Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 01/01/14 at 08:37 PM ET
from Steve Keating of Reuters at WHTC,
The National Hockey kicked of 2014 with the biggest hockey bash ever on Wednesday, firing the opening salvo in a 'shock-and-awe' campaign designed to turn casual fans into avid ones.
An announced record hockey crowd of 105,491 braved brutal conditions to fill massive Michigan Stadium for the NHL's outdoor Winter Classic as the Toronto Maple Leafs clinched a 3-2 shootout win over the Detroit Red Wings.
Over the next three months the NHL will play outdoor games from Los Angeles to New York featuring iconic franchises in historic settings in an unprecedented push to claim more ground in an escalating battle for a larger slice of the North American sporting landscape.
Emboldened by a new 12-year $5.2 billion Canadian television rights deal, labor peace and increasing talk of expansion, a bullish NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has embarked on what one sport marketing expert described as a campaign of "shock-and-awe".
In my opinion, one of the most unexpected tweets of the day.
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