Hot dog, we have a wiener for the best-done junior hockey team holiday music video of 2013.
Virden Oil Capitals marketing manager Lindsay Gullett should win an award for the Junior A team's contribution to the growing canon of Christmas videos. Most teams who make one lean heavily on the ironic and kitschy, but the Oil Capitals combined a sense of fun and child-like joy with the appearance of making sure everyone hit their marks during the choreographed ice-dancing movements. Plus there's a charismatic star — defenceman Curtis Houlden, the one rocking the handlebar mustache. The spectacular closer also includes a never-saw-that-coming cameo from Olympic pairs figure skating hopefuls Paige Lawrence and Rudi Swiegers, who train in Virden.
A triple thumbs-up for choosing Andy Williams' classic Most Wonderful Time Of The Year over Justin Bieber.
At this writing — apologies for not getting to it sooner — the Oil Capitals' video has had more than 66,000 views. Sports Illustrated even took notice, so yes, it's spread much farther than Gullett originally imagined.
"When I was trying to convince the team to do it, I tried to sell it by telling them the video could get two or three thousand views, and they would be famous," Gullett told the Winnipeg Free Press. "Now we're all playing fun at Curtis and telling him he's not going to be on the team next year because he'll be in Hollywood instead."
Long before that, Houlden's starring role had sparked a little notoriety throughout the Manitoba Junior Hockey League, where Virden leads the Addison Division.
"Holdy was in a little bit of a pushing match and the ref told him to calm down and told him, ‘It's the most wonderful time of the year,’" centre Mark Hardy told CTV Winnipeg.
Good times. This might lead a few junior fans to develop a soft spot for the Oil Capitals. If the team wins on Sunday, it will have more points at Christmastime than it did during its entire first season in Virden, where it moved to from Winnipeg from 2012.
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet. Please address any questions, comments or concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org.