This new, regular feature on NHLNumbers will share interesting stats-related posts from around the web almost every day.
Welcome. In this space you will be able to find the best analytical hockey writing from around the internet on a close-to-daily basis. Subject matter will include statistical evaluation, financial analysis, contractual issues, and (sometimes) closely-related tangential works. If you have something you would like to submit for a future edition (your writing or that of someone else) feel free to send it to me via Twitter @JoshL1220 or leave a comment.
David Rogers of Awful Announcing starts us off today with a story about the laughable coverage the NHL Network has provided of the lockout.
Their lack of coverage isn’t surprising. Despite being labeled “NHL Network” the channel is notoriously late with news and coverage of breaking events. They’re either way behind or they don’t cover the breaking story at all. Fans are better off getting their breaking news elsewhere and relying on the network only for the handful of games they cover during the year.
However, you’d think that when it comes to the end of the lockout, one of the biggest news stories to emerge from the NHL since the last lockout ended, that the network would interrupt their normal schedule of old programming and discuss the new agreement and start analyzing how an abbreviated season will play out. They’d see an instant ratings hike with people tuning in for all the details and stories they want clarity on. Fans would return in waves, hoping to find talk on which players need contracts, how the new deal will effect free agency and what this means for the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Compare this situation to other sports where league networks like NBA TV, NFL Network, and MLB Network are well ahead in offering relevant news coverage. You’d have a tough time not hearing about it. Meanwhile, the NHL knows it doesn’t have many friends over at ESPN. In-depth coverage there will be tough to come by. Unlike other sports, the NHL needs to provide coverage personally on their own network or on their affiliate, NBC Sports Network, which also failed to cut into its outdoor programming with the story.
It may not be the first priority, but significantly improving NHL Network should be a goal of the NHL with the lockout over. The opportunities for exposure are there if only the league would take steps to utilize what they have in front of them. More after the jump.
*Timo Seppa discussed the VUKOTA projections for the upcoming NHL season. Tyler Dellow replied by questioning how accurate they really are.
* Daryl Reaugh wrote about how the NHL should let TV take a bigger role in growing the game. It’s an excellent read.
* At Hockey Prospectus, Ryan Wagman looks at potential buyout candidates in the Eastern Conference.
* At Defending Big D I explored the Dallas Stars 2013/14 Salary Cap obligations.
* The Dallas Stars and Dallas Cowboys have had a Twitter fight. The casualty? Tony Romo. Sean Gentille describes the action. He screen capped the tweet:
I believe that is when the Stars PR department dropped the mic and went home. I’ll follow their lead and do the same.