FanDuel - WFBC

May 30, 2003

Could Marketing Defense Save Hockey?: Interesting concept in this column: that the NFL and MLB both successfully market defensive players (pitchers in baseball), but that the NHL has squandered the chance to market guys like Brodeur and Pronger because it pours millions into Mario and the other offensive "stars" in the league. In any event, it's odd that Bettman is now defending 2-1 games after years of slamming them.

posted by pucksnsuds to hockey at 02:52 PM - 7 comments

The NHL doesn't market anything.

posted by Samsonov14 at 03:53 PM on May 30

Personally, I'm in the camp that thinks that the defence-first style of play is killing hockey. I understand why teams, especially expansion teams, do it. Quite simply, without a bigger budget and the ability to sign more offensive-minded players, the only way to achieve any measure of success is to keep the other teams from scoring and take those 1 goal games. I think that within hockey fandom, good defensive players are given a lot of credit. Many people (myself included) love to see goaltenders make great saves...it's one of the exciting elements of the game. I found that watching Gigeure in the first two rounds was a lot of fun as he was facing a lot of shots and coming up with some amazing saves to keep his team in there. I also like Brodeur, but how much fun is it watching him face 16 (relatively weak) shots in a game? As for the marketing of the game...hockey's a hard enough sell in the U.S....but marketing the defensive side of it is pure death. Soccer has never really achieved mainstream success, but if they were trying to market it, I doubt their pitch would be "Hey it's a great defensive game...look at all our 0-0 and 1-0 scores!".

posted by filmgoerjuan at 10:54 AM on May 31

As a Bruins fan, I'm in a weird situation hockey-wise because I've lost interest in the sport anyway due to my team's clear intention of never doing what it takes to assemble a championship team. Having said that, who the fuck wants to watch the New Jersey Devils and their ilk smother teams all the way to a Cup? My personal guide to Hockey2K3: If, after the first goal of the game, the color guy says, "That's all they need. Now they just need to protect that goal for the next 58 minutes," it's time to change the channel.

posted by yerfatma at 12:25 PM on May 31

I don't think New Jersey's game is boring at all. I thoroughly enjoyed the series against Ottawa; lots of rushes, lots of checking, good chances. New Jersey's game gets boring if teams don't learn to adapt to the trap (which they have had years to do); that's a fault of the team playing them, not their system. They counter attack well and they break out when they need to, but if a team like Anaheim can't figure out a way to get more than 16 shots against them, it's due to a lack of talent/adaptive ability, not an attempt to "boring" up the game by the Devils.

posted by therev at 01:11 PM on May 31

I'm all for marketing goalies...Roy was one of the best, but nobody could call his game boring because he could also do some bone headed things as well (statue of liberty), but remember that is also something we like to see excitment, even if it was a fairly boring play. I really think the trap blows, but since I can't change the rules I guess I have to live with it, besides no team that plays in a location that never receives snow should NEVER win the cup.

posted by ITLinebacker at 02:48 PM on May 31

...besides no team that plays in a location that never receives snow should NEVER win the cup. Why? Since NHL games are played inside of a building, I see no relevance in what is happening outside of the building. Besides, I'm sure that most hockey players that are on a team in the South are real sad that they get to play golf (nearly) year 'round.

posted by NoMich at 04:04 PM on May 31

...there's just something to be said for kids playing on the local frozen slab before they go home and warm up for the Saturday night game. Much like a black top game breaking for the Knicks. Ah, idealism: the fuel of my youth.

posted by garfield at 12:53 PM on June 02

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