst players in video game history.
Puckheads love seeing those old-school moments in hockey history and with the playoffs upon us, the NHL remembering such events is a nice way to get fans jazzed up for the postseason.