Other than a major lack of Western Conference participants, the emphasis has been on Eastern Conference (and Original 6) teams.
Colorado? Minnesota? Why aren't they even considered for hosting? Could it be that the powers that be believe that they'll get better ratings with teams from the Eastern Conference?
Why not try to put together a GREAT matchup of two "good" (as in how they play the game) hockey teams?
For instance. Sharks-Wings. I must have read about three dozen comments **from around the league** about how this playoff series that just wrapped up was the BEST they have EVER seen. That's a lot of hockey these folks have watched to declare that series at the top of their list.
It'd be nice to see them try to pimp some postseason events in this game instead of the same tired matchups that I've seen dozens of times at 12:30 on Sundays. Even taking my homer glasses off for a minute, if you're hellbent on having the Flyers host, why not send the Bruins there with the back story of "the collapse" and "the sweep of redemption". And I didn't even have to leave the safe little box that NBC refuses to come out of.
The Caps/Pens were interesting because they don't like each other and there is a rivalry there, even if the NHL tries to make it out as being more epic then Habs/Bruins. And a decent chunk of that rivalry is from their one postseason matchup. The playoffs are when this league shines. Act like it.
IMO it's still too early for the Rangers. That's the team you bring in as a shot in the arm during a down year. The WC still has enough novelty to sell itself, so using up the marquee teams now is short-sighted.
Not to mention the Rangers might well be outside the playoff bracket...
Didn't the NHL already have the Rangers play some team from Alaska?
Being a Flyer fan, I'm not going to complain about being in it again. Maybe the diehards will get annoyed, but the casual fan isn't going to remember who was in it year to year. And really, its the casual and non-hockey fans that they are trying to bring in.
Flyers/Rangers makes sense. 2 big market teams. Even if the Rangers aren't a contending team, they are still a big name. Sure, I would love it be against the Sharks or a number of other teams, but NBC is looking for the biggest possible audience.
I just wish it was going to be at the Linc and not CBP. I know the view won't be great at either, but at least at the Linc your right on top of it. Plus, the Linc would allow for 20,000 extra tickets which I don't think they would have a problem selling out.
Details still being negotiated. 45k tickets (total) available; after (league,) STHs (both teams) accommodated, whatever is left over will be available via lottery. Plus a list of some of the local bands who may be approached to perform at event.