Wayne Gretzky | It has been a long time since the Oilers iced a team capable of bringing back memories of the Gretzky era, but this year’s team is doing its best to look the part of a Stanley Cup contender. That’s what 16 straight wins will do. Connor McDavid has Edmonton on track to win its first Stanley Cup in more than 40 years, and it would only be right for The Great One to serve as a co-captain for guidance throughout the NHL playoffs.
Seth Rogen | The Canucks have been an extremely fun and entertaining group this year, and that makes them a perfect match for Seth Rogen. Plus, the pressure will start to mount in Vancouver once the postseason arrives, and Rogen might be able to lighten the mood when things get tense on the ice.
David Ortiz | The Bruins have had all kinds of success in the regular season over the last several years, but they haven’t been able to break through for a Stanley Cup since 2011. Enter one of the most clutch athletes in Boston history. Ortiz could transfer his clutch gene to the Bruins and help them secure that which has eluded them lately. Tom Brady was also a candidate here, but a Red Sox fan is writing this, so you got Ortiz.
Pitbull | If there is one knock on the Panthers, it’s that the atmosphere in Sunrise isn’t always raucous. Get Pitbull, who is essentially Miami’s ambassador to the rest of the world, to perform at some games and put a few more butts in the seats. Then the Panthers would have the perfect combination of star power on and off the ice with Mr. 305 playing the hits at intermissions.
Teemu Selanne | Teemu Selanne is remembered as an Anaheim Duck, and for good reason. That’s where he spent the majority of his career, and he won a Stanley Cup with the franchise. However, Selanne set the rookie goals record, which still stands to this day, with the first iteration of the Jets in 1992-93. Bring Selanne back to Winnipeg and let him be around to see what might be a special run for this franchise in the spring and summer.
Christian McCaffrey | The Colorado native is knocking on the door of a Super Bowl victory with the San Francisco 49ers, and the Avalanche are contending for their second Stanley Cup in three years. Now, the Avs might want to get McCaffrey on a pair of skates to see what he can do because they need to find a second-line center before the playoffs roll around. If he is half as athletic on the ice as he is on the football field, McCaffrey could solve that problem.
Usher | Not many teams on this list can say that a Super Bowl performer was born in their city, but that is the case for the Stars. Usher is set to perform at halftime of Super Bowl LVIII in a couple of weeks, and he might have a championship performance in common with the Stars this year. Dallas has its eyes on a Stanley Cup in 2024, and maybe they can get Usher to play at intermission when it reaches the Final.
Roy Williams | There were a couple of options here, so I flipped a coin, and it landed on Roy Williams. I send my sincerest apologies to any Duke fans reading this. The Hurricanes have had some good teams over the last few seasons, but they have fallen short in the postseason. Maybe Williams could come in and lend a hand because he knows a thing or two about leading his team through a brutal playoff bracket.
T.J. Lavin | Yes, there are some massive performers with residencies in Las Vegas, but T.J. Lavin is hands down the biggest celebrity in the city. Not only is Lavin the best host in the history of reality competition history, but he also knows a thing or two about hockey toughness after recovering from a gnarly BMX injury in 2010. Lavin also hates quitters more than anything, so the Golden Knights wouldn’t have to worry about getting complacent after their first Stanley Cup win in 2023.
Mike Alstott | The long-time Buccaneers fullback seems like he could bring a lot to a hockey team. Mike Alstott had strength, toughness, and a surprising amount of speed for a player of his size. He was also a Super Bowl champion. As the Lightning try to reclaim their spot atop the NHL, Alstott could inject just a little more championship DNA into a team already loaded with it.
Eminem | While this may be obvious, Eminem is also the only choice here. Not only do the Red Wings use “Without Me” as their goal song, but Eminem is as big a Detroit sports fan as you’ll find. The man just got caught flipping the double bird to San Francisco 49ers fans at the NFC Championship Game on Sunday. That is a ride or die type of guy, and the Wings need Eminem in their corner.
Mike Myers | The pressure and bright lights of playing hockey in Toronto can be a lot at times. This year’s Maple Leafs team is certainly under the microscope, so a little bit of comic relief might come in handy. When Toronto goes through a rough patch or falls behind in a playoff series, Mike Myers could do a Wayne’s World sketch or some Austin Powers bits to keep things on the lighter side.
Margot Robbie | The Rangers are a very talented team that has hit a bit of a plateau over the last couple weeks. Margot Robbie, on the other hand, has been one of the hottest names in Hollywood. Oscar snub aside, Robbie has been raking in praise and accolades for her performance in “Barbie,” so maybe some of her good vibes and confidence could rub off on a Rangers team that is stuck in neutral.
Steven Van Zandt | The Devils’ celebrity captain had to be a member of the “Sopranos” cast, and there is no better fit than Steven Van Zandt. He played Silvio Dante, one of the most iconic characters on the show, and he’s a member of Bruce Springstreet’s E Street Band. It doesn’t get much more Jersey than that, but the Devils need to do their part to live up to a legend like Van Zandt.
M. Night Shyamalan | The Flyers have come out of nowhere, and they are challenging for a top-three spot in the Metropolitan Division. They have provided the NHL with the kind of twist you’d see in an M. Night Shyamalan film. Shyamalan is known for hitting the audience with the unexpected, and that is certainly the story of the 2023-24 Flyers. Philly was expected to languish at the bottom of the standings, but John Tortorella has his team playing great hockey.
Apolo Ohno | There are many celebrities from the Seattle area, but Apolo Ohno is literally famous for being one of the fastest skaters of all-time. The two-time Olympic gold medalist is known for his all-world speed, and maybe some of that could rub off on the Kraken. Seattle is going to have to elevate its game in the second half of the season if it’s going to reach the playoffs.
Mike McCarthy | The Dallas Cowboys head coach is originally from the Steel City, and he knows how to get his teams to the playoffs. Now, McCarthy might have some trouble getting the Penguins any further than the first round or two, but right now they would just settle for a postseason berth. Pittsburgh is six points out of a playoff spot with just 36 games left.
Jon Hamm | Over the years, Jon Hamm has displayed his diehard Blues fandom, and he is the only celebrity capable of co-captaining this franchise. Hamm even rigged the 2022 All-Star Skills Shootout in favor of Alex Pietrangelo. Beyond that, this team and its celebrity co-captain are both red hot. St. Louis is 8-4-1 in the month of January, and Hamm is fresh off a terrific performance as Roy Tillman in the latest season of “Fargo.” The only question is whether the Blues can keep it rolling.
Terry Crisp | The Flames have just one Stanley Cup in franchise history, and the man who coached that team is still a legend in Calgary. Terry Crisp is one of the great personalities in hockey, and the Flames need that energy to dig out of the funk they’ve been in for the last two seasons. If that happens soon enough, Calgary could make a playoff push because the race for the second wild card in the West is wide open.
Taylor Swift | The Predators will have to wait a couple weeks to get Swift on board, but she should be a natural fit once Super Bowl LVIII is over. Nashville is where Swift really started to become a superstar, and the pedestrian Preds could use a little bit of that magic these days. Plus, Filip Forsberg is already good friends with George Kittle, so why not add another elite tight end to the fan base?
Emma Stone | Between Poor Things and “The Curse,” it has been an exciting year for Emma Stone, a Scottsdale native. That isn’t too different from the Coyotes, who chose to be a real hockey team in 2023-24, and they are already reaping the rewards with a shot at the postseason. Stone is at the top of her game, and maybe she could get the Yotes there too.
Dominik Hasek | The Sabres need some help in goal, and they’ve been looking for an answer at that position since Ryan Miller left. That’s why bringing in Dominik Hasek, The Dominator, might be the best thing for the team. Hasek has a world of goaltending knowledge he could impart upon Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen and Devon Levi. If things still don’t work out, Hasek looks like he could still strap on the pads and make some saves.
Will Ferrell | If you’ve ever tuned in to a Kings game, you’ve probably seen Will Ferrell on the glass leading a “Go Kings Go” chant. Ferrell is a superfan, but that isn’t the only reason he could be exactly what Los Angeles needs. The Kings started the season looking like a real Stanley Cup threat, but they have hit the skids in a major way. Someone needs to come in and crack some jokes to get everyone in that locker room loosened up.
Ryan Reynolds | The Deadpool star missed out on his bid to purchase the Senators, so we’ll make him the celebrity captain as a consolation prize. Reynolds would be good for morale in Ottawa, which is something the team needs desperately, but he could also be great for the business side. Reynolds is a heck of a marketer. Those Mint Mobile ads are everywhere, so he could probably get the Sens a similar level of notoriety.
Kevin Durant | Alex Ovechkin hasn’t been scoring quite as much as much this season, and it has slowed down his pursuit of Wayne Gretzky. Ovechkin needs another elite scorer, like Kevin Durant, to come in and help him get his mojo back. Durant doesn’t lack confidence on the court, and Ovechkin needs a little bit more of that after a poor start.
Coen brothers | Joel and Ethan Coen are brilliant directors, and they have a penchant for pulling dry and dark humor out of otherwise serious situations. That might be useful in Minnesota throughout the rest of the season because the Wild are a pretty big longshot to reach the postseason. That might mean selling at the trade deadline and even more losses down the stretch, so the Coen brothers might be able to write a decent script out of that misery.
Billy Joel | This is easily the best option because Billy Joel is a Long Island legend, and he is an Islanders fan. Having said that, I very badly wanted to go with the Gorton’s Seafood mascot here. Just bring back the first sticks logo, Isles. Sure, it took some heat back in the day, but it isn’t any worse than those Stadium Series abominations.
P.K. Subban | The Canadiens have a long list of legendary players, but P.K. Subban might be the perfect person for this team at this time. Subban could work with head coach Martin St. Louis to instill some confidence and swagger into this young Canadiens roster. As a bonus, Subban could help the fellas develop some high-end fashion sense.
Emilio Estevez | Let’s see, does Emilio Estevez have any experience taking over a ragtag group of last-place Ducks and leading them to a championship? Adam Banks would be a nice fit alongside Troy Terry, Mason McTavish and Trevor Zegras. Ducks fly together.
Joe Thornton | The Sharks are in a bad place this season, and it might be that way for a while. They need to bring in a franchise legend to help them navigate the rebuilding process, and Thornton would be the perfect choice. He has over 1,700 games of NHL experience, and Thornton could share some words of wisdom for the prospects that San Jose brings in throughout this process.
C.J. Stroud | The former Ohio State quarterback just lit up the NFL as a rookie, and the Blue Jackets’ young core could really use some of that confidence. Just hire Stroud as a celebrity captain, and let him spend time with players like Adam Fantilli, Cole Sillinger, Kent Johnson and David Jiricek.
Jake Johnson | The Blackhawks are losing games in bunches, and Connor Bedard will miss a little more time with his jaw injury. Just let Jake Johnson come in and coach the rest of the season as Nick Miller. At least everyone could get some laughs, and head coach Luke Richardson could go ahead and shift his focus to next season.