Re: anyone surprised
posted at 12/18/2012 5:47 PM EST
In response to Bookboy007's comment:
I don't know, red. True, the return to the ice coincided with a change in how the game was played, but the success of that was, as you say, marketing. They "fixed" some of the things that were plaguing the game. Hard to say if that meant fringe fans suddenly bought in or if fans of the firewagon 70s and 80s came back or or or. That's a story people tell, anyway. It could as easily have gone the other way if concerns about the gimmick shootout had proven valid or if the other rule changes had come across as too much too soon. Point being it was a risk. It hasn't hurt.
There was both an influx of exciting talent and a changing of the guard with the retirement of a number of generational players. 2005-06 was Lemieux's last year. Sakic only played two more full years. Forsberg only played 128 games after the lockout. Messier's career ended at the same time as the lockout. Yzerman played one more year. In other words, yes, it worked out for the NHL that Ovechkin was just a blast to watch and that Crosby was a 100pt rookie, but they also lost a ton of star power. As much as people like rookies, it takes time for them to fill that vaccuum left by established stars.
This time around, I think there's still plenty of new blood to charge up fan interest. Year one of Yakupov and Schultz added to the trio of snipers in Edmonton; another kid from Cole Harbour (you know that will be the angle) in Nathan MacKinnon and maybe Jonathan Drouin and Seth Jones making the jump, too; a pile of 2011 and 2012 guys ready to step in potentially including Hamilton, Reilly, Galchenyuk, Grigorenko, Huberdeau, Scheifele, Strome, Baertschi, Noesen, Tarasenko, and maybe even the guy the Hockey News calls the best prospect outside the NHL in Kuznetsov. Basically, any time you get a double class of new blood, it's exciting.
Add to this that they have a significant National US contract which ensures they product is out there for people to see and remember why they missed it, and I don't buy the NHL's version of the fiscal cliff. But then, I have no stake in it, so I can afford to be a sceptic.
"sceptic"?? Who hacked into Book's account?