Jan 8, 2013, 2:47 PM EST
We got an email the other day asking us to write about NHL Center Ice and how the league should give it away free as an inducement to win fans back.
It wasn’t the first time we’d heard that suggested. Fans have other ideas, too. Like cheaper tickets and concessions.
And we’re fully on board with all of it. It would be a nice gesture. Who doesn’t like free or, at the very least, cheaper?
But so far as winning fans back – if fans are actually considering leaving – none of those things are nearly as important as this:
If the NHL wants to help fans forgive and forget, making the product better is what will do it. That’s what worked in 2005 when the league cut down on obstruction; it wasn’t dollar hot dogs or 50 percent off jerseys.
Luck will be a factor, too. If this year’s playoffs are compelling, the lockout will be a distant memory. If not, the league’s previous momentum won’t be so easy to regain.
A better Stanley Cup finals would go a long way for the NHL. Let’s face it, Kings-Devils was an absolute snoozer compared to Bruins-Canucks the year before.
Not that the Kings (or their fans) care, but not a single one of their series was a classic. Los Angeles only lost four games in the entire postseason. Where’s the adversity in that? Remember that Boston had to win three Game 7’s in 2011, including one against its biggest rival, Montreal. And Vancouver nearly blew a 3-0 lead in the first round against Chicago, the team that had eliminated the Canucks the previous two seasons.
The NBA got lucky last year after its lockout when Miami won it all. Love him or hate him, LeBron James is a compelling athlete and, after the Big Three were assembled, the Heat were a compelling team to follow. Having Kevin Durant in the finals was a bonus.
Baseball’s home-run chase in 1998 helped bring fans back to the ballparks after the 1994 World Series was canceled. Sure, it turned out to be steroid-fueled, but it was still great to watch.
In the long-run, it’s the game that matters. All the other stuff is just temporary.
Though free Center Ice would be nice.
Jan 24, 2015, 10:03 PM EST
See you all tomorrow.
Jan 24, 2015, 9:41 PM EST
Florida’s All-Star goalie never gave up on it.
Jan 24, 2015, 9:14 PM EST
Just 0.3 away from Zdeno Chara’s all-time record.
Jan 24, 2015, 9:09 PM EST
Jan 24, 2015, 8:34 PM EST
Team Foligno running away with this.
Jan 24, 2015, 8:21 PM EST
That’s an all-time screencap right there.
Jan 24, 2015, 7:55 PM EST
Team Foligno sweeps first competition.
Jan 24, 2015, 7:09 PM EST
Johnny Hockey gets the nod.
Jan 24, 2015, 6:20 PM EST
Has gone from forward to defense, back to forward and back to defense.
Jan 24, 2015, 5:30 PM EST
He’s ranked fourth in Central Scouting’s mid-term rankings.
Jan 24, 2015, 5:23 PM EST
Bragging rights on the line.
Jan 24, 2015, 5:21 PM EST
And what will the team look like?
Jan 24, 2015, 4:55 PM EST
It’s expected to be around $71.6 million to $72.2 million for the 2015-16 season.
Jan 24, 2015, 4:09 PM EST
Slovenia’s (and Los Angeles’) Anze Kopitar figures to play a prominent role.
Jan 24, 2015, 4:02 PM EST
Will fans care? Is it fair?
Jan 24, 2015, 2:34 PM EST
“People are intrigued by this. There are going to be great storylines.”
Jan 24, 2015, 2:15 PM EST
Gillette Stadium, TCF Bank Stadium and Coors Field will play hosts
Jan 24, 2015, 1:00 PM EST
It all gets going at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN.
Jan 24, 2015, 12:46 PM EST
“Again, I’ll repeat that for this team to be even remotely close to missing the playoffs isn’t something we can be happy about.”
Jan 24, 2015, 12:00 PM EST
The 21-year-old is learning what it takes to be an NHL regular.
- Video: Team Foligno survives shootout, wins Skills Competition 0
- Video: Weber wins hardest shot with 108.5 mph blast 4
- Video: Lightning’s Drouin wins fastest skater 7
- WATCH LIVE: NHL All-Star Skills Competition 1
- Will the Youngstars even have a chance? (Updated) 10
- Unique World Cup format allows ‘more of the very best players’ to participate 10
- NHL unveils 2016 Winter Classic, Stadium Series games 16
- Players have fun, show off personalities in water-fueled All-Star Fantasy Draft 9
- Video: ‘Coachable’ Kessel goes from last pick to 2nd overall 5
- Video: Team Foligno takes Ryan Johansen first overall in All-Star Fantasy Draft 1
- Columnist: Flyers ‘orchestrated’ fight night versus Pens during meal at ‘a local steakhouse’ (130)
- Flyers’ Rinaldo: ‘I changed the whole game, man’ (112)
- Video: Rinaldo tossed for boarding Letang (79)
- Metro sensational: Rangers continue dominance of division, Pens (61)
- Report: Flyers’ Rinaldo waives right to an in-person hearing (61)