Sweden Again? No Thanks.

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Re: Sweden Again? No Thanks.

Postby Tico Rick on Mon Oct 06, 2008 7:58 pm

bhaw wrote:Jesse... I agree that the games in Europe shouldn't be for points. Here's a solution: send some NHL teams overseas to play some exhibition games vs European teams (like the preseason games but more of them). That way at least the home fans have a rooting interest in the outcome. It would accomplish the same things that the NHL is looking for and possibly more. Think about it...

Would you be more excited watching two KHL teams play each other in Madison Square Garden where you don't know the players or the teams? Or would you be more interested if Jagr's team came to the US to play the Rangers? Or Emery's team came back to play the Sens?


That analogy doesn't hold because the NHL is considered the best league in the world, and NHL fans are obviously not going to be as interested in watching a KHL game as European fans would be interesting in watching an NHL game. A more suitable analogy in terms of skill level would be: Would you rather see the Wheeling Nailers play the Johnstown Chiefs, or Jagr's team play Emery's team?
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Re: Sweden Again? No Thanks.

Postby Tomas on Mon Oct 06, 2008 8:01 pm

bhaw wrote:Jesse... I agree that the games in Europe shouldn't be for points. Here's a solution: send some NHL teams overseas to play some exhibition games vs European teams (like the preseason games but more of them). That way at least the home fans have a rooting interest in the outcome. It would accomplish the same things that the NHL is looking for and possibly more. Think about it...

Would you be more excited watching two KHL teams play each other in Madison Square Garden where you don't know the players or the teams? Or would you be more interested if Jagr's team came to the US to play the Rangers? Or Emery's team came back to play the Sens?


That's an incorrect comparison - KHL is not a step above the competition people usually get to see in MSG. I obviously was not in Prague, but based on what I was able to read about the trip (and it was a lot of stuff - NHL was the news of the week there, though every interview with a NY player was always "How do you miss Jagr?" :) ) the reason it was such a big deal and people were willing to pay $250 on average for watching the games was that this was a meaningful, unfiltered, prime-time real NHL action. Granted, people were more like observers of the game rather than fans (obviously), but I bet that you'd get nowhere near that level of interest/exposure if it was a pre-season friendly NY Rangers - Sparta Prague. A lot of articles the next day were themed "oh, so this is NHL hockey" (and were comparing everything from different strategy to game entertainment).

I am not sure there would be the same "novelty" element involved when/if NHL returns to Prague in 2009, but since there has been such an excess demand for tickets this year to see the games, coming back is probably the right strategy (if the goal is to maximize profits).
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Re: Sweden Again? No Thanks.

Postby Scott on Mon Oct 06, 2008 8:08 pm

Jesse wrote:If you're going to have games overseas, don't make them for points. It's as simple as that for me.

Opening weekend in the NHL went by unnoticed. People on the Flyers/Islanders boards didn't even know regulation games had begun yet.

The NHL could have had a mid-week splash that would have at least made one segment on ESPN.


I don't mind the games being for points, but if you want to kick off the season with a bang, regardless of Europe or USA, you don't kick the season off when people in the States are tuning in to college football. Then follow it up with a second game when the NFL is playing.

A Tuesday or Wednesday night would have been much better even if it was on a tape delay.

Thursday, Friday , Saturday, Sunday and Monday are NOT the days you want to kick off the season in the fall!
Thursday - usually a nice college football matchup on ESPN
Friday - High School Football (which one do you think wins out)
Saturday - College football all day long
Sunday - NFL all day long
Monday - Monday Night Football (which of course usually wins any ratings war in the fall)

Want an opening season impact...then don't kick the season off during these times. Once the season starts it doesn't really matter.
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Re: Sweden Again? No Thanks.

Postby shmenguin on Mon Oct 06, 2008 8:56 pm

Tico Rick wrote: I would have loved to have seen a round-robin tournament were the Pens play the Senators, Rangers and Lightning in four different cities.


yikes. no thank you. too much hassle.

players in other sports hate these types of games. but since there are only like 4 people associated with hockey who actually speak their minds, you'll never know how the players really felt about this trip. my guess is that almost all of them would prefer the standard way to start a season. with a relatively short offseason, players don't usually like when it's made even shorter.

i don't think it's a bad thing for the league but the pens should not be involved next year. rotate teams.
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Re: Sweden Again? No Thanks.

Postby Scott on Mon Oct 06, 2008 9:24 pm

shmenguin wrote:
Tico Rick wrote: I would have loved to have seen a round-robin tournament were the Pens play the Senators, Rangers and Lightning in four different cities.


yikes. no thank you. too much hassle.

players in other sports hate these types of games. but since there are only like 4 people associated with hockey who actually speak their minds, you'll never know how the players really felt about this trip. my guess is that almost all of them would prefer the standard way to start a season. with a relatively short offseason, players don't usually like when it's made even shorter.

i don't think it's a bad thing for the league but the pens should not be involved next year. rotate teams.


Right but the Pens should be involved in every winter classic game that is ever played! :lol:
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Re: Sweden Again? No Thanks.

Postby Draftnik on Tue Oct 07, 2008 12:18 am

Nearly every pro sports league wants to expand their global revenue streams. Building the NHL's brand overseas isn't going to make things worse in Nashville, Florida, Atlanta, Long Island, etc.

Building auxiliary revenue streams can't be indefinitely tabled as a business strategy to wait for the pipe dream of all 30 franchises being in good shape.
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Re: Sweden Again? No Thanks.

Postby Guido on Tue Oct 07, 2008 12:40 am

Just to expand a little more on Draftnik's comments...I don't want to make this sounds overly simplistic, but it's all about the money. It is a nice experience for the players, some of them to play in front of their home country, we get that. It's nice for the fans and the countries that would not regularly have the chance to see their favorite NHL teams and players, we get that as well. While those are positives, the overwhelming reason is to further invest in a new revenue stream for the league.

Think of it this way...Center Ice subscriptions, tickets to the games, merchandising, and future interest from foreign fans (and potential players) are all revenue sources from European season-openners. Here's the thing, is this money going to somehow be reinvested in Europe? Absolutely not, at least not until Euro-expansion, which does not seem to be imminent. The profits coming from Europe will help the NHL in North America.

Kicking off the season in Europe also does not necessarily hurt struggling NA markets. Nashville, Atlanta, Florida, Phoenix...they didn't lose a home game. The NHL could definitely do more to attract fans to these markets, but having 4 (or more, it doesn't really matter) teams open up a revenue stream in Europe does not directly affect what is happening with the Panthers or Thrashers or Predators.

I agree that the ice conditions should have been better and that it is a bit anti-climatic for the fans watching their teams open the season abroad, but in my opinion, I think the positives far outway the negatives.

One condition/suggestion for future reference...the teams should be rotated. If there are 8 teams openning the NHL season next year, it shouldn't be Ottawa or Pittsburgh or New York or Tampa Bay (or Anaheim and Los Angeles, for that matter). There should be some sort of rotation so that the process is somewhat fair from year to year.
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Re: Sweden Again? No Thanks.

Postby jaysmiter on Tue Oct 07, 2008 4:00 am

I agree with Samuelsson on this...

And to add my personal touch, it just sounds selfish and whiny to say "But, the NHL took a Pens home game away from us so they could give it to stupid Europe!"

Get over it. The crowd wasn't going to change how poorly the Pens power play played, or how bad of a call Godard's double minor was.

Just from the small sample size on this board, it seems like the Swedes had a good time and a lot of kids got to enjoy the NHL game...to me, that sounds like a solid move by Bettman at very little cost.
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Re: Sweden Again? No Thanks.

Postby Draftnik on Tue Oct 07, 2008 10:50 pm

http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11661_4259060,00.html

This is from the CEO of the EPL. The same statement applies to the NHL marketing their product to overseas fans:

"You can't patronise fans forever and just play meaningless matches and turn up for exhibition matches.

"The audience abroad are not silly. They are very sophisticated, they know a lot about our clubs and they want real and meaningful matches."
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Re: Sweden Again? No Thanks.

Postby pensfan20 on Tue Oct 07, 2008 11:10 pm

I am still surprised at the teams that they chose to go over. NYR are an original six team, so that makes sense, Pittsburgh cup finalist makes sense, but why Ottawa and Tampa? You would think they would have sent Detroit over and someone else either original six or a team that has loads of Europeans on it? Why not Washington? OV would have been a great guy to send over there. Maybe next year.
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Re: Sweden Again? No Thanks.

Postby ryan21081 on Wed Oct 08, 2008 4:48 am

I am still here in Stockholm so I do not have time to read this whole thread. But if you werent here you shouldnt be ripping anything. the atmosphere before the games was great and during there where three groups. Pens fans, Sens fans, and the Swedes who cheered for everything on both sides. that and a dozen random pittsburghers taking over a bar chanting LETS GO PENS and Later HERE WE GO STEELERS was priceless. Half the league is European. why not play 4 games out of 3600 abroad? I met 6 of the players and ran into Staal and Kennedy walking down the street in old town like tourists......
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Re: Sweden Again? No Thanks.

Postby meecrofilm on Wed Oct 08, 2008 12:37 pm

Then there's this also.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... rss&feed=8

Seems like a tough task for the Pens to overcome the runner-up curse AND the overseas curse =/
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