Kukla's Korner

Canucks and Beyond

Branding in the NHL

imageI've been miserably sick for the last week, so a bit behind the times with most things hockey. (Miss 604's fault, incidentally. I had dinner with her and John last Saturday night and apparently she was sick afterwards as well. Clearly she poisoned us both.) Anyway, other than Jan Bulis retiring (I mean, continuing his career in Russia...) not much else seems to be happening except for complaining about the new Vancouver uniforms. I'm not a big fan of the new fashions myself, but I think we all know that the Canucks can do much worse. We got off lucky, if you ask me. (For more jersey gossip, Hockey Blog in Canada has the release dates for the remaining RBK uniforms to be unveiled. Perhaps Canucks fans will be in a position to make fun of someone else soon). One thing I do like as a result of the re-design is the new-look Canucks website that was also rolled out last week. The blue and green looks great. In fact, generally speaking, I don't have many complaints about that site at all anymore (*with the exception of those toxic fan message boards). But whatever your opinion of it, you should at least concede that the Canucks have their acts together online better than some others. Back in July, Wise Geek did some research into the four major professional sports leagues, looking at the issue of which leagues own their own domains and which teams did not. You'd think this would be a no-brainer in the corporate world... but apparently not. In fact, the NHL is in the worst shape of all the pro-sports leagues, as Wise Geek notes that the "National Hockey League (NHL) has by far the lowest percentage of team name domains, where just 27% of their teams' domain is an official team site."

As we’ve seen, most of the league has been turning the team websites into subsets of NHL.com (ie. enter “canucks.com” or “vancouvercanucks.com” as a URL and you’ll find yourself at “canucks.nhl.com” these days).  But that’s fine.  The problem lies with those teams that don’t even own their name to re-direct to their own site—and again from Wise Geek, “Nearly half (14/30) of hockey team names names are actually parked with ads!” 

In some of these cases, it’s understandable the team couldn’t own all the domain name possibilities (eg. Florida and Los Angeles are excused). But some are just idiotic—Edmonton, Detroit and a couple others should have bit the bullet years ago to own the domains oilers.com and redwings.com, for example.

Below is Wise Geek’s list of domain-challenged NHL teams.

NHL Team Names Not Under Official Ownership

  • Colorado Avalanche, avalanche.com: page of ads.  Official Avalanche site: ColoradoAvalanche.com
  • Chicago Blackhawks, blackhawks.com: redirects to cnews.com,  page of ads.  Official Blackhawks site: ChicagoBlackhawks.com
  • St. Louis Blues, blues.com: page of ads.  Official Blues site: StLouisBlues
  • Boston Bruins, bruins.com: page of ads.  Official Bruins site: BostonBruins.com
  • Washington Capitals, capitals.com: page of ads.  Official Capitals site: WashingtonCapitals.com
  • Phoenix Coyotes, coyotes.com: page of ads.  Official Coyotes site: Phoenixcoyotes.com
  • New Jersey Devils, devils.com: redirects to fansuperstore.com; retail sports teams site.  Official Devils site: NewJerseyDevils.com
  • Anaheim Ducks, ducks.com: redirects to Bass Pro Shops; retail fishing site.  Official Ducks site: AnaheimDucks.com
  • Calgary Flames, flames.com: page of ads.  Official Flames site: CalgaryFlames.com
  • Philadelphia Flyers, flyers.com: privately owned fan site about Philadelphia Flyers.  Official Flyers site: PhiladelphiaFlyers.com
  • New York Islanders, islanders.com: owned by Traveler.com LLC; tourist site for island destinations.  Official Islanders site: NewYorkIslanders.com
  • Los Angeles Kings, kings.com: owned by NBA team Sacramento Kings.  Official Kings site: LAKings.com
  • Tampa Bay Lightning, lightning.com: page of ads.  Official Lightening site: TampaBayLightning.com
  • Edmonton Oilers, oilers.com: page of ads.  Official Oilers site: EdmontonOilers.com
  • Florida Panthers, panthers.com: owned by NFL team Carolina Panthers.  Official Panthers site: FloridaPanthers.com
  • Pittsburgh Penguins, penguins.com: page of ads.  Official Penguins site: Pittsburgh Penguins
  • Nashville Predators, predators.com: page of ads.  Official Predators site: NashvillePredators.com
  • New York Rangers, rangers.com: page of ads.  Official Rangers site: NYRangers.com
  • Detroit Red Wings, redwings.com: page of ads.  Official Red Wings site: DetroitRedWings.com
  • San Jose Sharks, sharks.com: page of ads.  Official Sharks site: SJSharks.com
  • Dallas Stars, stars.com: broken.  Official Stars site: DallasStars.com
  • Atlanta Thrashers, thrashers.com: page of ads.  Official Thrashers site: AtlantaThrashers.com


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About Canucks and Beyond

Alanah McGinley has been blogging hockey since 2003 (with a notable gap in time through 2010, kicking it with new baby Lucy while living knee-deep in chaos while reading "parenting for complete idiots" during every spare minute) sharing opinions, rants and not-so-deep thoughts with anyone who will listen.

In addition to writing Canucks & Beyond and helping manage Kukla's Korner, Alanah was one of the founders and co-hosts of The Crazy Canucks Podcast. She has contributed pieces to FoxSports.com and the New York Times Slapshot blog, as well as other stray destinations in cyberspace.

So that's me. Who the hell are you? smile

Email: am@kuklaskorner.com

Alanah's Twitter: [@alanah1]