The Stanley Cup Finals are under way, and hockey fans in the footwear industry are amped to see who will be the next NHL champs.
Predicting the series will go all the way, Adidas America President Patrik Nilsson sees the New Jersey team taking home the Stanley Cup. “My bet is the Devils win in seven games,” said the Swedish-born executive and recreational hockey player. “Even if they’re not my favorite team, I’ll root for them based on the five Swedes in their lineup.”
Nilsson added he’s also cheering for friend and retired Devil Tommy Albelin, who still works with the team.
But not everyone is pulling for the heavily favored hockey club.
Modern Vintage CEO Rick Cytrynbaum said he’s hoping the L.A. Kings pull off the upset. “No one loves an underdog more than me,” he said. “Their goalie, Quick, is really hot right now, and I think he’ll play great.”
An avid hockey fan and N.Y. Rangers fan, The Footwear Event show organizer Mark Sullivan is also supporting the darkhorse team. “I know the sportsmanlike thing to do is root for the team that ousted the Rangers, but we are very swept up by how well the Kings are playing,” he said. “It would be awesome to see a Stanley Cup parade in Los Angeles.”
And as an L.A. resident, Sportie LA owner Isack Fadlon is also cheering for the Kings. “West Coast always,” he said. “Hockey is an intense and passionate sport. There is never a dull moment. How can one not be mesmerized by the Stanley Cup finals?” (As of press time last Thursday, the Kings were up 1-0 in the series.)