Thread: ESPN Dumps NHL
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06-02-2005, 03:09 PM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Atlanta, B&R in NYC
Country: United States
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Diluted talent, slowing of the game to a crawl

Originally Posted by Barnaby
I'm not talking about location, I'm just talking about exposing the sport. Hockey needs casual fans, as much as we like to pretend they don't. Corporate boxes, advertising... etc.. is all essential. If they stick hockey on a just a hockey channel the odds of picking up new fans will be small. Without new fans the sport cannot survive. Where are the next generation of hockey fans? How many kids and casual fans lost interest more interest in the sport. Sure, 30 teams and the location of those teams don't help, but what about BIG cities. Unless it's a team that goes far every year interest is down. Most people in NY could care less about NYR or NYI. Why do you think a TB Devil Ray vs KC Royal game will beat a Flyers vs Leafs game on ESPN? Just total interest in the sport.
not letting the gifted players play. Face it, hockey ratings are down also because the product sucks! When the NHL allowed the fact that the marginal NHL player is of equal value to the superstar, the NHL lost. This game is built on speed. As a kid I hated watching hockey on TV, then I went to my 1st live game. I was hooked overnight. The speed of the game is what sells. It's not about wider nets, fatter red lines, no red lines, colored ice, peter puck, lazer beam slap shots. You have people running it trying to sell something other than the game itself. They dreamed up all of these gimmicks. The game has to sell itslef. All of these gimmicks were brought in because the people running the league didn't beleive in the product itself. Sell the speed, the skating, all the things that make the game exciting.
Get rid of the 2 refs, they clog up the ice, they don't call the same game, so now the players have to figure out 2 refs instead on 1. All the things that Bettman has done has weighed the game down, from over expansion, to expansion in bad markets, to warm climates where people only think of ice when they want something cool to drink. Over his tenure how many strikes have there been? everytime the sport builds any momentum, poof, they are off the ice.