If you follow professional wrestling (it's ok, we know you're out there!), you're well aware that WWE superstar CM Punk (real name Phil Brooks) is a massive hockey fan. When he has the opportunity to cross over his love for the game with his time in front of a camera, he often takes it. Last night, he did it again in a subtle way showing you he's on top of the latest New York Islanders news.
During the opening minutes of Monday Night Raw, the broadcast ran B-roll footage of Punk walking into the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans. Nick Alberta (@thegoldenmuzzy), who is a noted Isles' fan antagonist, spotted that the former WWE champion was wearing a Patrick Roy "War on Ice" graphic tee. The shirt captures an image of the new Islanders coach following his 1997 fight with Detroit Red Wings goaltender Mike Vernon, a chapter in one of the best rivalries in hockey history
This wasn't random and the latest example of Roy's mass appeal across the NHL landscape.
Back in May 2022, while under contract with All Elite Wrestling (AEW), Punk came out at UBS Arena wearing a blue Islanders jersey, but in a typical heel (bad guy) fashion; after a few steps, he slowly turned around, revealing that it was a No. 91 John Tavares sweater. The move elicited the expected reaction as boos rained down from the rafters.
In December 2021, the Chicago Blackhawks die-hard trolled Islanders fans when he first told them that Chicago was so much louder and then added, "Somebody call Barry Trotz; I figured out why the Islanders have yet to win a game in this building."
That proved to be all the motivation the Islanders needed. After an 0-5-2 start, they defeated the New Jersey Devils 4-2 a few days later for their first win in their new arena.
The media attention around the Islanders has increased dramatically since the arrival of Roy. Normally, the Isles would need to advance deep into the playoffs or be the New York Rangers opponent in an outdoor game to capture NHL headlines day after day. However, with Roy's arrival, has come increased focus from the Canadian media and intrigue across the NHL.