Mr. Ice Guy's preseason rant about the NHL's struggles to gain America's attention...
OK, obviously I’m not talking about fantasy team selections.
These two score 100 points like it’s going out of style (which it is).
You’d be crazy not to build your team around these guys.
Sure they represent the top of the next generation of stars, and the two most marketable names. But what I’m saying is, can there be too much of a good thing?
It’s no secret the NHL lags behind the big three sports in ratings.
While in my heart, I would love to see hockey surpass baseball in American popularity, my head tells me I have a better chance of seeing the Rangers win another Stanley Cup (and the truth about me comes out quickly).
But don’t kid yourself America, the NBA is well within reach.
Which is exactly my point.
I do not want to see the NHL make the same mistakes the NBA has with the way it markets its stars.
I represent the average American sports fan (with a slight bias towards hockey).
I love football, baseball, NASCAR crashes, and my basketball preference leans towards college.
It’s not that I’m anti-NBA, it’s just that as a late-1990’s graduate of the University of Maryland, I just value an ACC battle of top-10’s (or any conference), as entertainingly superior.
Because I’m more of a hockey fan than average, the NHL doesn’t need to sell me.
I’ll watch the Winter Classic, the playoffs, the regular season, or preseason games in Finland.
But more importantly, I don’t need to see Crosby, Ovechkin, or both to know the possibility of a great game exists.
Unfortunately, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has not gotten that message.