Puck Daddy - NHL

Around this time of the year, you start to see commercials aiming to get hockey fans pumped for the upcoming season. The Tampa Bay Lightning, for example, have a foreboding and spooky ad asking fans to "BE THE THUNDER" for their season. It also apparently relocates the arena into the middle of a forest, but the request remains a valid one.

Yet for all the slick production, bombast will never be as effective as cleverness. Which brings us to Pelicans Lahti of SM-liiga.

This amusing ad is a teaser for the Finnish team's 2011-12 season, the first in a three-commercial set. This one stars head coach Kai Suikkanen and a familiar face to NHL fans: Assistant coach/goalie coach/part owner Pasi Nurminen, the former Atlanta Thrashers goalie last seen falling face-first off a plane into the world championship trophy.

Reader Valski P., who hipped us to the clip, provides the translation:

Pasi: How many more?
Kai: How about 80?
Pasi: Why not 100 as well
Kai: And lets make it three series of those
Pasi: And then some push-ups

(Experience Pelicans. Stronger than ever)

Ah, Finnish whimsy ... but we'd expect nothing less from the Pelicans. If you haven't seen last season's ads, buckle in: They put anything ESPN's done for "SportsCenter" to shame.

Here are the Pelicans using a radar gun to track their players:

Getting a little more surreal, here's a coach using a cannon to fire pucks at his goaltender. (Ah, this brings back memories of "Assault" on "American Gladiators." If only the goalie was given a Nerf crossbow to fire back …)

Finally, one of the greatest hockey ads of the last year, in which a Pelican player takes on a Zamboni:

Believe it or not, this was an actual practice drill for Scott Stevens.

We'll keep an eye out for more ads from the Pelicans. We'll also keep our hopes alive that Tampa Bay's "BRING THE THUNDER" campaign eventually includes a fat guy farting into a bullhorn. Because that'll get you pumped for hockey.

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