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NHL brings on cringe-worthy TikTok star Josh Richards in another failed attempt to market itself to fans

On Wednesday, the NHL announced that the 19-year-old Toronto-born influencer had been brought on as a special adviser to the NHL and will be acting as a “voice of the fans.”

Richards, who has over 25 million followers on TikTok, will be appearing at NHL marquee events such as the Stanley Cup Final.

“I want to thank the National Hockey League for giving me an opportunity to share my love of hockey with a whole new generation of fans,” Richards said in a release put out by the NHL on Wednesday. “I have always wanted to use my platform to educate and inspire, and I look forward to sharing my passion for hockey with millions.”

Richards, who also serves as the chief strategy officer for social media app Triller, posted his first NHL-focused TikTok in a Tampa Bay Lightning jersey ahead of Game 2.

@joshrichardsGet in the Stanley Cup “Mood” w me @24kgoldn & @ianndior @nhl

♬ Mood (feat. iann dior) – 24KGoldn

“I grew up a Leafs fan. If I cheer for the Habs, my parents disown me,” Richards said in a follow-up video that has since been made private. “It’s not a good look. It’s not the move. Fuck the Habs.”

But, like many things the NHL does these days, the collaboration wasn’t exactly-well received.

Fans were quick to point out that despite Richards’ audience, he was a rather strange hire to cater to new hockey fans. Richards’ TikTok feed is mostly filled with dance moves and videos of him hanging with other friends around Los Angeles: hardly the kind of content you’d expect from someone helping kids get into hockey.

Once again the NHL shoots and misses the net very very far and wide on trying to market itself RESPECTFULLY to its actual fans….

Igor Burdetskiy

Igor Burdetskiy

Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & CEO at Hooked on Hockey Magazine
I grew up playing Ball and Roller Hockey day and night somewhat religiously throughout elementary and middle school. The two don't compare though when I lace up the skates and hit the ice. I live and breathe hockey beyond the perspective of "it's just a game" and I will gladly talk hockey for hours with anyone. Hockey is more than just a lifestyle, it's a culture of passionate people who make memories every time the puck is dropped. Hockey has not only helped me get through some of the hardest times in life but has created some of the best memories to date. Want to talk hockey with me? Shoot me an email: iburdetskiy@hookedonhockey.com and let's talk some hockey!
Igor Burdetskiy
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