The US media machine has decided all is lost for professional hockey and ye shall abandon all hope now. Erin Hicks of the Sun papers, tracks the impressions of the American press and it's not a pretty picture for Gary Bettman and his cost certainty endeavors.
The tone of the article is basically that the US media has decided that hockey is a lost cause and not worthy of any further attention. With ESPN terminating their agreement earlier back in June and the league becoming a barter programming fill in for NBC this year, the media footprint should be rather small for the start up of operations. And the NHL should not be waiting for the good news stories in the US media, because they're not coming.
Hicks article serves as a bit of a warning for the NHL that the road ahead is going to be a rather rocky one in the USA, the Canadian road is paved and shouldn't offer too many potholes along the way. But the American path is one of cracks and hazards in every direction. Bettman and the rest of the American owners had best not be depending on the US media to cut them any slack, they seem to have already passed their judgment and it's not one that will find much favor at the NHL offices.
Having spent 301 days at war with their players, one wonders how long the war with the media will carry on for. It's a no win situation for the NHL, they had better hope that the players quickly become the main attraction. Of course that strategy runs the risk of a JR or a Chelios saying the wrong thing at the wrong time.
But the league is going to need some positive spin soon, right now the press is bad and getting worse, not the kind of image that says we're back and better than ever!