Breaking Sports

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

nhl- Restoring Faith

from the Palm Beach Post, A deal is imminent. But for the NHL and its 30 teams, labor peace means the real work is just beginning.
A collective bargaining agreement that will end the lockout is expected in seven to 10 days. Repairing the damage caused by a full season without hockey is certain to take years.
"The people in the game have to realize it's the sixth, seventh or eighth sport now," said Boca Raton-based sports agent Larry Rauch, who has represented Hall of Famers Brad Park and Rod Gilbert. "It can come back but not without a major effort by everybody."
Even the most intense hockey fan "has been emotionally scarred," said Jupiter's Rick Horrow, a sports business specialist and visiting professor at Harvard. "He has to be brought back with great care, and he needs to understand that five years from now, hockey will be better for what has happened."
The Panthers aren't waiting for a new contract before getting started. Chief Operating Officer Michael Yormark said the team will start a "guerrilla marketing" campaign this week built around the slogan, "There's a cold front coming in." Another campaign will begin after the agreement is ratified, and yet another in advance of training camp in September.
"It's almost like launching an expansion team again," Yormark said of the team that was born in 1993. "There's going to be a lot of curiosity and excitement about hockey coming back, and we need to feed off that. We need to duplicate what we did in Year 1 at Miami Arena."...more...