NHL milks cash cow, declares Penguins Pennsylvania Champs

With the NHL coming off a highly successful Stanley Cup Finals, the league is going to milk everything they can out of the fact that the series received a lot of positive buzz. Whether it's Nicklas Lidstrom and Chris Osgood singing "SexyBack" on a two-minute appearance on Jay Leno last night, or Osgood appearing at "The Love Guru" premiere tonight (That's coming out? I had no idea), or Lidstrom flying across country to be on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" and then "Last Call with Carson Daly," expect anything and everything from the NHL.

That in mind, while perusing the NHL online store for any new Pittsburgh Penguin items, I came across a desperate attempt to cash in on the Pens run at the Cup: Pennsylvania State Champs hats and t-shirts.

From the store:

"Celebrate the success of the 2008 Pennsylvania State Champs with this Pittsburgh Penguins hat from New Era®. The enzyme-washed and sanded cotton twill hat has 6 eyelets that allow your head to breathe and an adjustable closure for a customized fit. It's decorated in the team colors and designed with the embroidered team logo and State Champions graphic on the crown."

Wow. Really? Where's the "Tri-State Area Champs" for the New York Rangers after they dispatched the Devils? Bollacks! I'm calling for Dancin' Larry to do his thing non-stop to Black Box's "Strike it Up" until the NHL releases that geographic championship apparel for Ranger fans.

The NHL merchandise department is on roll of late. First, they offer gear for the Penguins and Red Wings before the teams even win their respective series, and then last week they goof and reveal Alex Ovechkin as the Hart Trophy winner on a T-shirt (like there was any doubt to begin with?).

Any Pens fan will tell you he or she doesn't need a special "Pennsylvania State Champs" hat or T-shirt to commemorate the fact that they disposed of the Philadelphia Flyers in five games; and besides, the NHL already produced "Eastern Conference Champions" stuff.

Anything to make a buck I guess? Or to get that damn ice wall working at the NHL Store.

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