Hockey has been the Black Sheep of the sporting world in the US. They have looked for ways to get new viewers and this was the answer. A high scoring poster-boy everyone loves to hate that they shove down your throats. Like a David Beckham of hockey. Is it coincidence that scoring has gone through the roof over the last 10 years. No. People don't want to see tight games that end in 2-1 or for that matter 1-1. So they continue to pander to those people who never loved hockey in the first place and continue to change the setting and rules on the existing fans of the game. Shootouts anyone? Ovi-rated and Cindy draw viewers. That is why the 2011 Winter Classic is again with Pittsburgh and not one of the many other teams that are waiting for their frozen chance. Bury your head in the sand if you like, but Crosby is just part of the big corporate machine. Take him out of the equation and Hockey drops right back down in the ratings scale below water polo. It's a shame but it is true.
Read this for fun. Circa 2006.
I'll let you guess who fills the shoes of the "Controversy part".
I fail to see the problem with most of the points you've made. The scoring is not even close to what it was in the mid 80's early 90's.
The game has to evolve rule wise, I really don't have an issue with the game itself besides the hooking penalties and shootouts so I understand where you're coming from. But you have to make sacrifices to insure a future product, a league isn't just going to survive on past models/success. Hockey is growing as a sport, and in order to grow you have to adjust the game. Every sport has had to change, hockey is not going to be any different.
Marketing is about creating and promoting to new fans, not to cater to the fan that has been watching his whole life. And the league needs new fans in order to grow and be successful, it seems to me a necessary "evil". As long as they don't completely change the on-ice product(ban fighting etc.) I'm ok with almost anything they do to get new fans.
I don't get why people hate the new "bandwagon" fans. As a fan you have to start off at some point, and even though they may be annoying there is still a chance as the season's go by that they will learn the nuances and tradition of the game and become great and loyal fans. And to me that's what a "marketing" campaign should do.
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