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Hollywood Bigshot Teams Up With NHL

10/8/2006 8:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Professional hockey is about to get a lot cooler -- thanks to one major Hollywood player.

The National Hockey League is gearing up to debut a series of hilarious spots for the sport directed by Jason Reitman, the man behind the smash hit "Thank You For Smoking." TMZ has a look at the ads, featuring professional hockey players Jonathan Cheechoo and Petr Forsberg.

The comedic bits feature NHL players reminding average people, who are going about their daily activities, that the season is officially under way. One commercial features two surfers who see Cheechoo on a surf board in the ocean with his hockey jersey on. In another ad, a man finds Forsberg laying next to his wife in bed.

When asked about being involved with the project, Reitman says, "My wife Michele is the biggest hockey fan I know. She introduced me to the NHL when we first met and let me know that I'd be an unfit husband unless I started watching and playing hockey. I now subscribe to the season package on satellite and play left wing ... albeit very poorly. I couldn't be more excited to lend whatever I can to the upcoming season in terms of storytelling. I think there is an enormous opportunity to expose fans and non-fans alike to the fascinating athletes who play this sport. My dream would be to introduce this great game to others as it was introduced to me."

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