On Thursday the Boston Blades posted an advertisement online asking for Ice Boys applications.
The Blades' announcement was met with serious inquiries and some skepticism, but after either contacting the Blades or reviewing the alternate email listed -- RUSerious@cwhl.ca -- it was evident the posting was a joke.
Here's the announcement from Boston's website:
Want to help promote the Blades? How about hype up the crowd at NESC for Blades home games? Apply to be an Ice Boy today! The Blades are looking for dedicated, passionate hockey fans (who can skate!) to be part of the Boston Blades Ice Boys team. As an Ice Boy, you'll be a part of the Blades' home game experience, helping to make the Blades' home ice advantage even more substantial!
"It was a joke obviously but worse comes to worse, we just get people who care about the team who want to help us," Blades GM Krista Patronick said. She received genuine emails from several fans hoping to join the crew.
"It was more like, 'I’m not the best-looking dude in the world but I love the game and I want to help,'" Patronick said.
"They were modest for the most part, which is kind of funny. But all of them were great. All of them came from of a good place where they just genuinely wanted to help and advocate for a women’s team. That part was awesome for me."
Patronick told all inquirers the crew was fake, but she also told those interested that they could volunteer with the team, even to help clean up chuck-a-pucks. The Blades ended the day with several new volunteers.
"Bottom line, it doesn’t matter who you are," Patronick said. "If you care about the women’s team to be involved, we want to have you involved. Doesn’t matter male, female, whatever you want your role to be. We can find a role for you."
The "Ice Boys" idea came from Patronick's mother, who used to joke that hockey teams should have ice boys.
"My mom is a very sports oriented person and she’s always been very passionate about sports," Patronick said.
"My mom’s opinion is her opinion, she feels that way kind of across all sports. She just feels like the Patriots don’t need cheerleaders and the Bruins don’t need ice girls. She feels like let the sport be what it is, the sport is the entertaining part. You don’t need anything else."
Patronick kept sharing the joke with her friends and then the eventual Blades staff.
Finally, the staff wondered what would happen if they made an ice girls advertisement, except for ice boys.
"We were like, okay well let’s be brave, put this on the internet and see what happens," Patronick said.
Patronick said the announcement was intended as a joke, not to make a statement about whether teams should use ice girls or not.
"I understand the other aspect of it too, which is that the players can’t be everywhere at once and that’s why it’s important to have a promo squad out there in the community advocating for the game when your players can't be," Patronick said.
"I really didn’t want this to be like we’re making a statement either way, for or against it. I just wanted it to be fun."
(Photo credit: Boston Blades/Twitter)