While hockey fans have been following the news of Jack Eichel’s return to the Vegas Golden Knights and the upcoming trade deadline, South Lake Tahoe, California residents have been following different news. A large black bear, playfully named “Hank The Tank”, has been terrorizing residents and breaking into area houses. Hank The Tank has since become an internet legend.
What does this have to do with hockey? Well the Hershey Bears of the AHL have decided to offer Hank a place to stay once he wears out his welcome in South Lake Tahoe. Okay, maybe it was just an entertaining tweet, but it makes the Washington Capitals’ top farm team part of Hank’s continuing saga. NHL teams have adopted dogs and turned them into social media celebrities. For example, look at the Capital’s dog Biscuit. Why can’t a minor league team adopt a 500-pound bear?
Minor league hockey is known for its crazy promotion. The Hershey Bears offering to adopt America’s new favorite black bear keeps that tradition alive.
This wouldn’t be the first time hockey has gotten itself involved with internet memes. Back during the 2016-2017 season, the Trenton GoldenHawks of the Ontario Junior Hockey League held a “Hockey For Harambe” game in honor of the fallen Cincinnati Zoo gorilla.
Although they seem to be the only hockey team that joined the joke, the “Harambe” tributes are still going strong in the world of professional sports years later. The Bears can be ahead of the curve and be the first sports team to honor America’s new favorite black bear.
All jokes aside, if the Hershey Bears were smart, they would capitalize on hank’s newfound media fame. Minor league hockey is known for its crazy promotions and antics, and this seems like the perfect story for Hershey to take advantage of.
Hershey recently announced a new third jersey, but maybe have a “Hank The Tank” night with custom warm-up jerseys? Auction off the jerseys for charity and maybe raise money for a black bear rescue?
Those are the kind of feel-good stories that are a lot of fun that players and fans alike love to be a part of. Those are the nights that end up on Sports Center and have everyone leaving feeling great about the game, whether it’s a win or loss.
This is nothing new to Hershey considering they have their famous “Teddy Bear” toss game every year. Maybe have a second Teddy Bear toss dedicated to Hank? Anything that has the potential to raise money or contribute to charity is worth considering.
The Hershey Bears better act fast. Hank The Tank’s 15 minutes of fame won’t last forever. They don’t need help selling tickets, but the more they can sell the better.