Meet Marshawn Lynch’s new hockey alter ego, ‘Shawn Gretzky’


What is five-time Pro Bowler Marshawn Lynch up to these days? It feels like we pose this question every few months and for good reason. Whether it’s handing out Thanksgiving turkeys in Honolulu, palling around with Conan O’Brien or appearing as a recurring character on HBO’s Westworld, the former Seahawks and Raiders running back is always up to something entertaining.

It’s unclear exactly what circumstances led to this, but apparently Lynch’s buddy, former Calgary Flames right wing Akim Aliu, convinced the eccentric 34-year-old to lace ‘em up. The novice hockey player didn’t look particularly comfortable skating, though Lynch seemed to enjoy himself nonetheless, grinning ear-to-ear while making his way leisurely around the rink.

“This is a whole different animal, bro,” said Lynch, doing his best to stay upright with encouragement from Aliu. Decked out in full gear, Lynch took to the ice wearing—among other accessories—a helmet, visor, gloves, knee pads, chest protector and a No. 58 Colorado Avalanche jersey. The latter detail was not lost on the Avs, who made sure to give Lynch a shout-out on Twitter.

As a hockey player, "Shawn Gretzky" remains very much a work in progress, though even if the NHL doesn’t work out (Seattle does have an expansion team debuting later this year), at least he’ll have his side hustle, Beast Mode Marketing, to fall back on. Lynch’s Oakland-based management company scored a big win earlier this month when Beast Mode Marketing added Bay Area native Najee Harris to its portfolio. A unanimous All-American during his time at Alabama, Harris is thought by many to be the top running back prospect in this year’s draft.

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