Each year NHL teams participate in videos to support charitable causes or show their appreciation for the fans. In 2014, players filmed videos for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in the off-season, grew mustaches for The Movember Campaign, visited children’s hospitals in costume, and produced cheesy holiday video cards. Other players then added crazy stunts, trick shots, and all-around tomfoolery to the mix, to make ten of the best NHL player videos of the year.
10. Senators Doodle Movember Mustaches
To raise awareness for men’s health programs, NHL players compete for donations based on the best Movember mustache. This year, the Senators were given headshots of teammates and a Sharpie to predict how each would grow their mo.
9. Marc-Andre Fleury’s Ice Bucket Challenge
Sure, Paul Bissonette’s ALS Ice Bucket Challenge video featured a helicopter, frosty cold glacier water, and high production quality, but Marc-Andre Fleury and wife, Veronique, did it best. Fleury took viewers off-guard when he appeared in a banana costume, leading everyone to wonder what event in Fleury’s life necessitated this purchase in advance of the challenge.
8. Mats Zuccarello and His Buddy, Julius
For MSG Beginnings, Mats Zuccarello and his mom told the story of his stuffed chimpanzee, Julius, who helped the New York Rangers forward surpass his childhood fear of the dark.
7. Exercise Your Right to Vote for the Blackhawks All-Stars
All in all, the players keep pretty straight faces in this promotional video. As the Blackhawks prompt fans to vote for Jonathan Toews and other teammate as NHL All-Star Game starters, the players jog in place wearing retro workout gear. If you’ve ever wished to see Patrick Kane wearing short-shorts on an elliptical, your time is now.
6. Panthers Visit the Children’s Hospital
On a visit to meet kids at the Chris Evert Children’s Hospital, Panthers players Erik Gudbranson, Jimmy Hayes, and Nick Bjugstad had too much fun in their holiday costumes. Dressed as Santa, an over-sized, bearded elf, and a 6’6” Mrs. Claus in size 13 flip-flops, the players made the kids’ day.
5. Joyeuses Fêtes 2014! A Montreal Canadiens Holiday Card
Manny Malhotra puts an elf on the shelf in the Canadiens locker room at Christmas. As the players pull pranks on each other, the elf watches eerily, persuading the players to change their unsportsmanlike conduct.
4. Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin Meet Dude Perfect
Stars forwards, Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin shared some stunning stick handling skills with Dude Perfect and a giant panda mascot. As master trick shot artists who also made a video with the Seattle Seahawks, the guys from Dude Perfect know how to put on a good show. Though you have to wonder how many tries it took them to get that puck to actually light the match.
3. PK Subban Surprises Young Fans
When PK Subban dressed up as Karl the security guard on a trip to meet young Habs fans, the kids had no idea that they were about to skate with a Canadiens player. As Subban pretended to sleep on the bus, organizers took the kids to the the Bell Center, outfitting them with hockey equipment before taking the ice. Soon after, Subban revealed his true identity.
2. The Panel Intern: Roberto Luongo
As you might have noticed while watching in-arena Jumbotron features, NHL players don’t provide the best acting. Roberto Luongo dashes this stereotype, however, looking genuinely haunted by his memories of a Zamboni incident. Former Panthers goaltender, Jamie McClennan also makes an appearance, making a great save on a pen passed to Luongo.
1. Holiday Sweaterrr…Holiday Sweaterrr
Though players participated in many entertaining videos in 2014, the Sharks’ cheesy video holiday card takes the cake. Whether or not you’re a fan of the team, seeing players check their egos at the door to rap silly lyrics on camera has to make you giggle. John Scott barking like a dog while dressed as a grandmother is just the icing. Luckily, the team also filmed the players’ reactions to the video for your enjoyment.
Honorable Mention: Jody Shelley Advocates Nick Foligno for the All-Star Roster
Though this is a broadcaster video that doesn’t feature a player appearance, Jody Shelley’s video advocating Nick Foligno for the 2015 All-Star roster is a keeper. Filmed in the style of Department of Player Safety disciplinary videos, Shelley describes an incident at Nationwide Arena in which Foligno extends both arms toward goaltender, Sergei Bobrovsky, “wrapping him in a warm and loving embrace.”
NHL players were prolific with their video appearances in 2014, making it difficult to list only ten. As the year continued, all thirty teams made memorable videos, giving fans insight into their favorite players’ personalities. As much as the players had fun acting up and accessorizing, they also contributed to valuable charities, and put bright smiles on many children’s faces.
Tabatha is passionate about hockey history, and the Dallas Stars’ ever-improving farm system. Growing the game in North Texas is her goal.
Discuss hot topics in hockey with her on Twitter via @tabatha_mp.