Instead of putting a female model on their advertising billboard, the Syracuse Crunch went a different direction this season, displaying one of their players for all of I690 eastbound traffic to see.
Crunch Right Wing Eric Neilson is on the Crunch's latest billboard, placed just after the New York State Fairgrounds traveling east on I690. But, instead of checking someone (which he is known for), Neilson is laying sideways in full uniform on a hockey goal, smiling and holding a telephone. The writing on the billboard saying "For a good time call 473-4444".
When Crunch head coach Jon Cooper found out, he was not sure how he should feel.
"I don't know if I should be happy, sad, cry, embarrassed, but it's definitely bringing a lot of attention to our team," Cooper says.
Neilson laughed when asked about it on Thursday, saying he did not know what he was really getting into, but said he likes how it is giving the team more publicity. As for his actual play, he hopes his on-ice reputation stays the same.
"Me and [Coach Cooper] have a pretty good relationship, he knows when he puts me on the ice my job out there, and that's to rough things up a little but and I don't think I'll ever shy away from that," Neilson says. "I'm not going to leave hockey for a modeling career anytime soon."