Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Monica McAlister on 09/19/13 at 02:11 PM ET
Laughed at for most of the pre-season thus far is the National Hockey League rule against tucking in a jersey. Deemed a player safety issue the act of tucking in a jersey is now a two-minute delay of game penalty, as Carolina Hurricanes forward Alexander Semin found out last night as he became the first player to be assessed a penalty for the infraction.
As many laughed about the new spectacle of games being won or lost based on a penalty for a jersey tuck others have started to speculate about a more profitable meaning behind such a rule.
What could be profitable about the back end of a jersey being untucked? Dmitry Chesnokov may be right on with his tweet:
I wish the League was just honest and said: "Don't tuck the jersey because we're placing ads there. Soon." If that's indeed what it is.— Dmitry Chesnokov (@dchesnokov) September 19, 2013
If the NHL started putting advertisements on their game day jerseys they would be the first major sports league in North America to do so.
European hockey teams have been covered in advertisements for years and mocked by plenty in North America for covering more of the jersey than the teams own logo or the players name and number.
Coming back from another half season due to lockout with lost revenues for many teams and the league as a whole we are now seeing a flood of cash-and-grab ideas and this latest speculation about the jersey tuck rule makes logical sense.
As a business owner I am not going to pay to have my advertisement hidden so make a rule making it so that players can no longer ‘hide’ that part of the jersey. It keeps the advertisement (at least the first one) off of the front of the sweater and with players bending for face-offs and cameras covering chases down the ice it is a high profile area for the viewing audience.
One day I may be sitting down with my kids and telling them that I remember the days before advertisements were on jerseys, just as many are told of the good old days before advertisements covered the ice and boards as the game of ice hockey is becoming more business than game.
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