Most businesses lie, to themselves and to others. So the fact that the NHL does too isn’t shocking or unique except in one regard. Most businesses tell selfserving lies. The ones the NHL tells serve no purpose other than allowing them to hear their lips flap.
Let’s start with the smallest of today’s lies: The NHL is committed to the sports growth in America.
HA I say! So let me get this straight, as the baseball season is winding down in all but eight cities in America, an organization hungry for sports fans starts its season in europe where most Americans will have to skip work, church or kids sports to see the games because of the five to eight hour time zone differences. Wouldn’t it make more sense to have big rivalry games two a night for a week and a half to draw attention in the country where the majority of merchandise, advertising revenue and people who speak the NHL’s default language speak? Honestly, the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees play each other the first week of every season just like clock work. AFC East teams like the Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, and New England Patriots know they will see each other early. The Boston Bruin’s on the other hand don’t even have a division game until a full three weeks into their season. Instead they open the season against a Western Conference team half the hockey world expects to relocate in the next two years, and then do a tour of the Atlantic division.
Next up: A crappy way of picking a loser and winner is better than a tie, and no one (at the networks) likes overtime.
The shootout system was designed to make sure every game had a winner and loser. It succeeded, just not in the way the boffins at headquarters thought. The winners are teams who field an aggressively mediocre team with two guys who are consistent at the shootout. The losers are the good teams, the fans who get stuck watching first round slaughters, and every player that values the logo on the front. Its pure hooey that the NHL believes that people will watch seven extra two hour innings of scoreless baseball, but not watch 15-30 minutes of full tilt, balls to the wall, hard-hitting sudden death intensity.