by Patrick Hoffman on 01/09/10 at 11:37 AM ET
This past week, I did another e-mail interview with Millian, host of “The Blue Line: Hockey Talk Radio”.
We discussed the Winter Classic, World Juniors and the 2010 Winter Olympics:
PH: What did you think of the Winter Classic? Did you think that it was a success, disappointment, exciting, boring, etc. Why?
M: I definitely thought it was a success, despite the ratings being down. I saw a lot of non-hockey fans paying attention, and a lot of people who watched the game online, or in Canada who did not factor into the ratings. I thought the game itself was pretty exciting, in that we saw the first fight in the WC as well as the first overtime win, and win by the home team. So, it set a lot of firsts. Overall, big success for the league, just for the intangibles.
PH: Where do you think the league should hold the Winter Classic next season? Why?
M: I would like to see a stadium somewhere that can hold 100,000 people, and somewhere they can setup field level seating. I think the next milestone the league should shoot for, is to break the record for the largest outdoor hockey crowd. The last 2 have been in the 30-40K occupant range, so I think its time they swing for the fence, and set a record. From what I understand there are arenas in Minnesota, NY, and Pennsylvania that can pull that off. I am also not opposed to holding the game in Canada for one year, but they’re are going to do a second one to address that.
PH: Do you think the league should consider holding two Winter Classic’s each season going forward? Why or why not?
M: I think they need to make a distinction. The US version should be called the Winter Classic and the Canadian version should be called the Heritage Classic. Both can be tailored to the respective country’s holidays and hockey preferences. I was initially against the idea, however, I can see the reasoning for doing two. My worry is in the diluting of the product. So, I hope that doesn’t become an issue.
PH: As you know, the US Junior Hockey team defeated Canada to win the gold at the World Junior Championships. What do you think this means, if anything, for hockey in the US?
M: Not a damn thing.
PH: Where do you think team USA will finish in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver? Why?
M: The Aluminum Medal is my best guess. Or, the “Thank You for Participating” award. Brian Burke made a big fuss about how they’re coming to win it all, then turns to say they’re undersized, inexperienced and the underdog; claiming also that Canada, Russia, and Sweden are the teams to beat. If the GM feels this way, why should the team bother? Not a way to build hope and morale.
PH: Any other words of wisdom that you would like to share with readers here at Kukla’s Korner?
M: On my new segment, Millian’s Daily Fix, we discussed a rule change which I think makes a lot of sense. When a penalty shot is called, the coach should have the right to choose between taking the penalty shot, or a 2-minute penalty; whichever he feels is better. Penalty shots are exciting, but like the shootout, people feel it’s a skills competition. This way the coach gets a stake in making the right call, and has the opportunity to select a team approach, instead of one-on-one skills. So, I would like some feedback on this. People can check out the Daily Fix on my site at www.bluelinetalkradio.com and can email me with their opinion at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Otherwise, special thanks to KK listeners for their time….
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at email@example.com.