NHL on Television: Why the NHL Network Has Been a Huge Letdown This Summer

Andrew EideCorrespondent IAugust 25, 2011

Last night, in an effort to cure my hockey withdrawal syndrome, I landed my remote control on the NHL Network. They were re-broadcasting a Stanley Cup Playoff game between the San Jose Sharks and the Detroit Red Wings. 

After watching about five minutes of it I couldn’t take it anymore.  

I feel like venting, so pardon me, I won’t take too much of your time here.

As a Canucks fan, watching any playoff game from last year only reminds me of how close my team came without winning. It’s painful, and before you go there, no I didn’t want to burn anything. 

I suspect if you are a fan of any playoff team other than Boston the playoffs were ultimately a disappointment. The last thing you want to do is relive that disappointment. 

The off season is a time all fans, and the teams they live and die for, are looking forward.  Everyone, with maybe the exception of Florida fans, believes there are great things ahead of them this year. 

So why is the NHL Network forcing this on us? This misery is not helping. 

It seems that is all the NHL Network has been running all summer. Granted, they gave us good draft coverage for a couple of days, and they even borrowed the R&D show from TSN. 

But other than that it’s been the 2010-2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs all over again. The games aren’t even the best games as it appears that it’s just random games. 

Don’t we deserve better than this from the league’s flagship network?  

Shouldn’t we expect better programming from the NHL Network? 

The NHL Network needs to watch some of the NFL and MLB Networks programming and take some much needed queues. Both of those networks do a far better job at promoting their respective games. 

For example, the NFL Network faced a lock out this off season that they handled it well. They had innovative ideas for series such as their Top 100 NFL Players of All Time. The series was well produced and got football fans talking. 

They, and MLB, are constantly running top-10 type shows.   

The NHL Network need look no further than the various web sites that cover the NHL, including their own. Sites like this one, and others, have found a way to continue to provide quality, informative and entertaining hockey content. 

The NHL Network gives us Game 3 of the second-round playoff series between two teams that didn’t make the finals. 

We don’t need that. 

Why doesn’t the NHL give us things like the top 100 of all time? Or steal any of the great slide shows from here on Bleacher Report and make it a show?  

Give us some previews of the season. Give us a breakdown of the free agent moves. How about a show on hockey strategy? Anything, please. 

The bottom line is that the NHL is missing a golden opportunity to keep its fan base connected to the product and maybe lure some new fans in as well. 

You’re not going to do that by forcing Game 4 of the Nashville-Anaheim first round series on us. We’ve seen that, we know who is going to win, it’s boring now. 

Thank you for putting up with my incessant whining, we now return you to your regularly scheduled Sidney Crosby Hand-Wringing.

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