By Ian Oland
Decades ago, NHL players rarely showed individuality. Now that’s starting to change.
From PK Subban’s social media use to the Carolina Hurricanes’ storm surges, the NHL is starting to showcase personality and the unique style of its players.
Over a decade ago, Alex Ovechkin was drafted into the league and started to chip away at the status quo by playing with yellow skate laces and a tinted visor. His infectious personality and gap-toothed smile made millions of hockey fans fall in love with him.
In promotion for EA Sports’ NHL20 where Auston Matthews graces the cover, Ovechkin’s signature style is showcased, which includes his fountain celebration after winning the Stanley Cup.
Here’s the transcript of the trailer.
Auston Matthews: Coming from Arizona, I was different. Most of my friends played football, baseball, basketball. They asked ‘Why hockey?’ And I figured ‘Why not?’”
Narrator: Why not? because hockey doesn’t need more followers.
Auston Matthews: “I wasn’t afraid to kind of take a risk and go off the beaten path. Be your own person.”
Narrator/multiple voices: Yeah, it’s different now. It’s not just about getting it done. It’s the style that comes with it. There’s definitely an anti-establishment streak in some of these kids. Young guys aren’t afraid of the old guys anymore.
They’re rewriting what it means to be a hockey player. And yeah, they’re putting on a show.
It’s taking a road you won’t recognize and dominating a rival. So be the leader of your own pack. Re-define the hockey guy. Embrace being one of the jerks and take the game to the next level.
Because if they’re asking you why you already know the answer.
Ovechkin responded to the trailer release on Twitter by saying “this game will be gr8!!! think best part is me in fountains 😂😂”
this game will be gr8!!! think best part is me in fountains 😂😂 #NHL20 @easportsnhl https://t.co/mufZNf8GRV pic.twitter.com/xqf2xbk4VR
— Alex Ovechkin (@ovi8) June 27, 2019
The more the NHL leans into the personality of its players, the better it will be and the more fans it will create. Remember: Alex Ovechkin was questioned early on in his career as being too outlandish. But it’s his personality and who he is that’s why he’s one of the most well-known hockey players in the world and among mainstream sports and pop culture. It’s the personality that makes superstars (and maybe good hockey websites too).
Headline photo: EA Sports
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