As Commissioner Perry Mitchell likes to say, the SHL is “a league that puts the fans first.” The league is backing up that statement with a new contest called “For the Love of Hockey,” in which they’re asking fans to submit short videos explaining why they are the SHL’s best fan.
“We’ve been around for long enough now that we’re developing a devoted fan base,” said Commissioner Mitchell at the press conference announcing the contest. “We’ve been delighted to share our story with them for the last three-plus seasons. Now we want to give the fans a chance to tell their stories. How did they fall in love with hockey? How did they discover the SHL? Who’s their favorite team or their favorite player, and why? But really, we just want to hear whatever they have to say.”
Fans are encouraged to submit their videos via social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat). The Commissioner’s office and other prominent league figures will view the videos and select 12 finalists, each of whom will receive a custom jersey for their favorite team and two tickets to a future game. The league will then allow fans to vote on their favorite of the finalists, and the winner will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the 2018 SHL All-Star Game at Cadillac Place, home of the Michigan Gray Wolves.
In addition to displaying the videos on their social media sites, the league will display them on the Jumbotron at games throughout the season. “We want to make sure we’re sharing these stories with everyone,” said Commissioner Mitchell. “Our fans’ love of hockey, their passion and energy for the sport and our league and our players, is what makes the SHL great.”
The immediate reaction around the league was positive, with fans stating their plans to get started on their videos right away and players and coaches saying they looked forward to seeing the submissions. “I know that the fans we have are second to none, so I’m certain that their videos will be awesome,” said Saskatchewan Shockers coach Myron Beasley. “I’m glad that I’m on the selection committee, because that means I’ll get to watch them all.
“I was all set to make a video about how my love of the SHL is all about the glory and the sweet paychecks I get,” said New York Night RW Rick “The Stick” Nelson. “But then I found out that players aren’t eligible to enter, which sucks. No problem, though, ‘cause I’m going to be at the All-Star Game anyway, on the ice!”