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NHL broadcasters and their "Growing the game" rants

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02-15-2013, 08:34 AM
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cutchemist42
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NHL broadcasters and their "Growing the game" rants

After watching alot of CBC Hockey and listening to Primetime Sports alot, I have come to this thought. Alot of the former players-turned-broadcasters when discussing things like Olympic participation or America or the KHL always use "Growing the game" as the justification.Just say what you really mean as former NHL players, it's not about always growing the game but growing the business of the NHL.

Glenn Healy is the worst for this too. 2 days ago with the way he's spouting, it almost sounds like he thinks the NHL putting games in Europe was equivalent God's gift to Earth. He then went on to mention an expanding KHL makes the NHL lose its position in Europe, and still says the NHL is losing the chance to grow the game..

Basically, I just hate when broadcasters try to mix some noble concept like spreading the game of hockey into what their true desire is, a bigger NHL with everyone else falling inline behind. If you like hockey, and want more people to experience, you shouldnt care whether the IOC, IIHF, NHL, or KHL is the one that led to growth in a certain region. That's why I hate guys like Healy who feel it's the NHL who needs to be driving the boat in Europe.

Anyone get me?

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02-15-2013, 09:12 AM
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Hopeless Unbeliever
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I don't particularly think they are trying to diguise that this is what they mean. The NHL is by far the best league in the world, there is definitely more scope for it to make inroads in Europe than it has. As a Scot I would much rather stay up until 3am and watch the Canucks than go to see my local teams. The problem is the NHL is pretty inept at 'growing the game' in Europe, preferring to take the highest bid in countries like the UK (which in the grand scheme of things amounts to nothing much) rather than making their coverage more widely available.

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02-15-2013, 09:33 AM
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Pilky01
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Its not much different than most posters here.

To the average North American, North America is the only place on earth that matters; and to the average North American hockey fan, who ignores junior hockey and college hockey and European hockey, the NHL is hockey.

I tuned out anybody who talks about 'growing the game' a long time ago. It is just one of those vanity phrases that people throw around to make themselves feel enlightened and considerate.

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02-15-2013, 09:57 AM
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I don't want to grow the game at all. Count me as the odd one out.

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02-15-2013, 10:25 AM
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I am for growing the game, but only when and where it makes sense. I'm not for throwing teams in random large American cities because of some hope-and-a-prayer potential that people may become fans.

Learn your mistake from Phoenix, NHL. Do your homework first.

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02-15-2013, 10:45 AM
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To answer the OP, to most north americans the NHL is hockey.. It's where the best players play... The NHL should want to have a global reach and not just rely on other leagues to supplement them.

Thing is, I don't think their global reach is really lacking that much except for non hockey countries to begin with. I would say the NHL is vastly more international then almost every sports league except for soccer.

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02-15-2013, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazyking View Post
To answer the OP, to most north americans the NHL is hockey.. It's where the best players play... The NHL should want to have a global reach and not just rely on other leagues to supplement them.

Thing is, I don't think their global reach is really lacking that much except for non hockey countries to begin with. I would say the NHL is vastly more international then almost every sports league except for soccer.
Baseball is up there, MLB is represented by 18 different countries across eveyr continent except Africa. MLB's minor leagues are composed of 40 different countries last I heard.

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02-15-2013, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazyking View Post
To answer the OP, to most north americans the NHL is hockey.. It's where the best players play... The NHL should want to have a global reach and not just rely on other leagues to supplement them.

Thing is, I don't think their global reach is really lacking that much except for non hockey countries to begin with. I would say the NHL is vastly more international then almost every sports league except for soccer.
The NBA would likely beg to differ.

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02-15-2013, 12:04 PM
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Lazyking
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cutchemist42 View Post
Baseball is up there, MLB is represented by 18 different countries across eveyr continent except Africa. MLB's minor leagues are composed of 40 different countries last I heard.
I'll give you baseball.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IceAce View Post
The NBA would likely beg to differ.
Nah. The NBA bigger in China certianly, but I think European countries is about even with a slight NHL advantage.

Not to mention that their lack of players from Canada.

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02-15-2013, 12:09 PM
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European/international hockey is so boring, as a Canadian in Sweden, the only time I willingly paid to go to a game was to see the Sedins before they went to Vancouver. The NHL market isn't wanted here, most fans I talk to here like the big ice style of game, and anyone who thinks the NHL should adopt it is insane, you don't know how boring it can be until you watch a couple of average teams play.

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02-15-2013, 12:16 PM
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It could be worse. I remember during the last World Baseball Classic, the announcers were fawning over the Dutch national team and how great it was for kids back in the Netherlands could see their fellow countrymen play and set an example for the sport to grow there.

.... when most of the players were from Aruba and the ratings in the Netherlands was positively tiny.

But hey, got to try to act like you're doing something.

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02-15-2013, 01:00 PM
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cutchemist42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by No Fun Shogun View Post
It could be worse. I remember during the last World Baseball Classic, the announcers were fawning over the Dutch national team and how great it was for kids back in the Netherlands could see their fellow countrymen play and set an example for the sport to grow there.

.... when most of the players were from Aruba and the ratings in the Netherlands was positively tiny.

But hey, got to try to act like you're doing something.
Let's not pretend like their best up-and-coming player a few years ago was a native European, who was murdered by his own brother. Your also exaggerating, the team was pretty fairly split amongst Europeans and the Caribbean portion. Plus there's other players from Europe who have reached in recent years. If your country can produce at an MBL level when the talent field is that deep, you've made it. You can't control who watches or does not watch.

Not only that, but MLB awarded Amsterdam the first hosting of MLB on European soil along with promises of future World Baseball Classics at their new stadium in Amsterdam.

The Antilles and Aruba can choose to participate with the Netherlands or not as well.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greg_Halman

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Didi_Gregorius

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rick_Vandenhurk

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02-15-2013, 01:05 PM
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I'm also not trolling when I say this, but in 10 years there will be more relevant MLBers from Germany and the Netherlands then NHL/hockey talent. (I still don't understand how the Netherlands is not a hockey country)

The topic is not about baseball anyway.

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02-15-2013, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cutchemist42 View Post
I'm also not trolling when I say this, but in 10 years there will be more relevant MLBers from Germany and the Netherlands then NHL/hockey talent. (I still don't understand how the Netherlands is not a hockey country)

The topic is not about baseball anyway.
I'd love to hear an explanation on why you think that.

The only way I could see it happening is if you count sons of US servicemen serving in Germany.

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02-15-2013, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazyking View Post
I'll give you baseball.



Nah. The NBA bigger in China certianly, but I think European countries is about even with a slight NHL advantage.

Not to mention that their lack of players from Canada.
Not quite.

Spain, Portugal, Israel, Greece, France, Turkey, Italy, Germany, Holland, England, former Soviet republics, etc. they all have pro basketball leagues, producing NBA level talent in those countries.

NHL can only claim this in Northern Europe and the former USSR.

It's not even close.

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02-15-2013, 02:09 PM
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I'd love to hear an explanation on why you think that.

The only way I could see it happening is if you count sons of US servicemen serving in Germany.
There are quite a bit of MLB minor league prospects from germany. Also Alex Liddi of the Mariners is the first born and raised MLB player from Italy.

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02-15-2013, 02:21 PM
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There are quite a bit of MLB minor league prospects from germany. Also Alex Liddi of the Mariners is the first born and raised MLB player from Italy.
There are quite a bit of NHL prospects from Germany, on top of the 7 German-born players currently in the NHL.

Your point?

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02-15-2013, 02:23 PM
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cutchemist42
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I'd love to hear an explanation on why you think that.

The only way I could see it happening is if you count sons of US servicemen serving in Germany.
MLB teams have free range to go to Europe, and buy players that aren't subject to the draft. It's another area that can be bought up like Latin America unlike North America/Puerto Rico.

That being said, it has started happening in the last year. By my count right now, there are 7 German players in the NHL. Right now you have 3 Germans that could crack the MLB within 3 years, and major scouting of Germany has only been happening for about 10 years.

Donald Lutz has a chance this year or next. Max Kepler will probably end up being the best European ever and a legit MLB All-Star, set a signing record for a European player at $800,000 and that was in 2009. Kai Gronauer even has a chance at the MLB as well.

If those players take off, the floodgates would open in other teams heading to Germany to get players outside of the draft. It's just easier for MLB teams to make a go of young German players.

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02-15-2013, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by cutchemist42 View Post
MLB teams have free range to go to Europe, and buy players that aren't subject to the draft. It's another area that can be bought up like Latin America unlike North America/Puerto Rico.

That being said, it has started happening in the last year. By my count right now, there are 7 German players in the NHL. Right now you have 3 Germans that could crack the MLB within 3 years, and major scouting of Germany has only been happening for about 10 years.

Donald Lutz has a chance this year or next
. Max Kepler will probably end up being the best European ever and a legit MLB All-Star, set a signing record for a European player at $800,000 and that was in 2009. Kai Gronauer even has a chance at the MLB as well.

If those players take off, the floodgates would open in other teams heading to Germany to get players outside of the draft. It's just easier for MLB teams to make a go of young German players.
Donald Lutz of Waterdown, New York, or Max Kepler, who's mother is from San Antonio and who attended a school in Berlin where 33% of the student population are American citizens?

I don't mean to say they aren't "German" players because ultimately they grew up and mostly developed in Germany. However, their American roots is likely why they choose to take up the sport in the first place.

I do see where your coming from, but ultimately for MLB teams to take a chance, the players need to be there. I'm not sure baseball holds enough popularity outside of American circles to take root in Germany and start producing homegrown talent at a rate comparable to that of a much more popular sport in the country, hockey.

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02-15-2013, 02:51 PM
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Healy (on PTS yesterday) went on to basically sum up his whole "growing the game internationally" rant as the end goal should be so the NHL could sell more merchandise in Europe.

I assume Healy wants this because the players would get a share of the merchandise revenue.

If that is his idea of growing the game, its no wonder the NHL is, where it is, in the global context.

The NHL has much to learn from baseball and basketball when it comes to "growing the game".

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02-15-2013, 02:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by htpwn View Post
Donald Lutz of Waterdown, New York, or Max Kepler, who's mother is from San Antonio and who attended a school in Berlin where 33% of the student population are American citizens?

I don't mean to say they aren't "German" players because ultimately they grew up and mostly developed in Germany. However, their American roots is likely why they choose to take up the sport in the first place.

I do see where your coming from, but ultimately for MLB teams to take a chance, the players need to be there. I'm not sure baseball holds enough popularity outside of American circles to take root in Germany and start producing homegrown talent at a rate comparable to that of a much more popular sport in the country, hockey.
"i wanna be the first German in the big leagues"

"Except, no. Lutz was born 1989 to an American serviceman father and a German mother, and when his parents divorced the following year, he relocated with his mother to her native Germany. He grew up in Friedberg, located in the southwest portion of the country. Lutz describes Friedberg as "a small town, with about 60,000 people. Real nice place, the closest big town is Frankfurt."

From his Twitter and another site. You gonna tell me next Olaf Kolzig is not German too cause he's born in South Africa?


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02-15-2013, 03:02 PM
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Healy (on PTS yesterday) went on to basically sum up his whole "growing the game internationally" rant as the end goal should be so the NHL could sell more merchandise in Europe.

I assume Healy wants this because the players would get a share of the merchandise revenue.

If that is his idea of growing the game, its no wonder the NHL is, where it is, in the global context.

The NHL has much to learn from baseball and basketball when it comes to "growing the game".
Exactly, he never once mentions working with the IIHF or KHL or Swiss/Czech/etc leagues. He basically is advocating for the NHL running the show and for everyone to show up in North America and accept that the NHL keeps the profits.

You need a World Baseball Classic method, where a whole seperate company is made who has about 8 partners involved last I checked. Plus their profits/revenues are very open in how much each federation is getting paid depending on finish.

I just dislike the term because clueless fans who believe the talking heads will equate growing the game as meaning whatever the NHL decides to do.


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02-15-2013, 04:46 PM
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The goal should be to grow the game outside of North America. The question is, are people outside North America interested in the NHL product. You dont want another situation like the Sun Belt expansion where you beat a dead horse and see basically no results.

If Europeans are fine with their second rate hockey, then thats fine. If they want to see the best of the best, then you have a shot to make some serious money.

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02-15-2013, 05:49 PM
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This whole arguement that the NHL should somehow be responsible to grow the game internationally is a bunch of BS anyway. They can't even grow the game withing North America, let alone accept any responsability to do so!

While the NHL revenues have certainly grown since Bettman and Co. took over the helm, NHL documents have proven that the vast majority of this growth is in Canada.

What the NHL wants is to have their cake and eat it to. They know they can't - or aren't - interested in growing the game outside of North America, but they don't want anybody else to do so either. As soon as someone tries, they get choked because they are "cutting their grass".

That said, I understand that the NHL should feel no obligation to shut down their league for 2 weeks in peak season and let their employees travel someplace far away, and risk injury while playing a country on country tourney, without any compensation.

What the IOC might have to do is add their hockey tourney to the Summer Olympics. The trouble with that is it severely impacts on the relevancy of the winter olympics without its signature event. But it could be worth exploring.

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02-15-2013, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Northender View Post
Healy (on PTS yesterday) went on to basically sum up his whole "growing the game internationally" rant as the end goal should be so the NHL could sell more merchandise in Europe.

I assume Healy wants this because the players would get a share of the merchandise revenue.

If that is his idea of growing the game, its no wonder the NHL is, where it is, in the global context.

The NHL has much to learn from baseball and basketball when it comes to "growing the game".
What drives me nuts is if there were a stronger presence in europe independent of the nhl it'd still likely benefit the nhl.

If hockey was truly a world sport more americans would take interest, at the very least during the olympics.

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