Up to this point I hope that most, if not all of you thought of this as a conceptual idea for fun instead of a literal rule, but let’s explore that side of it. Let’s say the NHL adopts this rule, how often do you get to change the dimensions of your ice? Every season, 5, 10? Whatever way you want to slice it, if you think about it, this could be a TV opportunity.
My recommendation would be only the team drafting 1st overall can change their rink in any given season; with an exception for teams to change their rink every 10 years (voluntary) if they never draft 1st. From a TV perspective, you give a team coming off a bad season, a small window of exposure with the hope to generate some buzz in their market. This gives the team a chance to tailor a rink to their existing nucleus or the future one planned around Prospect X. All of this while being able to pitch the team’s direction to local fans in order to help sell tickets.
If we flip the script and look at this from a Player and the Player Association’s perspective, I think there is a potential marketing and sponsorship opportunity. I tend to believe that with this rule, fans will start to watch more out of market games to watch the style of play they enjoy. Not to mention borderline casual fans may jump on a bandwagon if they like a style of play they didn’t know existed. If either of these were to occur that’s more exposure for player’s and that means more opportunity to monetize their skills and themselves if they choose.
And then there’s the Playoffs……Home Ice Advantage was already king, how important is Game 7 now?! From a business standpoint, just think of how easy it becomes to Market the NHL playoffs. The playoffs are already the NHL’s top Marketing tool to grow their fan base and I like what they have done since partnering up with NBC’s marketing team. Now give them this, it basically sells itself.
Finally, what better way to build a team that reflects the community they play in! How many teams and fan bases have you thought of since you started reading? I already mentioned The Broad Street Bullies, but just imagine the late 80’s Oilers playing on an Olympic Size Rink or The Habs of the 70s! Just think of some of the markets these teams play in! Vegas would obviously play a flashy, fun to watch, all skill system on an Olympic size rink. Or a team full of Tkachuck’s in Calgary playing on a small surface with their combination of skill, grit and the perfect amount of pest. Again I think the opportunities are endless.
This is all a fun hypothetical to play and discussing the business side makes it seem real, if only for a brief moment. Would it be crazy to think we could make this a rule? To go from Blog to Pro Sports rule? The Hot Sauce movement?
A Dreamer; I am.