NHL News: NHL to Host First-Ever ‘Stanley Pup’ Rescue Dog Competition

By Joe “Big Head” Coopersmith

Stanley Pup

NHL Public Relations

May 22, 2024

Broadcast Featuring Dogs Available from Animal Welfare Partners of Petco Love Will Air on NHL Network, ESPN+ and Sportsnet


‘Stanley Pup’ Photo Here


NEW YORK (May 22, 2024) – In celebration of the 2024 Stanley Cup® Playoffs, the National Hockey League (NHL) and the life-changing nonprofit organization Petco Love today announced the program ‘Stanley Pup,’ a friendly competition featuring adoptable rescue dogs. All 32 NHL teams will be represented by a four-legged friend, many of which will be available for adoption from a shelter or rescue group in their respective city. During the hour-long special, 16 pups representing the teams that qualified for the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs will face off in a friendly competition showcasing their adorable canine skills.


The show will feature special appearances by celebrity dog lovers including Kristin ChenowethMickey Guyton and Miranda Lambert. In addition, color and play-by-play commentary will be provided by Akbar Gbajabiamila (American Ninja Warrior/The Talk) and Mark Shunock (Top Rank Boxing) with Alexa Landestoy (NHL Network) reporting rinkside.


Producer and animal advocate Michael Levitt, whose past rescue-themed projects include “American Rescue Dog Show,” “Fox’s Cause for Paws,” “All-Star Dog Rescue Celebration” and more will produce the show through his Michael Levitt Productions alongside NHL Chief Content Officer Steve Mayer and NHL Vice President of Production and Creative Development Matt Nicholson for NHL Productions, with Executive Producers Aimee Brillhart and Mark Shunock. The national nonprofit organization Petco Love will provide dogs for the competition through their shelter partners across the country.


“At the NHL, we love supporting great causes and the opportunity to produce a program that finds homes for rescue dogs is so fulfilling,” said Mayer. “The show promises to be great fun and we can’t wait for our participating puppies Nathan McKibble, Joe Pawvelski, Alexander O-fetch-kin and many more to hit our Stanley Pup rink.”


“I’m so proud to launch this canine sporting spectacular with the NHL, and so grateful for their passion in supporting adoption. The show is sure to be the biggest night of the year for dog-loving hockey fans,” said creator and producer Levitt. “The cuteness overload is going to be off the charts! I can’t wait to show viewers how special rescue dogs are and how profoundly they enhance our lives when we welcome them into our families.”


The canine talent in the game showcases the variety of dogs available for adoption around the country. “We are honored that the NHL will spotlight these all-star pups,” said Petco Love President Susanne Kogut. “Everyone can be a champion in the life of a pet. When you adopt a pet from your local shelter, everyone wins!”


To meet the dogs featured in the ‘Stanley Pup’ and for more information about dogs available for adoption in your area, visit PetcoLove.org/StanleyPup. Additional highlights from the ‘Stanley Pup,’ including behind-the-scenes content, will be available on NHL.com/StanleyPup.


The ‘Stanley Pup’ will be broadcast for fans in the U.S. on NHL Network and ESPN+ on Friday, June 7, at 8 p.m. ET and on Sportsnet for fans in Canada on Saturday, June 8, at 6:30 p.m. ET. Air dates and times are subject to change based on the schedule for the 2024 Stanley Cup Final. Sponsors of the ‘Stanley Pup’ include Petco Love, Honda, Official Vehicle and Automotive Partner of the NHL® in the United States, BOBS from Skechers and BISSELL.


Stanley Cup Playoffs coverage is underway on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN+, TNT, TBS, TruTV and MAX in the U.S., and in Canada on SN, SN1, SN360, SN+, CBC, TVA Sports and TVAS2. Outside of North America, NHL international media partners deliver games to fans around the world.


About NHL Productions

NHL Productions is the National Hockey League’s award-winning production company, focused on documenting, preserving, and promoting the game of hockey and its players. Established in 2011, NHL Productions develops long- and short-form hockey programming for the League’s social and digital platforms – NHL Network, NHL.com, NHL Social and the NHL’s YouTube Channel – as well as national, regional and international rightsholders. Its original programming lineup has included “Quest For The Stanley Cup,” “Road To The NHL Winter Classic,” “Saving Sakic,” “Chosen One: Alexandre Daigle,” “Behind The Glass,” “NHL All-Star All Access,” “Hat Trick Trivia,” “Stanley Cup Live,” and many more. “Welcome to the NHL,” which chronicled the top prospects in the 2022 NHL Draft in Montreal, earned a 2023 Sports Emmy Award for Edited Event Coverage.


About Michael Levitt Productions

Emmy-nominated producer Michael Levitt is the driving force behind Michael Levitt Productions, the Los Angeles-based company responsible for more than 200 live events, specials, and series, including The American Rescue Dog ShowThe Billboard Music Awards, and Skin Wars. “My team and I give everything we’ve got to our annual franchises, our one-off live events, and our reality series,” says Levitt. “We fill them with fun, surprises, and heart to craft unforgettable, innovative shows for diverse audiences across every kind of network and platform.” Other MLP programs include The Daytime EmmysThe Producers Guild AwardsRadio Disney Music AwardsThe VH1 Fashion AwardsThe Hocus Pocus 25th Anniversary Halloween Bash, and many more.


About Petco Love

Petco Love is a life-changing nonprofit organization that makes communities and pet families closer, stronger, and healthier. Since our founding in 1999 as the Petco Foundation, we’ve empowered animal welfare organizations by investing nearly $400 million in adoption and other lifesaving efforts. We’ve helped find loving homes for more than 6.8 million pets in partnership with Petco and organizations nationwide. Our love for pets drives us to lead with innovation, creating tools animal lovers need to reunite lost pets, and lead with passion, inspiring and mobilizing communities and our more than 4,000 animal welfare partners to drive lifesaving change alongside us. Is love calling you? Join us. Visit petcolove.org or follow us on FacebookInstagramXThreads, and LinkedIn to be part of the lifesaving work we lead every day.


About Honda

Honda offers a full line of clean, safe, fun and connected vehicles sold through more than 1,000 independent U.S. Honda dealers. The award-winning Honda lineup includes the Civic and Accord, along with the HR-V, CR-V, Passport and Pilot sport utility vehicles, the Ridgeline pickup and the Odyssey minivan. Honda’s electrified vehicle lineup includes the Accord hybrid, CR-V hybrid, and later this year, Civic hybrid. The Honda Prologue SUV, Honda’s first volume battery-electric vehicle, will also join the lineup this year. Honda has been producing automobiles in America for over 40 years and currently operates 18 major manufacturing facilities in North America. In 2023, more than 99% of all Honda vehicles sold in the U.S. were made in North America, with about two-thirds made in America, using domestic and globally sourced parts. More information about Honda is available in the Digital FactBook.


About BOBS® from Skechers®

BOBS from Skechers’ charitable collection of shoes, apparel and accessories have improved animals’ lives: over the past eight years, Skechers has contributed more than $11 million to help over 2 million shelter pets, including saving more than 1.6 million rescued animals in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Japan. It all started in 2011, when Skechers launched a movement to support children impacted by natural disasters and poverty—a cause that has helped the Company donate more than 16 million new pairs of shoes to kids in more than 60 countries worldwide. To learn more about BOBS from Skechers’ commitment to making a difference, visit BOBSfromSkechers.com and follow the brand on Facebook and Instagram.


About BISSELL Homecare, Inc.

For nearly 150 years BISSELL has been helping pet families clean up after their most beloved mess-makers with innovative cleaning products specifically designed to tackle pet fur, tracked-in trails, and pet accidents. As pet lovers themselves, BISSELL is constantly researching and developing technologies that ensure every product meets the high cleaning performance expected by pet parents. BISSELL’s passion for pets goes far beyond cleaning up after them; it’s exemplified through its support of BISSELL Pet Foundation®, founded by Cathy Bissell in 2011 to help end pet homelessness. Every purchase of a BISSELL® product helps support its mission, impacting more than 700,000 pet lives. Learn more on: BISSELL.comInstagramTikTok and Facebook.




Posted in NHL