1. Wayne Gretzky: Pro Stars. At the height of his stardom, the Great One had his very own cereal, which he plugged on Late Night with David Letterman. More recently, he has been pitching his own line of Bigelow green tea—“one great tea.”
2. 1979 New York Rangers Phil Esposito, Ron Duguay, Anders Hedberg and Dave Maloney: Sasson Jeans. The teammates perform a painfully unsexy on-ice dance routine, in overly tight jeans, while singing: “Ooh la la, Sasson.”
3. Alexander Ovechkin: Eastern Motors. “At Eastern Motors, your job, your credit,” sings the gap-toothed star, in flip-flops and shorts, for
a local Washington car dealership. “It’s going to be on YouTube for sure.” Correct.
4. Maurice Richard: Grecian Formula 16 hair dye. “The change was so gradual and so natural, no one even noticed,” the retired legend says. The infamous kicker? A referee opens the penalty box door saying: “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
5. Ron Hextall: Canada Dry ginger ale. A simple message from the tough-guy goalie and MVP: “You don’t have to be sweet to be good.”
6. Mark Messier: Lays potato chips. In a long-running series of ads, Messier flashes both his familiar grin and scowl, while driving home the message, “Betcha can’t eat just one.”
7. Doug Gilmour: Head & Shoulders. He doesn’t “score points for how my
hair looks.” But after the game, “when the cameras are just inches away and millions of fans are watching, my hair has to look great.”
8. Billy Smith: Steelback beer. Smith and other former NHL greats make locker-room chat with Steelback’s CEO, while generally looking like they’d rather be anywhere else in the world.
9. Sidney Crosby: Dempster’s. The superstar pitches his favourite sandwich: “Dempster’s WholeGrains and turkey sandwich.” Awkward smiles abound.
10. Mats Sundin: Chunky soup. The beloved Maple Leaf surely took plenty of on-ice abuse for the memorable Campbell’s Soup ad featuring his mother yelling, “Mats, did you eat your Chunky Soup?”
Have you ever wondered which cities have the most bars, smokers, absentee workers and people searching for love? What about how Canada compares to the world in terms of the size of its military, the size of our houses and the number of cars we own? The answers to all those questions, and many more, can be found in the first ever Maclean’s Book of Lists.
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