Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 09/10/12 at 11:58 AM ET
from Craig Custance of ESPN,
Through social media, players are winning the PR battle and fans are starting to organize, but it's hard to tell if it will make any difference at all in the big picture.
"I think it will for sure," Oilers captain Shawn Horcoff said. "Last time, minus Twitter, in a lot of ways Gary [Bettman] and the league could control what gets said in the media. Now, it's almost impossible. It's already happened a couple times where Gary has made a statement and, literally three minutes later, it's being rebuffed and proven not to be true."
Through it all, the NHL and its teams have remained quiet on the social media front during CBA negotiations. The last tweet from Bettman (@Commish_Gary) came in April 2009. The NHL's official Twitter page has avoided the labor talks, focusing on environmental initiatives around the league.
There wasn't even a snarky tweet from the L.A. Kings pointing out the difference between revenue and profit or net and gross when the NHL's own revenue media release was used against it.
There seems to be a realization in NHL offices that little is gained in publicly alienating the players, the lifeblood of the league. At some point there's going to be a deal struck and the two sides will have to work together. The league needs the players not only for games but to cooperate with the expanding media empire at NHL Network and NHL.com.
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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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