Where's the love for the NHL and ice hockey?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Unspeaked, Feb 27, 2008.

  1. Unspeaked macrumors 68020

    Unspeaked

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    #1
    For as long as I can remember, ice hockey has always been the distant cousin of baseball, football and basketball (in the US, of course).

    Where's the love for this great sport?

    It's got a history that's untouchable by all but baseball, it's certainly the fastest, it's debatably the one most fun to watch live, it's got a whole x-factor in the fact it's played on a unique surface with unique equipment, it's got an entire North American nation devoted to it, yet it seems to lose popularity in the US each year.

    Some would say NASCAR, golf, MLS and even tennis have overtaken it stateside, to say nothing of college sports.

    I know the recent strikes/lockouts haven't helped, but it seems like such an appealing sport deserves better...
     
  2. gauchogolfer macrumors 603

    gauchogolfer

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    #2
    You're preaching to the choir here, buddy. I'm an Avs fan, and I think that one of the problems the NHL has is the difficulty some people have with following action on TV. A live hockey game is great, and the best way to get people hooked on the sport. Having the games broadcast on Versus with mediocre announcers doesn't do it justice.
     
  3. thefnshow macrumors regular

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    #3
    it would help if they were on a real network...the vs' channel sucks and espn is too busy showing poker,food eating contests,curling and other stupid crap
     
  4. Jschultz macrumors 6502a

    Jschultz

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    #4
    The lockout was the final nail in the coffin for many. People have just stopped caring about it. I know that it's still exciting to watch, as there are many new youngsters (Malkin, Syd the Kid).

    Along with the rule changes, I think the sport is better. But, things have declined. I play both ice and inline hockey myself (and have for about 12 years), and I've noticed that even at the recreational level, it is NOWHERE near as popular here in Chicago as it was during the mid to late 90's.
     
  5. Unspeaked thread starter macrumors 68020

    Unspeaked

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    #5
    True, but the reason the NHL ended up on Versus is because it wasted opportunities on ABC, ESPN and FOX in the past. It was a symptom, not a cause.


    Again, at the time of the lockout, the league was already ignored.

    Whatever problems the NHL has, they came well before the Versus network or the lockout...
     
  6. lofight macrumors 68000

    lofight

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    #6
    field hockey is also very nice to watch. It's what ou prefer, NHL is VERY aggressive, and in field hockey you're really not aloud to push..
    I play field hockey and love playing and watching it! More than ice hockey.
     
  7. Raid macrumors 68020

    Raid

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    #7
    I can see that, it's basically what happened to the Jays after the base ball lockout up here. Honestly I'm amazed that some southern states have NHL teams at all, considering the lack of natural ice. ... Maybe they need someplace to keep cool ;)

    I'm not really sure why hockey hasn't caught on more in the States as you'd think the fast-paced nature of the game would appeal to such an audience. Maybe it's because you have to pay closer attention to the game... only the fans know for sure, but they don't seem to enjoy it like Canadians do.

    Oh and BTW here it's never "Ice Hockey", it's just "Hockey". All other (inferior and impure) forms of hockey should be subjected to the use of adjectives in their descriptions. :)
     
  8. Rhosfelt macrumors 65816

    Rhosfelt

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    #8
    I am a super fan here, the only games I miss (penguins) are the ones on Versus, because I don't have that channel :p

    The good thing about the Pens is that we have FSN:pittsburgh with the rights to most of the games..so far. The only game the major networks (ABC) would touch, besides the playoffs, was the Winter Classic. However, I heard that the ratings were through the roof, so I am thinking maybe next year the public will catch up. However, I don't really like people catching random games on the major networks, you get fake fans, like the girls with the pink jerseys who don't understand icing..

    I am only 18, but I have been a fan forever, I remember even watching the Pens win their most recent cup when I was only 3, I have the special Arby's glass with Lemieux raising the cup, it's in my mom's wine glass collection. :) I love this sport above all others, and next year when I go to england I am going to be really sad, because I am going to have to find a way to watch all of the games!
     
  9. Stampyhead macrumors 68020

    Stampyhead

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    #9
    I was an Avs fan long before they were the Avalanche, when they were still the Quebec Nordiques. I remember back in '91 or '92 going to see them play the Canuks in the old Coliseé in Quebec (now renamed the Pepsi Center or some such stupid name). They played pretty badly and Vancouver beat them easily, but the Quebecers were always very proud of their team. I had moved back to the States by '95 when they were sold to Denver, but I know it caused quite a ruckus among the fans. If I remember correctly they did win the Stanley Cup not too long after becoming the Avalanche, so maybe the move was good for them after all. To me, though, and a lot of other old Quebec fans, they'll always be the Nordiques...
     
  10. scotty96LSC macrumors 65816

    scotty96LSC

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    #10
    I catch every Stars game that is on FoxSW, NBC or versus. Root for anyone playing the Wings. Will also watch any other hockey game on TV if found.
    I have also heard some rumors that ESPN may pick up the NHL again.
     
  11. Unspeaked thread starter macrumors 68020

    Unspeaked

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    #11
    Trust me, I'm well aware of the terminology.

    I just used ice hockey in the title to prevent people from bringing up fields hockey and such (though it looks like I wasn't very successful)...

    :)
     
  12. gauchogolfer macrumors 603

    gauchogolfer

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    #12
    I moved to Denver in 1994, and we got a minor league team (the Denver Grizzlies) that won the minor league championship the first season. People were pretty excited about that, then the Avs moved from Quebec and won the Stanley Cup the first year also (1995). So, I got to root for two championship teams right off the bat, and I was hooked (came from Texas, never really followed it until I went to college and went to games in person, including Denver U. and Colorado College games). Haven't looked back since, and I'm looking forward to putting on the Foppa sweater again. :D
     
  13. Unspeaked thread starter macrumors 68020

    Unspeaked

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    #13
    I both respect and feel sorry for the hardcore fans of the Jets, the Whalers, the Nordiques and the North Stars.

    I could also include the Atlanta Flames in that list, but I don't think they have any fans...
     
  14. Raid macrumors 68020

    Raid

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    #14
    There seems to be more demand for NHL teams in Canada, but the NHL expansion formula probably says we just don't have the population density, that with the past troubles in Quebec and Winnipeg have really turned expansion in Canada sour... and that's probably why Ontario only has one team while FLORIDA has two. :rolleyes:

    It's a shame, because there's a fairly big movement in Winnipeg to get back the Jets.

    Ah well, back to topic.

    So why isn't hockey more popular in the states? If you don't like having a cold beer at an ice rink like you do at a baseball game, then I suggest trying a Tim Hortons coffee... :)
     
  15. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #15
    Me too, and that's why I think the NHL isn't popular.......it's difficult to get into, as most kids in places like Florida, California, etc, would have a hard time getting involved as a child. A sport like basketball requires......a flat floor and a net. You can find that at any gym, and outdoors. You can play it anywhere in North America (pending the weather). Kids can relate to basketball players, and watch people who play better than they do. Who plays hockey? Not many people, not even in Canada. Besides needing an icy surface, the high cost of playing is prohibitive.
     
  16. bLiss macrumors member

    bLiss

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    #16
    I got your hockey love here :) I'm a big fan and I've been playing for a few years. I must say that.. for anyone reading this thread who is not a fan.. please stop focusing only on the puck!! You must watch the whoooole team and the movement of the play related to how plays are set up and how collaborative reactions are organized. Only then can you complain to me that you don't get it and tell me how much you love the Broncos or Lakers or whatever :p
     
  17. Unspeaked thread starter macrumors 68020

    Unspeaked

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    #17
    But by your own reasoning, hockey shouldn't be popular anywhere because it is a very expensive sport for any kid anywhere, regardless of climate.

    But playing hockey can be as simple as a pair of $7 street hockey sticks and a tennis ball.

    Look at what happened in LA when Gretzky was traded there. Suddenly, the Kings tickets were the hottest in town, and that was in the era of the World Series Champion Dodgers and the NBA Champion Lakers! So it can be done.

    The trouble with the NHL now is that it's even losing support in the areas of the US it once had a strong base in - the "Original Six" cities. With the exception of possibly Detroit, hockey is an afterthought in the other five. And depending on how well the Tigers do this season, it may end up that way in Detroit, too...
     
  18. Kamera RAWr macrumors 65816

    Kamera RAWr

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    #18
    I grew up playing ice hockey in California. Well, aside from what you said about the cost, which is true that it is very expensive to get into hockey... its more common in California than you might think. There are many places and youth clubs in California. In the Bay Area alone there are rinks in Dublin, Fremont, Oakland, San Jose, Cupertino, Santa Rosa, Belmont, Berkeley (don't know if Berkeley and Belmont are still there, unless they renovated, they were SH#TTY rinks), also a few others that can't quite remember which cities. Also from having played in Bay Area, we also played teams from Sacramento, Fresno and quite a few places in So. Cal.

    Ice hockey was always big in my family. Probably comes from the fact my family is pretty much Canadian :p. Everyone in my family played. Started with my grandfather who was from Edmonton (got a full scholarship for ice hockey from the University of North Dakota in the early 50s). He got my dad, uncle and aunt into it and then it passed down to me :D. There's no shortage of love for the NHL from me!

    I am and always will be a diehard SHARKS fan! I went to the first regular season game the Sharks ever played against the Flames. Sharks won 4-3. This was back when the Sharks were playing at the Cow Palace.
     
  19. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #19
    Don't forget that the Rangers and Bruins have sucked for a long time. No fan base anymore. NY and Boston are baseball and football towns. They are trying to get a team back in Hartford but a new arena is needed first.
     
  20. zioxide macrumors 603

    zioxide

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    #20
    The Bruins have been playing really well lately. Won 5 in a row and 6 of the last 7 since the all star game. Beat the penguins 5-1 today and Ottawa 4-0 the other day. :D
     
  21. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #21
    Ok now factor in the past 10 years.
     
  22. Rhosfelt macrumors 65816

    Rhosfelt

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    #22
    I feel violated.

    My college doesn't have a Roller/Floor hockey group so we are picking up paper to start one tomorrow! I can't play actual hockey because I haven't skated since 5th grade, but I plan to get back on them, soon so I can at least mess around (even though at college the closest rink is 5 miles, and I have no car, and the closest rink back home is 30 miles >_<)

    So we decided to go that route, and will probably go Floor Hockey (no blades) so it's cheaper and we can get more people into it. We play all the time back home, and have a lot of pretty decent rules set up, so hopefully we can get this going for real, if you guys like I can post our process and whatnot in case some of you liked to do the same.

    p.s. I just now realized I am a 6502, so I am uploading my icon, you guys will like it :)
     
  23. Frisco macrumors 68020

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  24. roland.g macrumors 603

    roland.g

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    #24
    [​IMG]

    I went to the Avs Canucks game last Wed 6-3 Avs great game. Got to sit in the 2nd row right behind the Avs bench, right behind Forsberg, Sakic, Hejduk and co. I was actually wearing my Forsberg rookie season Nordiques jersey and my wife wore my Forsberg Avs jersey and we even took our 3 month old and dressed him in an Avs outfit. His 2nd game, and he's 2-0. Good luck charm.

    Here's a screenshot of the VERY bottom of us n the baby right behind Coach Q. from ESPN.com highlights.

    [​IMG]
     
  25. UWSpindoctor macrumors regular

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    #25
    They're about as opposite from an original six team as you can get but the Sharks have a pretty big following down in the Silicon Valley. I don't think hockey translated as well to TV although HD is helping change that.
     

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