First of all, if you haven’t read Patrick Hruby’s E-Ticket article on Fighting you should definitely give it a look over. With all the press the Roy incident gets and the Bertuzzis and Simons we’ve seen recently, a work like that can really give you a good perspective on fighting in the game. Just when I really start to rail on ESPN.com’s hockey coverage they come through with something completely different. Dang.
Reading a piece like that only makes me want to read The Code that much more. There is a whole world of hockey that people watching the game today miss, and I really want to understand that side of it. My inherent hockey IQ tells me that Andrew Peters is a waste of oxygen and Kaleta will be called a “turtle”, but I want to know these things for sure. One thing I do know is that after reading Hruby’s work, I may have to hit up a Crunch game this fall.
The Penguins/Red Wings match up is one the league would have killed for back in ’05. While
Comcast Versus would have loved a Flyers/Wings final , having Crosby and Malkin on the big stage will be the opportunity to promote the game the NHL has been waiting for. Think about how well the Winter Classic did against Bowl games on New Year’s Day with Sid the Kid on the ice. How much better can the NBC broadcast of Games Three and beyond do with the best trophy on the planet at stake?
Sports Media Watch thinks the broadcast could easily see a double digit increase of last year’s numbers. Based on the strong showing the NHL’s Saturday and Sunday broadcasts have had thus far, I can’t disagree with that. Even with a conflict in Detroit with the Pistons, the national broadcast still has many strong markets (Buffalo included) that will carry a higher number than previous finals with small market teams.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell wondered if this year’s Finals will bring any new hockey fans to the fold, and to be quite honest, it’s a good question. However, what I was more surprised about was this:
In other NHL news, I love the fact that the top selling item on NHL.com throughout the playoffs has been a replica Stanley Cup . As you can see this isn’t just some trinket. It’s two feet tall and it’s $250. Year over year sales for this replica cup are up 34 percent during the playoff period and 45 percent over the regular season.
I mean, that is pretty snazzy, but $250 is a lot to spend on a replica. I will admit that one of my favorite pieces of memorabilia is in fact a mini Stanley Cup, but that was given to me just for attending the first game post-lockout.
While it is very nice, it probably doesn’t hold as much value compared to a big boy like that. For example, this is what happened to many of them when the Bruins lost their first game in the “New NHL”:
There is a joke to be made about that garbage can but I’ll save it. I guess I’m satisfied with a plastic Stanley Cup until we win the real one, God forbid. Some people aren’t as content. Hey, it’s a better investment than one of those “Stanley 08” jerseys people buy. If I see one more person stand up and wave to the camera in one of those, the Stress Buffalo gets it.
[Thanks to Kuklas Korner for both links]