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Pass or Fail: NHL reportedly considering selling ads on players’ helmets

Pass or Fail: NHL reportedly considering selling ads on players' helmets

TAMPA, FL - FEBRUARY 25: A Tampa Bay Lightning fan wears a helmet with a Lightning bolt light during the game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Amalie Arena on February 25, 2020 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Scott Audette /NHLI via Getty Images)

NHLI via Getty Images

To the NHL’s aesthetic credit, the league’s resisted plastering advertisements on its uniforms. Sure, there have been creative ways to sell ads on boards, glass, and other things. But what players actually wear? Not yet. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports that the NHL is kicking around the idea of seeing ads on players’ helmets, though.

Crucially, it’s important to note that the NHL is mulling the idea of selling ads on players’ helmets. It’s not a done deal.

For some, any additional ads on equipment pushes the league down a slippery, icy slope toward gaudy, ad-filled jerseys. Some look worse than others, but NHL fans likely don’t want to see their favorite logos competing for space with, like, motor oil.

Even less egregious examples can start to look shaky when you just pour on a lot of ads.

Lausanne HC v HC Ambri-Piotta - Ice Hockey National League

LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND - OCTOBER 23: #82 Michael Ngoy of HC Ambri-Piotta looks on during the Ice Hockey National League match between Lausanne HC and HC Ambri-Piotta at Vaudoise Arena on October 23, 2020 in Lausanne, Switzerland. (Photo by RvS.Media/Monika Majer/Getty Images)

Getty Images

All of those misgivings aside, COVID hasn’t been kind to the bottom line of sports leagues, and the NHL is not immune to the impact of the pandemic. When you can’t have fans in the stands (or at least need to limit attendance), it’s wise to consider finding other forms of revenue.

But once you open the door to ads on NHL helmets, you run a greater risk of ads on jerseys.

Some might not care much at all. Others grit their teeth, fearing the inevitable. Purists might end up downright livid.

PHT merely asks a pass or fail: what’s your take on the NHL possibly adding ads to players’ helmets?

[polldaddy poll=10682785]

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.