Ten Things The NHL Can Do To Win Back Its Fans
Damage control time. Here’s ten ways Gary and the boys can win back the fans
- Free Game Center Live – We’ve heard a few different reporters claim that giving away NHL Center Ice would be a nice give back to fans. Not going to happen. As detailed here, the NHL does not own the channel exclusively. And it would require cooperation among all cable and satellite companies. Not gonna happen in ten days. BUT, the NHL could give away the premium version of their Game Center Live app. This would allow fans access to live video, radio, highlights etc.
- Apologize - Bettman and Fehr need to apologize. Not just to the fans. To the employees, the bar owners, the vendors. Everyone. This was too long without pay for too little progress. It’s unacceptable and both need to publicly apologize.
- Hockey Backgrounds at the Helm – Both NHL and NHLPA need to start grooming leadership successors. This lockout was frustrating as the main parties involved have never played a game of hockey in their lives. Both groups need to make sure they have strong leadership with hockey backgrounds moving forward. Former wing Brendan Shannahan seems a likely candidate to fit the mold.
- NHL Network Upgrade – How could the NHL Network not put a few suits in a studio to break the end of the lockout? It’s unacceptable. Put some real programming on there, get some non-infomercial advertisements and let’s go. I’m embarrassed to watch that channel when company is over. There’s plenty of bloggers and wannabe sportscasters that need some tape. Pay them peanuts and make some TV.
- Social Media – Any messaging should be announcing giveaways, incentives or “thank you” to the fans. Everything else you post is just going to be ripped apart. Look at any post in the last four months for proof
- Don’t Write Something Stupid On The Blue Line – It was nice first go around. Now it would be insulting. Please don’t remind us that this happens regularly.
- Better National Broadcast Team in the States – NBC’s crew, and I’ll just come right out and say it, Pierre McGuire, seem to be universally disliked by the fans. I respect Doc and Eddie O, but we’ve had the same crew since 2006. Let’s try something new. There’s plenty of talent out there.
- Allow Players To Continue To Play For Country – We deserve it. The world deserves to be able to watch it. Continue to grow your game internationally. Improve the likelihood of players to participate in the World Championships. Or improve coverage for fans of teams not in the playoffs.
- Consistency On Suspensions and Fines – I thought last year, Brendan Shannahan’s use of video to explain suspensions was tremendous. However, to fine Shea Weber a few grand and suspend Raffi Torres 25 games is inexcusable. We need more consistency. I get that lots of factors go into these decisions I thought the Dept. of Player Safety had a terrible postseason. In the words of Mr. Cherry “Smarten Up!”
- Deport One Of The Following - Bettman, Fehr, Pitbull, Ice Cube, the guy who books Pitbull and Ice Cube’s advertising gigs.