The 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs start tonight, and the NHL has drafted a familiar face to help casual fans better understand and enjoy the games. Snoop Dogg is set for a tutorial video series of sorts, in which he explains the rules and culture of hockey — as only “Dogg Cherry” aka “the Greater One” can.
Titled “Hockey 101 with Snoop Dogg” and aimed at folks who might not know the blue line from Bluetooth, the videos will address such potentially head-scratching topics for the uninitiated as offside and icing in uniquely Snoopian fashion. The first is set to go live this afternoon on the NHL’s social media channels and NHL.com. But the groundwork for the new promos was laid last season. You can watch Snoop’s preview below.
“One of the things we noticed when Snoop came to our All-Star game a couple years ago in Los Angeles was not only is he Snoop and everybody loves him, but he really loves hockey,” the NHL’s executive vice president Steve Mayer told Deadline in an interview. “The first thing he said when we walked into the East locker room was, ‘Sid the Kid!'” — calling out All World center Sidney Crosby of the two-time defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins. “He knows the players, he knows the game, and we started talking back then about how he feels like he can help promote the game.”
Here’s a teaser for “Hockey 101,” with new videos rolling out throughout the playoffs:
Mayer noted that all sports are trying to attract the less ardent fan, and “sometimes it takes music, it takes celebrity, it takes something from the outside to bring ’em in, and we thought there was no better time to bring in the casual fan than right before the Stanley Cup Playoffs.”
Enter Snoop. “We’re just trying to get him out there to the masses,” Mayer said, “who then will tune in to watch some hockey, we hope — and get sucked in for the entire playoffs.”
The exec noted that the videos also are “entertainment for the avid. There are things that people will see in these pieces that they’ll go, ‘Ah, I knew that’ — but the way Snoop tells you about it is entertaining.”
He added, “And by the way, when you finish watching his piece on offside, you’re gonna know what offside is.”
Mayer said another clip will focus on the slang of hockey — “the words that are unique to the NHL and the sport that only when Snoop says it in his own way make it entertaining and educational. … We’re very excited and we’re very interested to hear the feedback once they start coming out.”
The rapper, game show host and certified sports nut has a history with the NHL. He’s been a fan who has sported its jerseys for years, and he performed an on-ice DJ set during player introductions before the 2017 All-Star Skills Competition at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Here’s a peek:
NBC’s networks are airing the Stanley Cup Playoffs, which begin with three games tonight. Among those is the Los Angeles Kings against the expansion Vegas Golden Knights, who shocked the sports world by running away with the Pacific Division title in their first year of existence. Seizing on the buzz around the new team, that game will be preceded by another of the league’s cross-promotions: a free concert by rapper Logic outside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
That game is on NBCSN. Here is the complete TV schedule for Round 1 of the 2018 quest for Lord Stanley’s Cup — the oldest trophy in North Anerican pro sports: