The Future of Hockey in the Southeast
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06-03-2011, 11:02 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Originally Posted by
All I can say is see the attendance records for the teams in the South including the TB Lightning for the last 10 years.
There is nothing stopping kids from playing hockey any place as long as there is ice available with or without a NHL team. Hockey is a huge part of my family and life and will be no mater where we live. I even found ice in India when I thought the company might move us there for a few years.
I don't think that the Thrashers moving will make or brake hockey in the SE. I know someone who plays on the Preds. Stamkos was glad to go to TB because it takes allot of pressure off him. If a player can go to a market where no one expects the team to win or shows up for the games what is the point of having a team there. If you have a hockey life and was raised in the SE, It's because your folks are more than likely from the NE and have a hockey background.
You would be playing hockey or have the option of playing hockey where ever you grew up as long as there is ice. Your hockey life has little to no connection to the SE.
My point was that the NHL market is not the SE and that no team will survive the SE market. There are lots of cites in the northern U.S. and Canada that could and would support a NHL hockey team better than any city in the SE U.S. of any size.
as a born and bred northerner who started playing hockey as a kid and re-discovered it after a 10 year layoff (mainly due to worries of an unstable knee resulting from a torn acl, but i digress...), i also find your posts horribly short-sighted and mildly offensive almost to the point of ignorance as well(not trying to insult you). having lived a several years in the south myself, i find you painting them with seriously broad brush.
like most other places, success will bring attendance and followers. look at a place like dallas for instance. their attendance numbers are quite respectable and they even produced their own homegrown 1st round draftee this past year. they were one of the first of the "southern transplants" and the first to have sustained success (along with a cup), and are finally producing top end talent.
now compare that to the blue jackets. ohio has pretty strong hockey roots boasting 2 strong ncaa programs and top end youth programs, but the blue jackets consistently are among the worst in attendance post lockout(after the shiny newness wore off). why? how about 1 playoff appearance.
south florida is also showing some fruit as far as young talent although the success with nhl clubs down there has been somewhat inconsistent.
i used to think like yourself thinking "hockey is a northern sport that has no place being south of the mason dixon line". but the reality is, if the nhl is going to survive, let alone thrive in this day and age, it needs to spread to non-traditional areas . what i bolded above in your quote is exactly the reason hockey needs to spread to those non-traditional areas. you put hockey in a traditional hockey city, it doesn't really grow the sport as those people would already be watching/following/playing hockey anyways. that's one of the few things i think bettman has the right idea about. you grow the sport in those non-traditonal areas to get kids to play, then those kids grow up to be fans and it spreads like a disease. implementation is a whole 'nother story though.
as many things that are wrong with the nhl today, you can't deny that it's now stronger than it ever has been from a marketibility/profitability standpoint. a lot of that i believe is due to the the growth in the west and to a lesser extent, the south. growing hockey is a good thing, not a bad thing.
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