There's a rumor floating around that I heard the other day on The Fan 590 radio station. The rumour is about possible changes to the trophies that are handed out by the NHL each year.
The rumour is not a substantiated one. It was more a remark made by someone, that was, as usual, blown out of proportion. Nonetheless, I felt it was a topic worth exploring.
The question was, is it time to "update" the trophies? The reason for the question? The powers that be in the NHL are mildly concerned that the younger generation of NHL hockey fans just don't identify with the names that are already on the trophies.
They may have a point.
But should the NHL take such a drastic step for the sole purpose of getting more TV ratings for one annual event?
I don't think that many of the younger generation of hockey fans even watch the awards show. Hell, you'd have trouble finding anyone of my generation (40+) that watches it anymore unless they had a vested interest in it (media, bloggers etc.).
That said, the NHL, in my opinion, would risk the wrath of legions of traditional hockey fans by even attempting such an endeavor. I, for one, would not be a happy man.
The often-mocked hockey analyst on CBC's Satellite Hotstove, Mike Milbury, made his first constructive point of the new millennium when he chimed in on the topic.
"This is about the history of the game," said Milbury. "I know the players are a big part of it, but there are some other people in the business that had something to do with it. The names are good, they run with history. Leave it alone."
I am one of those hockey purists in a way I suppose. I believe that there is nothing wrong with the odd hockey fight. The winner of the game, should get two points. I don't much care how you arrive at who wins and who loses (I actually like the current format). But, the winner gets two points, that's it!
I also think that the problem with the NHL Awards Show has nothing to do with the names on the trophies. People are simply disinterested as a whole. If you are a Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh Penguins, or New Jersey Devils fan, one of your players may be up for a major award, so you watch.
But, as a fan of one of the other 27 teams in the league, until Phil Kessel or Nazem Kadri win the scoring title, I really have very little interest.