Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Susan Krashinsky of the Globe and Mail,
TV viewers of the games have been seeing a virtual overlay on the boards that allows a single brand at a time to take over all of the boards in the Air Canada Centre.
The digitally enhanced boards are the result of a two-year process involving the NHL, its broadcasters, and London-based Supponor, which provides hardware that uses infrared signals to replace the on-site boards with digital ad images during the broadcasts. It’s the first time the NHL has experimented with this kind of technology, which has already been used by La Liga in Spain for ads alongside soccer pitches.
“We saw it as a huge opportunity for us,” said Keith Wachtel, the NHL’s executive vice-president of global partnerships.
That’s because regular rink boards cannot compensate for the fact that TV audiences are spread out. The NHL has different marketing partnerships by region, not all of which are relevant to all TV viewers. Where most Canadian viewers have been seeing a string of ads from brands such as Tim Hortons, Canadian Tire and Bank of Nova Scotia around the rink, viewers on TVA have seen French-language boards; U.S. viewers tuning in through ESPN have seen ads for brands such as Geico and DraftKings; and global feeds have carried advertising targeted to audiences outside North America.
from Matt Higgins and Curtis Rush of the New York Times,
Adam Oates was an unemployed N.H.L. coach in the spring of 2015 when he tuned in to watch the N.B.A. finals.
At one point, the broadcast turned to a discussion about LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers and his use of a private shooting coach, Idan Ravin, who had also worked with Kobe Bryant and others. Oates already knew that the Dallas Mavericks’ sharpshooting forward, Dirk Nowitzki, had been tutored by a coach, Holger Geschwindner.
“It got me thinking that there might be some guys that want a little extra attention or extra thoughts, depending on their schedule,” Oates said of N.H.L. players. “So I reached out to a couple guys, and every single guy said, ‘Yeah, I’d love that.’”
Oates, a Hall of Fame center, knew from a 19-year playing career, a stint as a coach for the Washington Capitals from 2012 to 2014, and his time as an assistant for the Devils that an N.H.L. staff scarcely has time to devote to individual players. He also knew that in the past dozen years, players have been ramping up their commitment to nutrition, fitness and skill development.
“We’re trying every new pill, shake, workout — trying to improve, right?” he said about his pitch. “I’m like, ‘O.K., why don’t you work on your craft?’”
Should the NHL use it for their games?
NEW YORK (Sept. 19, 2016) – The National Hockey League and Los Angeles Kings today unveiled the 2017 NHL® All-Star logo as the team prepares to host the League’s showcase of stars for the third time in Los Angeles from Friday, Jan. 27 through Sunday, Jan. 29 at STAPLES Center.
Designed by NHL Creative Services, the 2017 NHL® All-Star logo was designed to incorporate elements of Los Angeles and the hometown Kings. The trendy urban “LA” features the Kings’ trademark colors of black, gray and white. In addition, the gold and jeweled typography of the “LA” is a nod to the glitz and glamour of the city, which is home to the stars of Hollywood and host to many major awards shows, including the Academy Awards, the Emmy Awards and Grammy Awards. The three points of the star in the logo signifies the third time Los Angeles has hosted NHL® All-Star weekend (1981, 2002, 2017). The four stars represents each NHL Division.
from Jack Todd at the Montreal Gazette,
Truth is, creativity isn’t dying in the NHL. It’s being murdered by the coaches. Fans here rant about Michel Therrien and his much-maligned system, but that system is the norm. The rarity is a coach like Nashville’s Peter Laviolette or Tampa Bay’s Jon Cooper who will give talented players some room for manoeuvre. When there’s no room for a P.K. Subban or a Taylor Hall in your “system,” maybe it’s the system that should go.
It’s not that today’s players aren’t skilled or that what we’re seeing from Toronto isn’t good hockey. It’s an incredibly fast and physical game, but it’s all paint-by-numbers. Babcock’s method in international hockey is to take all that skill and use it to strangle an opponent, the way a python squeezes its prey. An early goal or two can turn it into a rout, but the plan is more the 1-0 or 2-1 game. It’s effective, alright — but it’s about as much fun as a tax audit.
more plus additional topics...
SNEAK PEEK AT SATURDAY’S ACTION
All Times Eastern
Team USA @ Team Europe, 3:30 p.m., ESPN2, SN, TVAS
Team Czech Republic @ Team Canada, 8 p.m., ESPNEWS, SN, TVAS
WORLD CUP OF HOCKEY 2016 BEGINS WITH TWO GAMES
The World Cup of Hockey 2016 begins today with two games at Air Canada Centre:
* Team USA, who finished 2-1-0 in pre-tournament play, meets Team Europe in the opening game of the tournament. Derek Stepan paced Team USA with 2-2—4 and tied for the club lead with a +4 rating in three exhibition outings. Jonathan Quick, who will start between the pipes, stopped 62 of the 65 shots he faced in pre-tournament action (1.80 GAA, .954 SV%). Leon Draisaitl (3-0—3) sparked Team Europe to its lone win in exhibition play with a hat trick in the club’s pre-tournament finale. Jaroslav Halak gets the starting nod in net after registering 73 saves on 81 shots against in three exhibition appearances (2.86 GAA, .901 SV%).
* Team Canada and Team Czech Republic, who both went 2-1-0 in pre-tournament contests, then face off in the nightcap. Drew Doughty, the reigning Norris Trophy winner, paced Team Canada with 1-3—4 and a +5 rating during exhibition play. Carey Price will start in net after stopping 45-of-50 shots in pre-tournament action (2.44 GAA, .900 SV%). Team Czech Republic is led by captain Tomas Plekanec, who shared first overall with three goals in three exhibition games. Team Czech Republic has yet to name its starter in goal after Michal Neuvirth (0.63 GAA, .978 SV%) and Petr Mrazek (4.04 GAA, .872 SV%) each saw pre-tournament action.
With NHL players’ participation in the 2018 Winter Olympics uncertain, the World Cup can be a major international marketing venture and source of revenue for players and the league, who get nothing from the Olympics and face the prospect of paying for transportation and insurance at Pyeongchang, South Korea. The entire World Cup will be played at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre.
The setup is somewhat contrived, and players have been hurt. Dallas got a scare when forward Tyler Seguin injured his foot in an exhibition game, but it’s not considered serious. A few players declined to take part, and Ducks center Rickard Rakell of Sweden was replaced after he fell ill. But it’s the kind of elite competition players crave, and the North American “young guns” will get attention and international experience at a precocious age.
-Helene Elliott of the LA Times where you can read more on the World Cup.
As long as a score is recorded then these NHL-World “teams” will certainly put in some kind of effort – and that is what the NHL is banking on. They hope that players (and fans) forget the artificial construction of this marketing event and think instead about the flag stitched on the front of the jerseys.
All except “Team Europe” and “Team North America” — it would be a disaster for the NHL’s World Cup of Hockey if one of those phony teams won this thing. Best not to think about that.
But I’ve got my chant going already: “Go Team Europe! Go Team North America!”
-Timothy Gassen at the Arizona Daily Star where you can read more on the World Cup of Hockey.
A Winnipeg couple say they will file a human rights complaint against the NHL for a policy requiring their breastfeeding baby to have a full-price ticket to the upcoming Heritage Classic, even after the league apologized and offered them free tickets.
Clifford Anderson and Shalyn Meady went public with their concerns earlier this week, after learning they would have to spend an extra $400 for their six-month-old son, William, to attend the 2016 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic at Investors Group Field in Winnipeg next month....
On Thursday, Anderson told CBC News that the NHL's vice-president of marketing contacted him to offer two complimentary tickets.
"They were very polite and apologized for the fact that we were unhappy with the situation and offered us tickets, two tickets to the Heritage Classic," he said.
However, he said there were two catches — the couple could not publicize the ticket offer if they accepted it, and he was told similar arrangements would not be offered to other families with young children.
Anderson said they declined the league's offer. Instead, he and Meady want the NHL to change its policy so families can bring children under the age of two to the Heritage Classic game without tickets.
from Nick Wells of CTV,
A Winnipeg couple is willing to drop the gloves with National Hockey League after they were told to buy a $400 ticket for their six-month-old son to attend the 2016 Heritage Classic game.
Clifford Anderson and Shalyn Meady say they shelled out $800 for two tickets several months ago, and only recently discovered they would need to buy another ticket for their infant son.
The 2016 Heritage Classic will feature the Winnipeg Jets taking on the Edmonton Oilers at Investors Group Field on Oct. 23.
Anderson said he contacted the Winnipeg Jets and was referred to the National Hockey League.
"Everyone needs a ticket and everyone needs a seat, including babies," said Anderson. "That's what I was told."
Watch a CTV Winnipeg report below...
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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