Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Sanity rears its head at the NHL offices

With a media backlash threatening to sink the happy launch of the new NHL, Gary Bettman and his crew of marketing geniuses finally gave in and have decided that showcasing the Sidney Sweepstakes may actually be an ok idea.

Originally the plan for the Lottery draft (that bouncing ping pong ball of fate) was to be a closed event. HockeyNation had visions of a darkened room, the proceedings led by a High Priest named Gary and featuring hooded GM's chanting in an unknown language. Upon the sacrifice of small animals and retrieval of a ping pong ball, young prospect Crosby would be offered up for indentured slavery to a maniacally smiling GM.

Realizing that this would not be a positive image for a sports league, they have now chosen instead to hold a televised form of the lottery draft on Friday afternoon at 4pm EST 1pm PST . All thirty GM's will be in attendance, someone will be tasked to record each drop of a ping pong ball and the results will be broadcast to possibly millions of Canadian homes in a half hour special broadcast exclusively via TSN. Of course this just proves that Canadians may watch anything to do with hockey, so we anticipate Dave Hodge to be tasked with the reading of the NHL roster list in his own prime time special some time before training camp!

It's a small reversal of the week of mis-steps so far by the NHL who seem intent on blowing the window of opportunity to rekindle interest in their absent product line. The decision to show the lottery draft is a wise choice, even if the event itself seems a tad boring, the excitement of hyping the possible franchise player that Crosby may be is something the league really can't afford to throw away!

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