NHL Team Gives WWE-Style Belt to Player of the Game
Plagued by frequently poor attendance and based in a climate more conducive to golf visors than toques, the Phoenix Coyotes need to do whatever they can to create energy around their organization. They’ve started giving out a WWE-style belt to their player of the game after victories.
Given the propensity of fights in hockey, it’s not that much of a reach.
The team developed the idea after goalie Jason LaBarbera sent defenseman Keith Yandle a picture of his replica WWE title belt in 2011. There are several other wrestling fans on the Coyotes roster, so the players decided to run with the concept. The Coyotes started off with a simple wrestling belt, but they have made it considerably more elaborate with their latest trophy.
The Coyotes’ players mandated that whichever player wins the award must drape the belt over his shoulder while addressing the media after the game. Mikkel Boedker, who scored two goals in a win over the Los Angeles Kings on March 12, was the first title holder. He complied:
It’s only a matter of time before some crazy hockey goon introduces a steel chair into this new ritual.