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Things are going well for the NHL, says the NHL

Dec 6, 2011, 6:12 PM EDT

Gary Bettman Getty Images

The NHL issued a press release today, calling attention to the fact that interest in the league is through the roof.

For example, the number of unique visitors to NHL.com is up 17 percent versus last season’s figures, including a “remarkable increase in the Czech Republic (+255 percent).”

Thinking the return of Jaromir Jagr might have something to do with that, but as they say in the digital biz, UVs are UVs. (Not sure they actually say that, but they should.)

The NHL would also like everyone to know that local TV ratings have risen significantly in the following markets:

—- Nashville (+200 percent)
—- Carolina (+125 percent)
—- Florida (+100 percent)
—- Tampa Bay (+71 percent)
—- Philadelphia (+60 percent)
—- Boston (+57 percent)
—- Minnesota (+53 percent)
—- San Jose (+44 percent)
—- Buffalo (+26 percent)
—- Edmonton (+21 percent)
—- New York Rangers (+14 percent)

Anyway, good news for the NHL.

Also, good news for the players, who can whip out said press release if the owners try to plead poverty during the CBA negotiations.

“But it says right here you’re big in the Czech Republic!”

  1. pastabelly - Dec 6, 2011 at 6:16 PM

    Things are going well and they feel a need to screw around with conferences and scheduling. Morons.

    • gbiscottagecheesefatties - Dec 6, 2011 at 6:38 PM

      HAHA. you have to be kidding right? They have been talking about realignment for awhile now and not to mention it’s a home-run for NHL fans in the central time zone. YOU ARE THE MORON

      • phillyphever - Dec 6, 2011 at 7:21 PM

        Forget him, he must be a NBA lover here to spew crap about hockey.

    • tjv027 - Dec 6, 2011 at 9:32 PM

      Say what you want about the fairness of realignment for certain teams, but it will absolutely boost ratings for the league. Because they’re doing playoffs within the respective conferences, you’re pretty much guaranteed to see at least a few of the following playoff series in spring 2013:
      Rangers/Flyers
      Pens/Caps
      Caps/Flyers
      Pens/Flyers
      Isles/Rangers
      Bruins/Habs
      Leafs/Habs
      Hawks/Wings
      Avs/Wings

      You’ll see more rivalries in the playoffs, and that’s what the league wants. No more Canucks/Preds in the second round.

  2. sknut - Dec 6, 2011 at 6:40 PM

    Its great to see the first four teams in that list, its nice to see the NHL succeeding in non-traditional markets that are emerging with growing fan bases.

  3. govtminion - Dec 6, 2011 at 6:58 PM

    Weird, I can’t imagine why interest is up in Boston…

  4. Jeff - Dec 6, 2011 at 7:00 PM

    There was realignment because the NHL had two Eastern Time Zone teams in the Western Conference, and a SE Division team in Canada.

  5. sharksfan754 - Dec 6, 2011 at 7:17 PM

    And now they have two Florida teams in the northeast/Canada

    • miketoasty - Dec 6, 2011 at 9:09 PM

      They did this for two reasons, but first let me say this the longest flight is 5 hours between these teams, from Florida to Canada, not bad at all. Now to my actual points.

      First off a lot of older people in Canada travel or moved to Florida, giving them a chance to see more familiar faces. Second, which I think is the more important factor, is that it will grow popularity with two Florida teams playing the more fabled teams in the NHL. Bringing more revenue to them since people will want to see these teams when they come down.

      • cshearing - Dec 7, 2011 at 8:45 AM

        There is also the fact that, while the flights are a little long, you do not change timezones. Changing timezones is what really affects people; you may have heard of jet lag?

        The reluctance to move either of the NY area teams to a division away from the others, and the teams in Washington & Pennsylvania overcame any obstacles to putting the FLA teams in the division they are. I think the correct call was made.

        Plus, now Florida can pursue Elias as a free agent. :)

  6. lsxphotog - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:47 AM

    —- Nashville (+200 percent)
    —- Carolina (+125 percent)
    —- Florida (+100 percent)
    —- Tampa Bay (+71 percent)

    This is impressive. Nashville doesn’t give two fiddles about hockey, but they’re starting watch. They should. I watch them play because I love their team and I’m not even from there. The Preds are going to make the playoffs again, I’m sure, and that should help them out a lot. They’ve built a strong club with great coaching.

    Carolina and Florida are also unexpected but I expected this much from Tampa with the new management and promise from the current team. I’m just happy to see hockey get the respect it has always deserved. It’s a sport rich in history and tradition, so up-and-coming markets growing in interest like this is impressive and great to see.

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