NHL lockout means no more player promotion from teams

If you've not seen it, "Becoming Wild" is a really solid attempt by the Minnesota Wild to capture the HBO "24/7" aesthetic, minus the machine-gun profanity and the dulcet tones of Liev Schreiber:

It airs on Fox Sports North. Well, at least for the moment it does.

[Sidney Crosby considers playing overseas during NHL lockout]

As Michael Russo of the Star Tribune reminds us, the lockout means many things we take for granted as snatched away from us like salary into escrow for an NHL player. That includes anything resembling player promotion from NHL teams, like short-form documentary films on Cal Clutterbuck:

If the NHL locks out the players at 11:59 p.m. (10:59 p.m. CT) Saturday because it's unable to agree to a new collective bargaining agreement with the Players' Association, teams will have to cease all player promotion during the labor stoppage.

That means "Becoming Wild," which the Wild is using to show off the personalities of its players in part because of its desire to be awarded a Winter Classic, will have to cease being televised on Fox Sports North. The remaining shows are supposed to be behind-the-scenes with Tom Gilbert, Niklas Backstrom, Dany Heatley and Mikko Koivu.

If there's a lockout, player likenesses won't be permitted to be used by teams for marketing and advertising. That means the Wild's Twitter account and web site can no longer run player contests and promote players for the purpose of marketing the franchise.

(Never realized this was part of some pitch to land the Winter Classic. Don't Zach Parise's dimples guarantee there'll be one in Minnesota shortly?)

It's been a while since we had a work stoppage. In that time, community outreach and digital promotions have increased for every team. It's not exactly stunning to think they'd draw a line in the sand with regard to player participation and promotion when there's a work stoppage.

But won't someone think about the car dealership openings and inane Twitter contests for free replica jerseys!?

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