Opinion: Top NHL 2023 Playoff Slogans

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Mackenzie Duffy
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If you only have a few minutes to spare, here's what you should know:
This year's NHL playoffs were filled with entertainment on and off the ice.
The NHL was correct in predicting the playoffs when declaring "The Chaos Begins" as their official slogan.
Teams like the New Jersey Devils, Seattle Kraken, and Florida Panthers positively embraced their slogans while Minnesota Wild set themselves up for failure.

NHL Foreshadows the Playoffs

As Lord Stanley is safely tucked in next to Adin Hill after a tremendous win from the Vegas Golden Knights, it’s officially official. The off-season is here.

Many of you have probably already begun your plunge into the WNBA or MLB seasons to fill the gaping void until October, but for those who need to relive the glory days for just a few moments longer, please join me in looking back at a playoff tradition that’s often overlooked: the playoff slogans. 

This postseason was filled to the brim with teams showcasing their creativity through intricately detailed game day graphics, iconic clapback tweets, and even a cameo from Jersey Shore’s Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino.

There was no lack of entertainment on or off the ice. A fun playoff aspect that might’ve gotten lost in the online theatrics is the team slogan. As we reluctantly step into the hockey-less days of summer, let’s take a moment to look back at some of my favorite 2023 playoff slogans. 

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs - “The Chaos Begins” 

There is no better way to describe what we witnessed in the playoffs than “chaos.”

From the moment that the “made it to playoffs in a wildcard spot by one point,” Florida Panthers beat the “coming off of a franchise record year” Boston Bruins in the first round, we knew we were in for a treat. Aside from the entirety of the Panthers’ postseason run, we also got to witness the Seattle Kraken beating last year’s Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche in their first playoff appearance.

And don’t forget watching both Joe Pavelski and Leon Draisaitl scoring four goals in games their teams lost in the span of 24 hours. 

Despite all of the playoff brackets that were entirely busted in the first round because of the chaos, there was no lack of entertainment in this year’s postseason. 

Devils fans celebrating.
A New Jersey Devils fan celebrates by throwing their arms in the air.

The Cryptids Rise to the Occasion

New Jersey Devils - “Raise Hell” 

Coming out of the 2021-22 season among the bottom five teams in the NHL, the New Jersey Devils set out to prove themselves in the playoffs.

They were deemed a young and inexperienced team before their skates scraped playoff ice. For the first few games of their matchup against the New York Rangers, these judgments seemed accurate.

After falling 2-0 in the series against New York, the Devils took a high-stakes chance on their unseasoned goaltender Akira Schmid to keep them in the series. It might’ve felt like they were throwing it all at the wall to see what stuck, but Schmid did stick. 

In a Twilight Zone turn of events, the Devils dominated Game 2-4 to then shut out the Rangers in Game 7.

Though Round Two wasn’t quite as favorable for the Devils, they sure made quite a fuss in the first round. 

Seattle Kraken - “The Legend Awakens” 

The Kraken feel like the youngest cousin that flies under the radar at family events until they lay out a perfectly timed joke to disrupt the dull conversation. That’s what the Kraken did this offseason: disrupt. 

We can all recognize that Seattle’s first season in the NHL wasn’t phenomenal by any means.

Was it because it didn’t achieve the unachievable expectations that Vegas set for all future expansion teams? Possibly.

Regardless, the Kraken came into this season hoping to do one thing — step over the bar that they set on the floor. Seeing the Kraken make it to the playoffs in their second year as a team was exciting, but seeing them leap over their previous year’s performance was thrilling. They were able to defeat the favored Avalanche, who were coming off of a Stanley Cup championship.

The legend of the Kraken has awakened, and it’s safe to say this won’t be the last time they make their presence known. 


Grit isn't for Everyone

Minnesota Wild - “Grit First” 

To remain completely transparent, the reason this is one of my favorite playoff slogans is because of hubris. If you were tuned in to any of the Minnesota Wild-Dallas Stars series, you’ll understand what I’m talking about.

The Wild did have a gritty mentality. The Wild is a self-admittedly physical team. However, that physicality, or grit, becomes a hindrance when it starts to benefit the other team. Do you see where I’m going with this?

Yes, the Wild put grit first; however, the grit put the Wild in the penalty box and the Stars on the power play. I won’t say the physicality was the only thing that kept the Wild from making it to the second round again, but I will say that they lived up to their slogan. 

Florida Panthers - “Time to Hunt” 

What is there to say about the Panthers’ playoff run that hasn’t already been said?

They knew what they were doing when they declared their hunting season, though it might not have been taken seriously by the rest of us at the time. Not to take the spotlight from the Wild, but the Panthers could easily be deemed a “gritty” team and I’m sure they have claimed that title for themselves as well.

With their style of play, it isn’t hard to draw comparisons between their playoff run and a scene of a wild cat chasing down its prey. 

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