I know, I know. The CWHL and NWHL don't have a whole lot of traction right now. And the NHL is always going to promote its own product.
But how much did the league really gain by slighting the women's Winter Classic so severely?
A running clock. No over-time or shootout. No TV broadcast. Not even an Internet live-stream. And for what? This:
@brendanporter Now NHLN is live and they only mentioned it off the top Meanwhile reporters are doing live shots with the game in background— Richard Flores (@RFlores91) December 31, 2015
The NHL wasted a tremendous opportunity to highlight the strides women's hockey in North America has taken over the past few years. It missed out on a compelling (if truncated) game between the Boston Pride and Les Canadiennes. And it missed out on a chance to inspire young female hockey fans across the continent into picking up the game.
So what did the NHL choose to devote its airtime to? Extended coverage of the practice that occurred that morning.
Tell 'em, Hilary pic.twitter.com/VthZHgnie2— Kat (@KatHemming) December 31, 2015
Hope it was worth it.
- One of the best lines from this report on the Women's Winter Classic was that "the NHL has pledged to throw its social media machine behind the game." What did that amount to? Two retweets. No Instagram posts. No Facebook posts. No mention of the game anywhere on the front page of NHL.com.
- It's one thing to not be able to put a multimedia marketing campaign together fast enough. It's another thing entirely to provide practically no coverage on platforms the league exclusively controls.
- So Arizona plays the New Jersey Devils on January 16th at 7 PM in Glendale. The Arizona Cardinals will play their NFC Divisional Playoff game on January 16th at 6:15 PM in Glendale. Hope you're ready to sit in traffic.
- New Jersey's next game is a home game on Tuesday, January 19th. I wonder if the Coyotes might try to move the start-time up to the early afternoon, or maybe even move the game to Sunday the 17th. That would save a lot of headaches in both the parking lots and the ticket offices.
- It would not be the first time the Coyotes changed schedules after the NHL released their official schedule; in 2012 the Coyotes swapped February home dates with the Vancouver Canucks to accommodate a non-hockey event at Gila River Arena.
- For as much type has been expended on the Anaheim Ducks' struggles, they enter today's action in the final Pacific Division playoff spot.
- Jonathan Drouin to the Coyotes? More than one hockey writer likes the fit.
- For a guy who's only played 19 of Tampa's 39 games, Drouin leads the Lightning in points per 60 minutes of 5v5 ice-time with 1.64.
- A couple of caveats though: his 5v5 Corsi Relative is -0.4% despite starting 9.5% more shifts in the offensive zone than defensive zone. In other words, he's getting more favorable deployments than other forwards and isn't making a huge difference in his team's ability to generate offense.
- His limited minutes are extremely puzzling for a guy drafted 3rd overall in 2013. It's one thing to slowly develop young players, as the Coyotes are doing with Dylan Strome. But it's another thing to bury such a highly touted prospect on the fourth line and in the press box.
- The series of injuries to centers like Martin Hanzal, Boyd Gordon, and Antoine Vermette could give Drouin a chance to play the kind of minutes expected of a top three pick.
- If the Coyotes were to trade for Drouin, they could field a top six with five players 23 or under; Tobias Rieder, Max Domi, Anthony Duclair, Dylan Strome, and Drouin. That's a very young core to play all at once.
- Ultimately, I don't think Steve Yzerman is going to be in any hurry to part with Drouin. And that's going to drive the price to acquire him up. I suspect Drouin will not play in Sedona Red this season.