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Forget the idea about monkeying with the points awarded for the first couple of games.  Those games aren't worth more than any other games.

I will agree that the league needs to do a better job in promoting everything and the beginning of the season is part of that.  I would do several things differently (or at least try to) if I were the Grand Puba of the NHL.

1. Get some more games on a big boy network.  VS is not a big boy network. I don't care if they give some games away just to get the exposure.  It will pay off in the long run.
2. In conjunction with #1, have the start of the season kick off with a nationally televised series of games on the first weekend (Thursday thru Sunday) between the playoff teams from the last season. Do this on a big boy network and not VS.  Start it off with a Thursday night prime time game between the SCF teams.  Have a musical act or two and do it like the NFL would do it.  You could follow that up with some good re-matches like Carolina/Boston or Carolina/NJ.  These teams are probably going to meet at some point of the season anyway so just juggle the schedule.
3. Put microphones on some of the players and during the timeouts and intermissions there would be some excellent tape to play to keep the fans interested.  I think one of the reasons that hockey suffers on television with the casual fan is because it's hard to keep their attention through 2 halftimes.
4.  Figure out a way to do more explaining of the rules during games.  Many just don't understand the rules.  I know some long time fans will be offended but, get over it. 
5. Fully embrace HDTV.  It makes the game so much better.  All games should be HD and again, some on a big boy network.

I'm sure there are plenty of other good ideas but these are the ones that came off the top of my head.

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I agree in general about pre-season. But it does seem to be a possible disadvantage having so many days off before opening night. It could work for us, but we also could be very rusty. Anyone know what the logic is for having such a disparity between preseason games?

For example, we have 4 preseason games, but our opening night foe, Philly, has 7. They have a preseason game 3 days before opening day with us. Seems like an advantage to stay game-day-sharp then have 3 days vs. 5 days off.

I don't know, I guess could go either way, but who makes this decision? Do the Canes have a role in deciding this? Why such a disparity?

Just wondering.

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I agree the points change is a non-starter, just too gimmicky. No game should be worth more than another. But great idea on a "Jump Start". And wow, superdave. That's an impressive list - very doable, promotable, exciting. All of which means the NHL will probably never do it! laugh.gif

My 2 cents on your list:

1. Most difficult item on the list. Not going to happen on ESPN, and the networks are full of other sports. Fox/NBC = football, ABC = hoops, CBS = college hoops/football (I think). Maybe push NBC to show more games early in the season, or split the package with two nets like NASCAR does? There should be a "Hockey Night in America".

2 and 3. Great, wouldn't change a thing - they do the miked-up thing during the Day in the Life episodes, the one with LaRose was hysterical

4. This is difficult - it got real repetitive listening to loose vs. tight during NASCAR shows (I bet they still do it, too). But you're right, people will get over it. I have noticed that Tripper often explains the penalty calls, and they do a good job showing them on replays, but icing and offsides can be included. Maybe emphasize this during the kickoff weekend, and only during the network broadcasts.

5. Most important item on the list. It's a huge difference, to the point where it almost feels unwatchable without HD once you've seen it that way.

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I agree in general about pre-season. But it does seem to be a possible disadvantage having so many days off before opening night. It could work for us, but we also could be very rusty. Anyone know what the logic is for having such a disparity between preseason games?

For example, we have 4 preseason games, but our opening night foe, Philly, has 7. They have a preseason game 3 days before opening day with us. Seems like an advantage to stay game-day-sharp then have 3 days vs. 5 days off.

I don't know, I guess could go either way, but who makes this decision? Do the Canes have a role in deciding this? Why such a disparity?

Just wondering.

I was under the impression that JR made the call on how much pre-season participation there is.  I could be wrong...

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Why would anyone be more excited about a 5 point game? Maybe at the end of the season but at the beginning? The irate fans at the end of the season from 5 point games would far outweight the happy ones in the beginning.

If we missed the playoffs due to that i'd possibly be arrested trying to find whoever gave the okie dokie to this in NHL front office.

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[quote name='CarolinaGirl77 wrote:


remkin']I agree in general about pre-season. But it does seem to be a possible disadvantage having so many days off before opening night. It could work for us, but we also could be very rusty. Anyone know what the logic is for having such a disparity between preseason games?

For example, we have 4 preseason games, but our opening night foe, Philly, has 7. They have a preseason game 3 days before opening day with us. Seems like an advantage to stay game-day-sharp then have 3 days vs. 5 days off.

I don't know, I guess could go either way, but
who makes this decision? Do the Canes have a role in deciding this?
Why such a disparity?

Just wondering.

I was under the impression that JR made the call on how much pre-season participation there is.  I could be wrong...

I think Jason Karmonos did the scheduling (I could be wrong) but these games don't draw big crowds so the more you have the deeper the hole is you start the season with.  I can see the financial benefit of having fewer preseason games and the players don't seem to like too many.

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The idea of the five points is to give the guys on the ice something to actually care about as they stare down the throat of what has become - let's be honest - a ridiculously too-long season. The immediate penalty for losing is hefty, but you have the whole rest of the year to get those points back. And "too gimmicky"? Puhleeze. What do you call bands at halftime, slam-dunk contests, heck, even the Winter Classic? Pro sports went waaay beyond "too gimmicky" about 20 years ago!

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The idea of the five points is to give the guys on the ice something to actually care about as they stare down the throat of what has become - let's be honest - a ridiculously too-long season. The immediate penalty for losing is hefty, but you have the whole rest of the year to get those points back. And "too gimmicky"? Puhleeze. What do you call bands at halftime, slam-dunk contests, heck, even the Winter Classic? Pro sports went waaay beyond "too gimmicky" about 20 years ago!

Won't happen, GM's and Owners have already said that they won't play with the point system.  Personally SuperDave's suggestion would be a much better approach.  Buttman has always been slack on promoting the sport.

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The idea of the five points is to give the guys on the ice something to actually care about as they stare down the throat of what has become - let's be honest - a ridiculously too-long season. The immediate penalty for losing is hefty, but you have the whole rest of the year to get those points back. And "too gimmicky"? Puhleeze. What do you call bands at halftime, slam-dunk contests, heck, even the Winter Classic? Pro sports went waaay beyond "too gimmicky" about 20 years ago!
I'm all for things that enhance the game but you can't change the nature of the game.  Changing the points allocated changes the basic game too much.  In your scenario, say we played the Panthers in the first game and lost.  We could then finish the season with a better record than the Panthers but not make the playoffs due to a game that had more point awarded.  That would be hard to swallow as a fan, player, coach, gm, or owner.

Starting the season off with a SCF rematch could be great.  The winner would host the game.  The Stanley Cup could be displayed again and maybe have the captain skate a lap with it since the home team fans may not have gotten to see it raised on home ice.  The championship banner could be raised.  All this would happen while the losing team watches and gets more worked up by the minute.  

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I like a lot of your ideas in general, super-dave, but the details are wanting. It's one thing to say games should be on a big network, for example, but actually selling the ad time is another matter, and without that, there'll be no major network coverage. I especially like the SCF idea as you describe it, but beyond fans in the SCF teams' towns, who's gonna really care? Certainly not new fans in other markets - and bringing them on board is the whole point.

Most if not all teams already have local (regional) coverage in place, with long-term ad contracts inked. Those outlets would seem the sensible - and certainly the more cost effective - place to promote a Jump-Start promotion, whatever form it takes. Tell baseball and football fans it's coming on the same channels where they get their baseball and football, and let them watch their hometown hockey team's efforts in Jump Start on the same channel.

On the points issue, I think you're overstating the potential pitfalls, which could be easily overcome by simply throwing out the season openers for anything other than total points (i.e., they don't count toward intra-divisional tiebreaking at the end of the season).

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they have looked at reworking the points for the last few years and can never come to a general agreement on it. Getting national coverage is Buttman's job and he has failed miserably at it. We come out of the lockout and instead of making a serious effort to rebrand the product and launch it on a major network he opts for a little know network that is only available to a handful of viewers and is mainly known for bull riding!! You are not gonna be able to get your product on a major network unless you are willing to make some sort of deal mutually beneficial. This isn't the NFL where networks fight for the right to carry them and pony up big bucks. The NHL has that potential but not if your marketing team sits on their thumbs.

Disclaimer: Luke ThreadLocker, I am your father!!

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I like a lot of your ideas in general, super-dave, but the details are wanting. It's one thing to say games should be on a big network, for example, but actually selling the ad time is another matter, and without that, there'll be no major network coverage. I especially like the SCF idea as you describe it, but beyond fans in the SCF teams' towns, who's gonna really care? Certainly not new fans in other markets - and bringing them on board is the whole point.

Most if not all teams already have local (regional) coverage in place, with long-term ad contracts inked. Those outlets would seem the sensible - and certainly the more cost effective - place to promote a Jump-Start promotion, whatever form it takes. Tell baseball and football fans it's coming on the same channels where they get their baseball and football, and let them watch their hometown hockey team's efforts in Jump Start on the same channel.

On the points issue, I think you're overstating the potential pitfalls, which could be easily overcome by simply throwing out the season openers for anything other than total points (i.e., they don't count toward intra-divisional tiebreaking at the end of the season).

Wow, I didn't know I was going to have to negotiate the deal and sell advertising. I thought I did a decent job of giving some details, much more than what we normally get here. What if the NHL gave the SCF rematch game to say NBC.  Are you going to tell me that they wouldn't want it?  They will put any crap at all on TV now and pay for it.  The NHL needs to develope a desire from the viewers for more hockey.  They have seen that the Winter Classic works so why not some other ideas.

As far as nobody being interested except for the two cities involved in the SCF game, if you are right then the league may as well be happy with what it has now.  If you can't market that as a single game then there is no hope of growing the market.  You talk about the teams having local coverage but they don't need to get us to watch the games because we already do.  They need new viewers.  I'll stick by my opinion that the network of bicycle and bull riding isn't the home for hockey.  USA network would be a better outlet than VS, at least it has more penetration into homes on basic cable.

As far as the points thing goes, it's a gimmick fix at best.  If fans aren't interested in seeing some playoff rematches, what makes you think a 5 point game would make them tune in?  You want hard hitting, let the Wings sit there in the Igloo and watch Crosby skate the Cup around and the championship banner get raised.  That'll get 'em riled up more than a 5 point game. 

As close as the playoff races have been the last few years for the Canes, you can't see a possible problem with a couple of 5 point games?  I can.

  

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Didn't read the entire thread, but making the first two games worth 5 points each is absurd (no offense). The first game of the season means as much to a player as the fortieth. A game is worth two points regardless of what time of year it is. You'd be hard pressed to find any player in the NHL who doesn't understand the importance of every single game. The OP is right; yes, it's a long season, but that's exactly why they understand the first game is as important as the last.

Making the first two games of the season worth 5 points each is wrong on so many levels.

  • They are still regular season games
  • It's unfair on its face; if the Sharks are paired up with the Kings, how is that fair to any other team in the league when you would fully expect the Sharks to get all 10 points?
  • The casual sports fan isn't going to care anymore about a hockey game based upon how many points it is worth. If they have even an inkling of how the points system works, then they are already a fan and are probably already paying attention to their favorite team.

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If there were any change to the points system, I would hope that it would make wins worth 3 points and keep overtime and shoot out losses 1 point, I don't like the overtime loss point period but I remember everyday that when bettman is in office wins and losses are socialized in the would of the nhl.

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This is a very interesting discussion.  I don't think awarding extra points for the first two games accomplishes anything.  Redoing the point system might not be a bad idea 3pts regulation win, 1 point for overtime, 1 point for overtime or shootout win might work but it won't bring more fans to the game.

As for tv it is becoming clear to me that using only one cable outlet for national exposure  (versus) that isn't even  penetrating all major markets let alone smaller markets is absurd. The reason many of us want ESPN again is because they were able to schedule games on several of their cable networks and on different nights. Hockey ratings still struggled but exposure to the game was more available.  We would be far better off as a sport to allow multiple stations (like baseball and football) the rights to carry games.  I admit that hockey on Networks is difficult but if you gave up the idea of exclusivity and allowed Vs, ESPN,Fox sports, etc. etc. etc. to carry games You would have a chance to increase overall viewership.

The NHL package is apparently good but pricey and its biggest drawback is you can't pick up local games.  The same is true for the Internet streams. You have lots of choices but not your local team. Fans always want to see their team first and always will. Until the NHL figures out a way to stream (in our case) Hurricane games perhaps with Fox Carolina feeds and count Internet viewers like they count  on air viewers I suspect we will be ignoring a younger and growing audience who use their computers as we once used our TV.

In the case of hockey , more not less outlets is the key to building interest and a bigger fan base.

Of course all this is just my opinion. Marketing is a numbers game but the world of mass media is changing and I fear the NHL isn't on the cutting edge. Not even close.

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Ok, here is how you do it.

1stly you need people to watch the games, or want to.

Every time there is a fight on the ice, the people involved in the fights must live together on live tv with a B list Movie star from the 80s, have have them vote people out of the house with a singing contest. Americans love reality tv, so there is no way to lose here.

2ndly Increase the size of the puck to the size of a football, because apparently no one can see the puck (common complaint among casual hockey fans). Remove the goals and install two giant post that the players must try to shoot the puck through instead. People feel safe with something familiar.

3st Change all the names of the European players to americanise names like average joe. Market the super star of the team as the only member of the team and blow up their egos to monumental proportions. He is then the only player allowed to have his name on his jersey, all other players wear no names and tinted visors so you can't see them and all goals will be scored by said super star.

4rd whenever a hockey player moves down the ice with possession they will gain yards, scoring will be called making a bucket.

In all seriousness, they need to work on the NHL brand and viewership. If you build it right, they will come (the viewers). It is up to the stations and the nhl to market it, and at this point a bunch of monkeys with type writers could do as good of a job as the current bunch is.

 

NHL needs to be on more channels both cable and network like nba. TBS, NBC, Fox Sports, VS, Espn, everything. I am not sure of the logistics, but make it dirt cheap enough to be worth a shot. Surely there is one or two nights of the week were there are low ratings that could be boosted by a sporting events, "WEDNESDAY NIGHT HOCKEY YALL!" . And good grief I think we have all seen every episode of law and order to be happy to see something new on tv.

Also all games need to be online and on demand via hulu or nhl.com or something. wait 24 hours or something, through in a few video ads and fans all over the world will blow that up.

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Supposedly ESPN wants to try and carry hockey games again, why not give them a shot? Their coverage cant be any worse than VS.

Edit: Why not do what the MLB does? Give ESPN a few games, big key matchups on say a thursday or friday night when not much else is on, And let them bring back NHL live.

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  • It's unfair on its face; if the Sharks are paired up with the Kings, how is that fair to any other team in the league when you would fully expect the Sharks to get all 10 points?

Great point.  In 2 games  which is 2.4% of the season they could accumulate 10% of the points needed to make the playoffs.  Who you were paired up with the first 2 games could decide whether you made the playoffs or not.

Whether you like ESPN or not, they are the 800 lb. gorilla in the room.  Just getting back on there would legitimize hockey to a lot of fringe fans and maybe hockey could shake the fringe sport stigma.  SportsCenter isn't going to cover hockey as a sport much unless they have something to gain as a network.   We all complain, but how many of us tune into SportsCenter in the morning before work or in the evening when we get home?

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Versus must pay an absurd amount of money to carry the rights to the NHL, i mean I realize that hockey is pricier than bowling, but take a hit and get on espn, sign a deal with Mickey Mouse, get some coverage, even if you have to pay for it, it's no question that hockey is an exciting fan friendly game, people just have to be shown it first, and having a couple games each week on a now defunct directv channel 603 isn't going to cut it.

As for the first part about the points, i have posted this idea before but it didn't get the credit it deserved. Make the season world cup style. Have pool play for a couple weeks within the division. then break up into double elimination series. and continue on until a 7 game series for the cup. People will watch that. well, unless it's on Versus.

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Versus must pay an absurd amount of money to carry the rights to the NHL, i mean I realize that hockey is pricier than bowling, but take a hit and get on espn, sign a deal with Mickey Mouse, get some coverage, even if you have to pay for it, it's no question that hockey is an exciting fan friendly game, people just have to be shown it first, and having a couple games each week on a now defunct directv channel 603 isn't going to cut it.

As for the first part about the points, i have posted this idea before but it didn't get the credit it deserved. Make the season world cup style. Have pool play for a couple weeks within the division. then break up into double elimination series. and continue on until a 7 game series for the cup. People will watch that. well, unless it's on Versus.

Actually Versus pays very little if anything, i think they split ad revenue.  When the lockout ended Buttman signed with the first network to come along instead of trying to find the best deal for the league.  Prior to the lockout ESPN paid to carry hockey.  This is why i choke and spit up on myself every time I hear Buttman talking about promoting the sport, he buried it on an obscure network on cable.

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[quote name='caniac-97 wrote:


10DollarTH']Versus must pay an absurd amount of money to carry the rights to the NHL, i mean I realize that hockey is pricier than bowling, but take a hit and get on espn, sign a deal with Mickey Mouse, get some coverage, even if you have to pay for it, it's no question that hockey is an exciting fan friendly game, people just have to be shown it first, and having a couple games each week on a now defunct directv channel 603 isn't going to cut it.

As for the first part about the points, i have posted this idea before but it didn't get the credit it deserved. Make the season world cup style. Have pool play for a couple weeks within the division. then break up into double elimination series. and continue on until a 7 game series for the cup. People will watch that. well, unless it's on Versus.

Actually Versus pays very little if anything, i think they split ad revenue.  When the lockout ended Buttman signed with the first network to come along instead of trying to find the best deal for the league.  Prior to the lockout ESPN paid to carry hockey.  This is why i choke and spit up on myself every time I hear Buttman talking about promoting the sport, he buried it on an obscure network on cable.

What makes you think that wasn't the best deal he could get? If he could have gotten a better deal, I'm sure he would have taken it. To say they just didn't try is stretching the bounds of reality. It's not like there were that many options after the lockout. After being off for that year they were lucky to find a partner, and the lousy package they ended up with proves the point. They've made progress every year since as far as ratings go, and the next package should be better. It could hardly be worse.wiki-favicon-sharpened.pngfavicon.icofavicon.icofavicon.ico

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when you are trying to promote something particularly out of a lockout you don't bury it on some obscure network. The end result is you really have to go searching on cable/satelite if you want a good hockey game or buy Center Ice. That doesn't endear the sport to the masses.

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when you are trying to promote something particularly out of a lockout you don't bury it on some obscure network. The end result is you really have to go searching on cable/satelite if you want a good hockey game or buy Center Ice. That doesn't endear the sport to the masses.

You do if that was the only broadcasting option you had.  Obscure TV is better than no TV.

  

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[quote name='TSA wrote:


caniac-97']when you are trying to promote something particularly out of a lockout you don't bury it on some obscure network. The end result is you really have to go searching on cable/satelite if you want a good hockey game or buy Center Ice. That doesn't endear the sport to the masses.

You do if that was the only broadcasting option you had.  Obscure TV is better than no TV.

  

Tell that to folks that have DirectTv!!

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