Quote from: Nik on November 15, 2023, 11:16:32 PMQuote from: L K on November 15, 2023, 03:06:40 PMConnor McDavid is never going to be Mr. Personality. He might be fun behind closed doors but in front of the media McDavid is someone who sucks. I think you can get that kind of marketing from the Hughes brothers, Tkachuk, etc. and the league needs to do a better job of promoting that.
And that's the real thing. The NHL used to sell teams. The Habs, the Oilers, Penguins. Even if your team sucked, they were fun to watch. Then they decided that, for their financial stability, it was important that all teams were as tightly bunched together talent wise as possible. Now every team is fielding mediocre players for at least 30 minutes a night. What's the big marquee matchup you'd tell a casual fan to watch right now? Vegas vs. Boston? What's the sport's last champion in a big, hockey crazy market? Probably the Blackhawks which is going on 8 years now. The league can't on the one hand be like "It's crucial for the future of the sport that Carolina and Ottawa are on even terms with Toronto and New York" and then turn around and wonder where the fans are at when that's exactly what they get.
If you're after a clash of the best teams, then yeah, Vegas vs Boston is a pretty good place to start.
Way back in Moneyball, the thing that let the Oakland A's be an innovative team by acting on strategies that had been around since the 70s was the insight that selling on star power was one dimensional. If you want to sell your product, you have to win. If the Oilers suck, then Connor McDavid won't save you. If you win, then your 3rd line grinders get big contracts at Free Agency and the fans are actually sad to see them go.
Expansion doesn't prevent marketing the sport (it should enhance the capability... they have expanded the market). The NHL just aren't really interested in doing it.