The Return of Hockey....

Discussion in 'Fugu's Business of Hockey Forum' started by Drury_Sakic, May 21, 2005.

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  1. Drury_Sakic

    Drury_Sakic Registered User

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    Been thinking of a post-lockout world... and how the NHL should proceed in welcoming Fans back.... so here it is....


    Assuming a deal is reached by sometime in June...


    Host an All-Star game THIS summer.

    Have the Fans vote in all of the players, the guys they want to see. Host it in either Toronto or NY. Sell tickets for 5 dollars each, with the profit going to Hockey Fights Cancer or something. Following the game, The Draft starts. The first 2 rounds are completed that night, the rest the following day.

    Why? You get some positive press out there and get a game out there for the Fans. Draft would also get some coverage, even if it is held in a conference room of a Hotel.



    Start the Season in the 2nd week of September.

    Thursday.

    Run a one hour special on ESPN to explain the new CBA(the 10 min dime version). Then spend the rest of the show breaking down the changes in each teams roster, major additions, subtractions..ext..

    Friday:

    Run a half hour NHL tonight on ESPN. Pre-game type stuff. Beg, borrow, or steal the Friday night time slot from NBC.

    Game One of the NHL season on NBC:

    4:30 PM EST
    Avs vs. Wings


    Two old francishes dueling it out. Not exactly Roy Vs. Vernon... but... the matchup is one people know.

    Saturday:

    Game Two on ESPN 2:

    11:30 AM EST
    Rangers vs. Islanders

    Game Three on ESPN

    5:00 PM EST ESPN(possibly NBC)
    Flyers vs. Leafs

    Sunday:

    Game Four: ESPN 2

    2:00 PM EST

    Stars vs. Wild

    Game Five: ESPN

    7:00 PM EST
    Flames vs. Lightning



    Just a rough outline.. but it is something that should be considered... If they have to, the NHL should shell out a bit of cash to get the time slots... WHATEVER... Get a Weekend SOLID of NHL Hockey out there. Get the Big teams out there... Rivalry games... Start Friday night with the Old guard.. The Avs and Wings.. the Lifeblood of the old NHL... Move through the classics over the weekend... Ending with the New.... Tampa vs. Calgary.....

    Its an American viewership ploy....and not every fan would be happy... but you hit the new Season off with a bang... That is all the hockey that runs that weekend... No other games...

    Perhaps its to grand of a scheme.. hell, odds are we won't see hockey again this year....But the NHL needs to attempt something flashy and big to kick the season off... and this would be one way to show the world that the National Hockey League is back..
     
  2. RaTcine

    RaTcine Registered User

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    What about a MTL vs TOR game to start the season?
     
  3. GKJ

    GKJ Global Moderator

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    If you want to run 4 games in the same day to kick off the season, these are the games that would get the most buzz, in the US.


    And remember we're talking about America. ESPN (or NBC) would very, very seldom run teams in Canada.

    12:00 pm

    Rangers @ Penguins (or the the other way around)

    3:00 pm

    Phoenix @ LA (If Gretzky becomes the coach)

    6:00 pm

    Colorado @ Detroit

    9:00 pm
    Flyers @ Lightning (Lightning get to raise their banner on national TV in prime time)


    In Canada it would be Vancouver @ Calgary, Ottawa @ Toronto and Edmonton @ Montreal


    And only these games would open the season on opening day.
     
  4. LPHabsFan

    LPHabsFan Registered User

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    If the NHL is going to survive, they really have to do a much better job of choosing the games they decide to show. Sorry Go Kim Johnsson but both the Rangers and Penguins are, atleast on paper right now, bottom feeding teams, and the entire game between phoenix and LA would be about the coach and not the actual game. That has always been ESPN and moreso ABC's problem. Constantly showing The rangers on the east coast. Ya they're the biggest East Coast market but when the team is absolute crap, it hurts the rest of the east coast people who watch, and since the team is crap, they're own fans stop watching. The same with pittsburgh. Who the hell would want to watch a game between pittsburgh and the rangers in march when they are only fighting for who gets the better draft pick. And the only other thing they do is throw in the Flyers and while they are an amazing team, they're still only playing an out of playoff team.

    And a huge thing that ESPN and ABC is missing out on are the Canadian teams. And i'm not talking about the inter-canadian games allthough those would be amazing for ESPN or ABC to show because it's always amazing hockey, but the inter-country rivals that they are missing out on by not showing these games. Toronto vs Detroit, Islanders, Rangers, Flyers, Sabres. Montreal vs Boston. Ottawa vs Flyers. Vancouver vs Dallas, colorado, etc...)that's all i can think of right now. But even if they want to stick with the only American teams, they have to stay away from chosing the games based on markets and start chosing them based on the quality of the game. And two things that someone will bring up. I know they have to book the games in advance, but I'm sure that they could probably do it atleast one month in advance. And the second thing I forgot.

    As far as the choice of games. Either a mix of both canadian and american teams should be done, or have some of all.

    Montreal - Toronto
    Montreal - Boston
    Boston - Toronto
    Ottawa - Toronto
    Toronto - Philly
    Toronto - Detroit
    Philly - Tampa
    Rangers - Islanders
    Avs - Wings
    Avs - Stars
    Stars - Wings
    Philly - Toronto
    Edmonton - Calgary
    Edmonton - Dallas
    Calgary - Vancouver
    However one game I think would be the best thing the NHL could do is to have a Colorado - Vancouver home and home to start the season if Bertuzzi is re-instated. The reason? just get it out of the way. They are going to be talking about these games forever so why not just get them out of the way early.

    And another thing that the American networks have to change is the times. No one is home on Saturday afternoons at 3 p.m. to watch hockey. Most people are out doing things. Instead of a movie show a hockey game. Just stay away from playing the games when the least amount of people are going to watch. I'm convinced that ESPN and ABC did this on purpose so the ratings would continually suck.

    Oh, and for the all star game idea, I think it would be better to stay away from games that are nothing like the NHL. The all star game is just a show and isn't always that exciting. Might turn off more people than turn them on the game.
     
  5. And there is the first load of prehistoric thinking the NHL better dump, and damn fast. If you want to promote this game you show ALL teams, no matter where they are from, especially when they are playing exciting hockey. What you suggest is like not showing the Patriots on NFL broadcasts, because they are considered small market and don't have a following. The NHL really needs to get past this international barrier BS or they are never going to have the stong broadcast market they hope for. Every game has to mean something and if YOU automatically discount certain teams because of their geography then you product will never be worth selling to a buyer.
     
  6. You lost me right there. All Star games suck at the best of times, and frankly the fans are not really enamored with the players at this time, so it would be an even lesser event. If the NHL wants a successful relaunch, they need to be promoting the best the GAME has to offer, not promoting the primadonnas in a mean nothing ego stroking shinny game. Personally I would not be disappointed if the NHL cancelled the All Star game indefinitely (like for the next 40 years) and we didn't have to be subjected to that garbage again. Without something meaningful to play for where the players will sacrafice to win, the games just aren't the same.

    I agree that the NHL should use the rivalry concept to its advantage. But I think the first game shown should be a celebration of the GAME and that would be a rematch of the last two teams who played for the Stanley Cup. In fact, they could have the Lightning raise their banner ad then do one more lap with the cup before returning the Stanley Cup to the NHL, signifying the battle for the storied trophy is back on. I think this would be a solid tie in to the new NHL, especially if the rumored new logo does indeed incorporate the Stanley Cup. It would be perfect as the NEW NHL would be showing two of best teams with some great young stars that they should be promoting and it would be going to a North American audience, To me that's how every season should start. That ceremony should be part of the lore for the league and be something special. That's one of things about the NHL that is so unique. You dn't keep the Stanley Cup, you just get to safeguard it for a few months before the battle for that honor starts all over again.
     
  7. HockeyCritter

    HockeyCritter Registered User

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    The best way to attract the fans back to the game has less to do with flashy television promotions/broadcasts (though that is a start) but everything to do with prices and the on ice product. The league is going to have to make the product watchable . . . . get away from the boring clutch/grab trap fests and replace them with games that showcase speed, skill, and hard hitting. Teams need to become very creative in partnering with local merchants to make tickets affordable and attractive to families.

    NBC had the right idea when it came to cross promotion of the NHL during it's primetime schedule (similar to what ABC does for football) - - but all the fancy packaging won’t disguise a bad product.

    The league will have to work rather diligently to make hockey a good product.
     
  8. Kritter471

    Kritter471 Registered User

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    I don't doubt that tickets will be significantly less expensive in the beginning - it would be a ploy to attract fans back. Heck, they may even get a $5 glass seat deal for the first game, just cause.

    The real question is will they stay down. I'm not sure about that, as even basic economics will tell you, minimum price is set by fixed costs, but maximum price is set by market demand and "what the market will bear."
     
  9. Drury_Sakic

    Drury_Sakic Registered User

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    Ticket sales were not a problem for most teams in the old NHL.. I have a feeling they won't be a problem in the New NHL.... Granted, at first they will have to run with lower prices perhaps... but that is one area were I feel they won't suffer....

    The Whole point of the All-Star game is to simply get Hockey back on peoples mind... Frankly, All-Star games are not about you, me, or the guy sitting next to us drinking his beer screaming "GO LEAFS!". All-Star games are about teh casual fan.... Getting all the big name faces out there... And that would be the point of hosting an All-Star game this summer.. To show "we are back!" Partnering it with the Draft... no.. the Crosby Draft... would make a weekend that the media could not ingore..

    The games I listed over the weekend were chosen for many reasons... but mainly for the rivalry and general fan/non-fan knowledge of the clubs.. The reason I give the times I do is simply because of Football and the need to get on TV. The times I listed(the early in the day listings) would not pre-empt any other real quality broadcasting and be easier to get.


    I really think getting games on NBC THROUGHOUT THE SEASON is important. Even if we just get a Friday night game every week. I mean, NBC does not have that great of shows right now.. So why not give away the rights to Friday night games(if you are the NHL) for the first half of the Season, then switch to Sat/Sun games once the NFL is done.
     
  10. nhlfan79

    nhlfan79 Registered User

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    What would help is NBC showing all of its games in HD. And for those without HDTV's, they should letterbox the game so everyone can see more of the ice surface. I think that's probably the best thing they can do to enhance the product for TV.
     
  11. Icey

    Icey Registered User

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    You do know that NHL tonight was cancelled last season? It is no more.
     
  12. Actually in Canada what would be better is Calgary VS. Edmonton (battle of Alberta), Montreal VS. Toronto (Long time rivals) and Ottawa Vs. Vancouver.
     
  13. Mess

    Mess Global Moderator

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    How come no one mentions kicking off the year with ..

    Atlanta verses Columbus

    Nashville at Carolina

    ????
     
  14. Chileiceman

    Chileiceman Registered User

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    hmmmm.. I wonder why :huh:
     
  15. blitzkriegs

    blitzkriegs Registered User

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    Good idea. However, the SC ends too late for the league to fumble with schedule/building availability.

    I like your idea about the Cup celebration. However, with player movement these days, it would be odd to see a new addition skating it around w/o earning it - despite the superstition. Maybe limit it to the Captain to avoid it becoming too glory.

    A promotion should be geared towards the SC defender's FIRST game beyond just the banner ceremony. Something like, "kickstart to the Cup" or something... Make SC defenders first home game an event - fan day, have the cup displayed during the day, take-a-pic or something, have a NHL sponsored raffle/contest (for charity or sponsored) for contestants to win a trip to that game, etc...
     
  16. Gary Buttman

    Gary Buttman Registered User

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    I think the NHL needs to do some deal where theres a national game of the week on NBC every week, not just 5 or 6 weeks in March and April. And they need to have a cable setup where theres a hockey game on every night everywhere in the country. Exposure, exposure, exposure.
     
  17. Weary

    Weary Registered User

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    The NHL had a deal like that with Fox. When the contract was up, they decided to go with ABC, which wanted to show fewer games.

    Why go with the contract that offered less exposure to the NHL? ABC offered more money.

    Don't expect the NHL to make any deal which would be in the best long term interest of the league when better short term money can be found elsewhere.
     
  18. Bruwinz37

    Bruwinz37 Registered User

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    Boy, the masses will flock back for these two..........
     
  19. Bruwinz37

    Bruwinz37 Registered User

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    It pretty much was...Phoenix vs LA, Atlanta vs Columbus. Both will get a .3 rating, no difference. Heck, I would probably watch the Atlanta/Columbus game.

    The way it *should* be done is to have it regionalized. Boston vs Montreal, Isles vs Rangers in the Northeast, TB vs Florida southeast, Philly vs Toronto, Detroit vs Colorado, and LA vs Vancouver etc etc. I think the NHL did much better showing games that were pertinant to each market. They should realize by now that they are going to keep getting horrible ratings trying to show a "National" game...it just wont work.
     
  20. nhlfan79

    nhlfan79 Registered User

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    An ATL/CBJ matchup would be great. Heatley, Kovalchuk, Lehtonen, Coburn, Klesla, and Nash all on the ice at the same time. Talk about highlighting the next generation... It'd actually be a pretty good game.
     
  21. King_Brown

    King_Brown Guest

    If you want to get more fans to keep watching I suggest they have Tampa vs Philly and Calgary vs Edmonton on prime time on national TV, and not CBC. Why because the battle of Alberta is, and always will be one of the most thrilling rivalries in any sport, and Tampa(even though they got it handed to them), should get to raise there banner on national tv, and start up what looked to be a intese rivalry with Philly. Also it gives fans to see superstars of the games such as Brad Richards, Jarome Iginla, Vincent Lecailver, a american star Jeremy Roenick, and also the future stars, Dion Phanuef, Jeff Carter and Mike Richards.
     
  22. sharkyz15

    sharkyz15 Registered User

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    because those are Canadain Teams and not teams a caushual American would watch

    My proposal would be a triple header

    Game 1: Tampa vs New York

    Game 2: Col vs Det
    I dont think this will be quite the series it once was but non the less, untill one team lags, its still the best American rivalry

    Game 3 San Jose vs Calgary (West Coast Match Up)
    Most of you will be sleeping by this time
     
  23. AXN

    AXN Registered User

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    I agree. It can only be one or two games depending if you are in the west or east.
    But is that possible?
     
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