The pimping of the National Hockey League continues to grow, as more and more teams are slapping a patch on their practice jerseys to sell ad space. Even with a new television deal in hand, teams everywhere are looking for new and creative ways to drive revenue into their bottom line.
So with that in mind, let's look at some of the funniest potential sponsors for every team in the NHL.
Is there a business who's name more appropriately describes the perceived interest of the superstars in Anaheim than In-N-Out? Now if only they could get more animal style out of Getzlaf...
After Brad Marchand's display over the weekend, perhaps a title sponsorship from the movie "Goon" makes sense in Boston. Why "Goon?" Because there hasn't been a movie titled "that Canuck got what he deserved" made to date.
Buffalo Wild Wings would be the perfect irony for a title sponsor with the Sabres.
Of course, Buffalo is where wings were perfected. But B-Dubs is the commercialization of that idea, putting a bunch of expensive stuff around the product.
Kind of like the current Sabres roster, that took the home-grown formula they had been using the last few years and slapped big money deals for names like Leino and Ehrhoff around it.
Unfortunately for the Sabres, the formula actually worked for the restaurant chain.
Smokey the Bear is an icon of safety, but fire prevention doesn't seem to be the most logical choice for a title sponsor for the guys in Calgary.
However, you could replace Smokey in this poster with the career of Jarome Iginla and it would still hold true to the text.
Hoover Vaccuums is the perfect sponsor for the 2011-12 Carolina Hurricanes.
If you don't understand why, I'm sorry.
The Blackhawks might want to consider making the Mayan Calendar their title sponsor. So far, they're winless in 2012 and have fallen from first to fifth in the Western Conference. And, in two of their games (at Philly and on Sunday night against Detroit) they have found new, creative ways to lose a game.
The Mayans predicted the end of the world would come in 2012, not the end of the Hawks' ability to win games.
If you have been around a baby in the last couple years, you know that NUK is one of the most popular brands that make pacifiers these days. For the Avalanche, the youngest team in the NHL, they might want to look into a deal with NUK before the end of this season.
Why before the end of the year? Because almost everyone on their roster will be a free agent this summer. There could be a lot of whining about who's not getting paid when management starts making the tough decisions.
The Blue Jackets reportedly fired coach Scott Arniel on Monday morning, but he might not be the last member of the organization that's filing for unemployment. Perhaps having a relationship with the Department of Labor would help ease the process.
The only team in town making any money is the Cowboys, so perhaps they could start investing in other teams around the city by way of a sponsorship. Besides, what better way for Jerry Jones to stroke his ego than to make the NHL franchise in town to put a blue star on center ice.
I would love to come up with something more ridiculous for the Red Wings than Amway, but they stole my thunder earlier this year when they made the world's biggest pyramid scheme a title sponsor of an Original Six franchise.
Certainly the Oilers aren't far behind the Avs when it comes to possibly landing a deal with NUK, but the most ridiculous sponsorship agreement the Oilers could have would be to feature the Toyota Prius at their home games. Nothing defeats the idea of a team named Oilers more than having an electric automobile as a financial partner.
This might be ridiculous on the surface, but it actually makes a lot of sense for the Florida Panthers to get involved with any association of retired people. This is the ideal partnership for the Panthers and their fan base. Heck, they're already paying Ed Jovanovski!
If the Anaheim Ducks are going to be sponsored by In-N-Out Burger, it would make sense for the Kings to land a deal with a more healthy California establishment. So why not Wahoo's Fish Tacos? Maybe getting a relationship started with a restaurant like this could help Dustin Penner's work ethic at meal time.
What better way to spark a late-season ticket purchasing binge than Spring Break in... Minneapolis! The Girls Gone (Minnesota) Wild concept is a lay-up, and should have a contract in the works by the end of this week.
Yes, I'm fully aware that Tim Horton's sponsors almost everything in Canada the doesn't have a Molson logo already on it.
But in honor of Scott Gomez's hard work this year, why not reflect his scoring total by putting a doughnut on everyone's jersey? At least the free coffee would be nice.
Now that Comcast has rebranded VERSUS into the NBC Sports Network, the league could continue their affiliation by working Chris Hansen's "To Catch A Predator" series from "Dateline NBC" into a sponsorship agreement in Nashville.
Can you imagine Hansen as an in-game emcee? "So, you come to a hockey game and sit in $85 seats... and you buy a Mike's Hard Lemonade... what are we supposed to believe? That you're here to watch hockey?"
Just too easy...
Since nobody in New York cares about the Islanders, why not land a deal with the Hawaii Dept. of Tourism? Slap a GoHawaii.com sticker on every practice jersey and schedule a team trip to Maui the second week in April every year. It works out perfectly!
The Statue of Liberty is an American icon that stands for freedom and has accepted both visitors and immigrants to this country for generations.
It's also one of two things in New York that is universally considered beautiful. The other: Henrik Lundqvist. The Rangers had Lady Liberty on their sweaters for a while, why not make money off the logo?
Why not have the Ottawa Senators sponsored by the US Federal Government? It would be helping the local economy at the expense of their neighbors to the south, and every time things get bad with the Sens they can just look to the trainwreck that is Washington DC to feel better.
Want a good fight? Get a couple rival cheesesteak joints to jockey for logo position on the Flyers' practice jerseys. The loser gets to dance with Rinaldo on the ice.
This makes perfect sense. With the entire franchise moving at some point in the next eight months, why not get a jump start on the process by getting a deal with UHaul? They're going to be slapping shipping stickers on everything anyway, so why not begin with their practice jerseys?
The way this season is going in Pittsburgh, they might need duct tape to keep their players in one piece more than they would need them as a financial partner. Players are dropping almost weekly for the Pens, so this deal might need to get done soon.
The Sharks would have to present their unique sponsorship opportunity to five potential investors, and offer them a specific stake in the marketing of the team moving forward for a specific dollar amount. The five potential investors would then have the option to agree to those terms, counter offer, or back away from the negotiations.
If you don't get the terrible pun I'm working on here, watch ABC some time.
Located in the heart of St. Louis, the Pujols 5 Westport Grill is obviously going to have to find a new title sponsor for the restaurant. It's actually a fantastic place for lunch or dinner, and the Blues sitting at the top of the Central Division might be in line to jump on a unique partnership arrangement.
The guys on Discovery's "Storm Chasers" have already got a deal with Bosch wiper blades, so why not take it to the next level and throw a logo on the boards with an NHL franchise? The popular television show putting money into the Lightning makes sense, and they could use the team as a platform to raise awareness for storm safety in Florida.
If you head over to ArborCanada.com, you can learn a lot about things like tree pruning, and the appropriate way to chop a tree down. Why not get a tree preservation group into the mix with the Leafs? Better than a syrup manufacturer!
No team in the National Hockey League cries as much as the Canucks, so why not get paid to do it? A title sponsorship with Kleenex makes perfect sense. Then, in mid-May, there can be a box in Roberto Luongo's locker and it's because of a contractual obligation.
You would have thought by now that Mr. Ovechkin would have the rights to Super8.com, but that site is being used by the Super 8 Motel chain. However, if the two wanted to get together, there might not be a better metaphor for the Ovechkin-led Caps than a mediocre motel chain.
If recent polls are accurate, and almost 60 percent of New York Jets fans are sick of Fireman Ed, maybe he could take his act on the road to Winnipeg. This year, he's probably got a better chance of seeing Andrew Ladd in the playoffs than Mark Sanchez anyway.