Breaking Sports

Saturday, June 18, 2005

nhl- Selling the Game

from the Rocky Mountain News, Indications are positive that the NHL will resume play in the fall as officials from the league and NHL Players' Association continue to make progress in negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement.
The parties met for more than 28 hours over four days this week and are scheduled to meet Monday in Toronto.
It's even possible an agreement could be in place by the end of the month, but NHL commissioner Gary Bettman might need to do quite a sales job to lure back hockey fans.
"If we can reach an agreement and have a couple of months to prepare for a season, we can sell it as a different product instead of just saying, 'OK, we signed an agreement, the NHL is back,' " Colorado Avalanche defenseman Rob Blake said. "If it's going to be the same old thing, then we're going to have the same problems that we had before.
"If there was any one positive thing about a whole-year lockout, it's that both sides understand we need to create a better show. The structure of our game is great, but I do think there's some different things we can do to create a little more open ice and allow the exciting players to be more exciting."
League officials are considering several rules changes to make the game more entertaining and allow star players to showcase their talents without being mauled all over the ice.
"It's a lot easier in Sweden because you have a bigger ice surface and there's no red line," Peter Forsberg said. "There's more room and you don't get grabbed every single second."...continued...