Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Cuban offers thoughts on NHL

The Toronto Star's Dave Feschuk had the presence of mind to lob a few puck-related questions at Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban when he was in town for some NBA action:
"The NHL has just got to give themselves more credit," Cuban said. "They've got an inferiority complex right now, and I think they've got to overcome that."
Of course, it wouldn't hurt if the NHL had a few guys like Cuban buy a team or two to get a few of the fringe fans more interested. Or even to sit in the stands and throw things.

5 Comments:

At 9:00 PM, January 16, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

great Cuban blog post here on how people in the stands get more juiced for the T-shirt toss than just about anything else during the game - and what that says (tiny URL seems to be down, sorry):
http://www.blogmaverick.com/2007/01/15/the-lessons-of-t-shirts-to-marketers/

i wish this guy was my team's owner.

 
At 1:36 AM, January 17, 2007, Anonymous Michael Smith said...

Interesting read for sure. Lately the league's worsening condition and standing in the US have been on my mind. I caught a few Panthers games in Sunrise when I was on vacation. Aside from droves of Quebecois who came down for the matchup with the Canadiens, the pulse of hockey in South Florida was on the verge of flatlining. The experience of being at those games coupled with the situations in Pittsburgh and Nashville have made my outlook pretty grim for the future of the league. But to have a guy like Cuban say that the NHL is on par with the NBA is eye opening. I'd have to agree with the sentiment on Cuban buying an NHL team. That'd be nothing but good for the sport.

 
At 7:37 AM, January 17, 2007, Blogger alyosha mcbain said...

Mark Cuban is in the proper league for his massively oversized ego. He is an unqualified loudmouth who believes that the size of his bank account equals large amounts of wisdom.

His cheap marketing tricks are less like Bill Veeck and more like the stunts one sees pulled at monster truck rallies. Cuban appeals to the lowest common denominator. If that is what it takes for the NHL to grow itself, I will take its current form anyday. At least one major sport should retain some level of class.

The real problem with the NHL is that it has taken franchises away from Canada and the northern US to relocate them in the awful Southern regions of the US. The South doesn't support its teams in any sport except football unless that team is about to win a championship. The whole region is filled with ignorant frontrunners, and that is the reason why so-called prosperity continues to elude the NHL.

 
At 12:51 PM, January 17, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The real problem with the NHL is that it has taken franchises away from Canada and the northern US to relocate them in the awful Southern regions of the US. The South doesn't support its teams in any sport except football unless that team is about to win a championship. The whole region is filled with ignorant frontrunners, and that is the reason why so-called prosperity continues to elude the NHL."


Wow, nice.

As a long-time fan of hockey who was born and played in eastern North Carolina (yes, some of us here played hockey, even before the Hurricanes!), I can tell you that this sort of opinion is exactly the kind of elitist, ignorant drivel the NHL DOESN'T need to base its operations on.

Beyond your unproductive and unsubstantiated stereotyping of fans in the "U.S. South" as wholly ignorant and unsupportive, perhaps you should read up on the history of Canadian teams and their ability to maintain productive NHL franchises before you bemoan their relocation. The NHL didn't take franchises away from Canada and place them in "awful Southern regions" simply because they felt like picking on Canadians. Canadian teams (sans Maple Leafs) have had trouble supporting their budget for years now. Since then, Canada has had nothing in the way of realistic new franchise proposals. If it is ignorance that leads to the desire of a profitable NHL, I am happy for that ignorance.

Secondly, your denunciation of the southern fan is short-sighted and nothing new. Yes, the south is not a traditional hockey market. Yes, some teams are having problems with attendance. The problem is that you seem to blame this on the "ignorant fans" instead of realizing that these people have not had the opportunity to grow up on hockey in the same way that many fans of this league have. Is that their fault? No, I doubt any of us chose where to be born (please tell me if I'm wrong). Can this lack of a hockey environment be changed? Yes. It can be, and is being, changed by having hockey franchises in this "awful" South that you believe is hurting the league. I'm not even going to go into the number of U.S. northerners actually living in these southern hockey regions, as areas like Raleigh, North Carolina (with its Research Triangle) are home to some of the best minds from around the entire country.

Hockey didn't grow in Canada and the U.S. North because humans in those regions are intrinsically different from those in the south. It prospered because people grew up in a region where hockey was part of the culture from a young age onward. It prospered because the northern regions support ice hockey in a way that the warm south never can. It prospered for the same natural reasons that anything else prospers, and to call fans in the south "awful" because they were not raised in this environment is incredibly ignorant in itself.

I have to say, for someone who rails against an "unqualified loudmouth" and a "massively oversized ego," you really are throwing out a greater number of grandiose remarks for which you have even less credibility to back it up.

 
At 10:39 AM, January 18, 2007, Blogger alyosha mcbain said...

Hey, it's not my fault that the South prefers NASCAR to almost anything else. In addition to hockey teams, they also don't support baseball teams.

Glad to hear that Pyronite is a hockey fan, but were you in the Hurricanes crowd that first year after they left Hartford and averaged maybe 8000 fans a game? Teams like the Predators are dying on the vine, despite their quality. For a winter sport to have a number of teams in a region where the climate does not support such activities is foolish, and it will eventually catch up with the NHL. 8000 fans in Winnipeg's arena made more noise than sellouts in Phoenix--it's a fact, not a conjecture. Mark Cuban's style can't change years of regional indifference to the sport.

Congratulations to the 'Canes for their Cup, but will cities like Tampa Bay even remember they won a Cup twenty years down the road?

 

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