"Gordo St. John" is actually actor David Harbour. “Gordo St. John” is actually actor David Harbour. (WBD Sports.)

Earlier this month, the NHL on TNT unveiled a “Gordo St. John” teaser ahead of their Stanley Cup Playoffs coverage. That included NHL players and NHL on TNT personalities talking up the contributions “Gordo” had made to hockey, including NHL on TNT panelist Wayne Gretzky’s line of “I actually went to the guys and said ‘We need to bring in Gordo. There’s no one better.'” A full “Gordo St. John” spot is set to be released during TNT’s first night of 2023 playoff coverage Tuesday, but ahead of that, AdWeek‘s Mollie Cahillane got the scoop on just who this legendary figure is. And it turns out, it’s actor David Harbour, known for roles in Stranger ThingsBlack Widow, and more:

Here’s more on what to expect there, from Callihane’s piece:

Heading into Warner Bros. Discovery’s first year as the home of the Stanley Cup finals, the company enlisted NY Rangers fan and Stranger Things star David Harbour to headline its cross-platform promotional campaign, where his character has been “hired” by the NHL on TNT team—but Gordo’s ideas might not always be the best.

…Harbour, who is a frequent presence at Madison Square Garden to cheer on the Rangers, told Adweek that his part of the campaign was shot in a single day and included him getting hit in the face by a rubber sea urchin shot by “Biz” [Paul Bissonnette].

“Those guys are all very funny, from the creatives who wrote the script to our inventive director to those nuts that sit behind the desk and call the games who graciously played with me for a day,” Harbour said. “They were very open to my ideas, but I had seen the other spots they’d worked on—like the Ted Lasso and the Bryan Cranston baseball one—and I knew if I just did what they had written, I’d be well served.”

For Harbour’s part, he was eager to participate in the campaign because he “was told that if I did this, they’d give the Stanley Cup to the Rangers this year.”

It’s interesting to see a a broadcaster tab a prominent actor for an ad campaign this way, and it makes some particular sense with Harbour being a hockey fan already. (And it’s particularly notable that this will be unveiled during Rangers-Devils, which starts at 7 p.m. ET on TBS, part of a wide swath of WBD playoff coverage.) It will be worth keeping an eye on how this full campaign looks and how it’s received.

Update: Here’s an eight-minute NHL on TNT video with “St. John”:


About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.