Tag Archives: Crosby
While the bloated All-Star weekend continues (televised All-Star Draft?) , let us take pause and evaluate the state of the league:
– Concussions: 90 concussions vs. 54 at this time last year (Concussion Blog)
– NHLPA exec Donald Fehr and NHL putz Gary Bettman are clashing egos, threatening another lock-out. (NHL Lockout in 2012?)
– Agents and teams continue to drive up the price of mediocre talent (Elliott Friedman)
– Despite NBC Sports’ excellent coverage – Milbury excluded – US ratings continue to sputter (Sports Media Watch)
What’s most concerning however, is the shortage of superstar talent. No Gretzkys, no Lemieuxs, not even an Eric Lindros to carry the league to success.
SI’s Michael Farber recent article, “The NHL’s Starshine Shortage” hits the nail on the head. Ever since the “New” NHL returned in 2005, we have seen diminished returns every season. Will anyone break 50 goals? How about 100 points? Goaltender stats are ridiculously good, but I don’t think that casual fans are flocking to watch a goaltending duel (Montreal excepted).
How can the NHL compete with the marketing machines of the NFL and NBA? Here are some suggestions:
1) Illegal NHL merchandise to China and India – That’s almost 2 billion non-hockey fans waiting to be converted.
2) Recruit the Cirque du Soleil for NBA-style halftime shows. Acrobats on skates? Sign me up!
3) Move the Coyotes to Vegas – the NHL’s very own hotel, arena, and slot machines. Games are fixed like the WWE.
4) Free hockey gear to all visible minority families! The NHL is too whitewashed to matter to anyone except us caucasians.
5) The ultimate NHL video game – Gamers can take control of their favourite NHL players during a live game! Mind control maybe, but it’s not as if corporations like Apple aren’t already doing it.
6) Get rid of the NHL All-Star game. Replace with NHL Wipeout:
I. Epidemic of NHL stars such as Crosby, Giroux, and Skinner are sidelined by concussions.
Take Two – Blame the owners.
Old boys club could enlarge rink size, ban fighting, issue stiffer penalties and suspensions, but all we get is “preserving the purity of the game” bull crap from a bunch of greedy geezers who treat their players like commodities.
The game is about skill and strategy. This isn’t the NFL. Read this and after tell me you aren’t concerned about the NHL. http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ycn-10597447
II. The addition of Kaberle and return of Campoli creates defensemen surplus for the Habs. Trade?
Take Two – No trade. This is the reality of the NHL. D men dropping like flies means you keep a surplus of warm bodies – cause you never know when Markov will return – if ever.
However, that does not excuse JM from stupid decisions like benching their only hitting defensemen. Or punishing rookies when overpaid vets are mailing in their performance.
Here’s a trade rumor you can circulate though: Mike Cammalleri for Alexander Semin. Hell, we’ll throw in Yannick Weber and some After Eight mints on the house.
III. MLSE’s sale to Rogers and Bell is damaging to the Canadiens
Take Two – Isn’t it great how greed can bring together the most hated of enemies? Bell retains its 18% minority ownership in the Canadiens, meanwhile digging their dirty fingers into Canada’s biggest sports pie. However, this won’t affect the Habs at all, since the Molson’s are majority owner. Kinda makes you miss George Gillett.
This oligopoly (sigh, here you go: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oligopoly) has been brewing for quite some time as two media empires try to provide “exclusive” content.
If you ain’t with them, you’re against them. Pray that the CRTC has the balls to stop them. Coming soon: Habs Pay-per-View. Bet on it.
Shameless plug of the week: Speaking of inept media giants, NBC-Comcast’s coverage of the NHL has been exemplary – the play-by-play, the image quality, even Pierre Maguire are just the tonic against biased Toronto Sports Network announcers and the increasingly dreary RDS crew.