Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Takin' Care Of Business

Just some odds and ends that I need to address:

I'm not even going to touch on Sean Avery Dance Fever because I think the blogosphere has pretty much beaten that horse to death, but I do think the NHL made the right move in the manner and timeliness in which they handled the situation.

My latest contribution over at Fanball/RotoTimes is part of a piece handing out some awards for the NHL regular season. Some of them are standard stuff while other pertain solely to the world of fantasy hockey. In an interesting turn of events, you can also read the article over at Sports Illustrated's FanNation site. A little more exposure is never a bad thing...

If you care, my votes were:
  • MVP - Malkin
  • Vezina - Nabokov
  • Norris - Phaneuf
  • Calder - Price
  • Out of Nowhere Star - Ribeiro (almost voted for Green)
  • Most Overlooked - Staal
  • Fantasy Bust - Marleau
The Vs. Network is cranking up the ol' hype machine again for the playoffs:
So far their coverage has been pretty excellent and it has been nice to have two games to watch every night since the playoffs started. I only wish circumstances allowed me to watch more than I have been able. Vs. will continue to show two games per night as long as there are games to show as well as keep their Hockey Central studio show rolling along with various guests from the NHL filling in throughout the playoffs. Manny Legace was in studio for the first week of the playoffs and a new player should be starting their week (or so) run on Hockey Central tonight.

Vs. also seems to be quite pleased with the viewing numbers they are getting for their coverage. This is from their latest press release:
Now in its third year televising the NHL, VERSUS has seen a substantial increase in total viewership and ratings for the 2007/08 regular season compared to the 2006/07 campaign. At the conclusion of this year’s regular season, national household ratings were up 50 percent (.3 vs. .2), total viewership showed an increase of 28 percent (272,417 vs. 212,366), household impressions were up 20 percent (192,675 vs. 160,134) and viewership for Men 25-54 was up 45 percent (99,753 vs. 69,018).
It's nice to see NHL viewership growing. Hopefully this along with the NHL's many efforts online will help the sport catch on with fans. Especially younger ones who may not have been exposed to the sport, and playoff hockey in particular.
One last thing...

As any of you who have been with me here for a while already know, along with being a hockey fan I am also a big soccer fan and a Liverpool supporter in particular. Today is the 19th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster. If you get the chance during your day, take a second and say a prayer for the families of the 96 we lost that day.