One thing that has struck me about the NHL is its terrible self promotion and self exposure. The experts constantly talk about growing the game and are always expressing anxieties about US television deals and national exposure. I think the NHL could do a lot for itself if it had a better presence on the internet.
For one thing, they could do well for themselves to have a better website. I know they re-designed their pathetic old site after the lockout, but maybe they could amp up the graphics, make things a bit more exciting. Maybe they could feature full page bleeds of superstars in game action as the site background, have higher quality videos, or maybe Be-A-Player type shorts with the players, behind the scenes videos and more articles, greater affliation with THN, hockeysfuture TSN and other media. They could do a big heritage section and have lots of media and pictures bringing hockey tradition to life for the casual fan. Maybe they could have a huge forum like this for league fans to converge and discuss the game.
In short, the league should be thinking more about reaching out to fans over the internet. I know when I was a kid and I was first getting into hockey, I was into all the big history books with the pictures of old hockey players, hockey cards and that kind of visual stuff. A graphically beefed up, more interactive and more informative site could really go a ways to attracting casual fans to get more excited about hockey.
I've noticed a lot of people are sucker for "lists" and on NBA.com they have Top Ten lists up the wazoo. Top Ten dunks, passes, blocks, plays, moments, Steve Nash plays, Kobe Bryant, Dwayne Wade, and so on.
This is what the NHL needs to have on their site. Top Ten goals, saves, passes, plays, moments, Sidney Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin, Joe Thornton, Martin Brodeur and so on. Add a few Hall of Famers.
Promote the game and the stars of the league. In the past few days, there's been discussion of best goal, hit, save, and all have been provided by numerous videos. I loved watching all the old videos and new.
The fact that it's there was the satisfying thing.
I like the Top 10 suggestion alot. Another change to the website should be to the awful Scoresheet. Every other sport has incorporated a more interactive way of presenting the information that is shown. The NHL should do the same. I can admit that I've watched ENTIRE baseball and football games on the "gamecenter" of those sports. I think the NHL could do a much better job with its version.