One benefit of the NHL and its teams being so technologically advanced has been the addition of comedic videos produced involving players and sometimes, mascots. Whether it's Ian Laperriere's hilarious PSA outtakes or Los Angeles Kings mascot Bailey working towards a Carl's Jr. commercial of his own or even some Atlanta Thrashers keeping busy during Olympic break with their own version of "The Office", teams have been able to showcase the personalities of some of their players and fans have enjoyed them immensely.
The Chicago Blackhawks have been one of those teams leading the charge and have parlayed their successful videos into a deal with WGN to air, "Blackhawks TV", a 30-minute show highlighting the players off-the-ice as well as comedy segments. The second episode aired Sunday night after Chicago beat Columbus in a shootout. With the Olympics underway, the Blackhawks thought it'd be fun to hold their own "Mini Olympics" between some of their American and Canadian players. First up was the popsicle eating contest featuring Andrew Ladd(notes) and "Captain Serious" Jonathan Toews(notes) representing Canada and Dustin Byfuglien(notes) and Patrick Kane(notes) competing for Uncle Sam.
I imagine some of you with sensitive teeth cringed and held your mouth while watching that. And I thought hockey players were tough? Brain freeze? C'mon boys! Good on Toews though, for taking popsicle-eating contests as serious as an NHL game.
The second challenge featured Kane and Adam Burish(notes) for the U.S. taking on Brian Campbell(notes) and Kris Versteeg(notes) of Canada in a "Skate 'N Shoot" contest. After skating a lap, contestants had to shoot a bow and arrow at a target behind the goal. The four took this competition ultra-serious right down to the designs of their speed skating suits.
So not only does Versteeg keep the shades on inside of a limo at night, he also dons them while speed skating? Got it. Also, judging by Versteeg's unusual skating style, one can conclude that his suit might have been a few sizes too small.
To see the rest of the second episode, including a version of "The Newlywed Game" that reveals how in-demand Jonathan Toews is among friends of the Blackhawk wives, check out Blackhawks TV.
Stick tap to Sarah Spain for pointing out the videos