Does the "old" NHL matter anymore?

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Does the "old" NHL matter anymore?

Postby Cornuck » Wed Dec 13, 2006 9:45 pm

My friend and I were watching a game down here in Vegas - Ducks and Thrashers on FSN. Somehow we got on the topic of how relevant the 'old' NHL is, and whether things like the Original Six, Trophy names, goalies without face masks and other 'relics' of the past have any meaning to the 'new' NHL and the new fans that the league is trying to attract. Personally, I love the history of the game and it is a huge part of the enjoyment of the sport.

But what about the new fans? They don't know the history and the media and league itself seem do disregard it. The new fan in Nashville doesn't know about names like Bobby Orr and Gordie Howe - let alone names like Ted Lindsey and Eddie Shore. The league appears to have no interest in keeping the history alive.

Now if you look at the NFL, they have the coverage down here and it's not unusual to see ESPN show clips from classic games, or show Johnny Unita's career. Names like Joe Namath are kept alive and the old timers are brought in to give interviews during games. Baseball lives off its legacy - Babe Ruth, Lou Gerrig and others are legends beyond the sport.

So I guess the question is, should the NHL hype its history more down in the States and the new markets? Would it appeal to the fan is still learning what offside is? Is it even possible? How important is the history of the game to you?
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Postby Cookie La Rue » Thu Dec 14, 2006 3:00 am

Without the history i guess i wouldn't be a NHL fan.

Imo it's as important or even more as today's game. Huge mistake if they really want to disregard it in order to make a hole new thing. The result will be the opposite, less interest and the loss of longtime fans. Sad but true.
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Postby Soapy » Thu Dec 14, 2006 3:34 am

Great topic.
The problem is that a lot of fans relate old time hockey to the original six....which in my opinion is crazy as I'm 38 years old & remember very little about the era. The NHL really needs to promote the 80's....high flying..much closer to the hockey today ...goal scoring.....where are the NHL FILMS like the NFL history films shown every late night....& please not the great Toronto history, but the whole league...from Kansas to the North Stars to why Hamilton has been shut out...the truth behind our owners that have crippled the game.....worts & all. I know it will never happen.
Could we not show a Bobby Orr killing a penalty highlite..to a Paul Coffey highlite...to a Niedermayer highlite....to a Crosby highlite...as a progression...its all the same game..but different...I love NFL Films...they do one for every team in contention....where oh where is the marketing dept of the NHL....
I know I've touched on a buNch of topics but the history of the game & how the original rules are written in the rule book are a point that I can not leave alone. HOCKEY IS THE BEST GAME IN THE WORLD... if the rules are followed.
Ok I ranted a bit...one more drink before bed...

**ALL OF THESE COMMENTS ARE NOT THE OPINIONS OF SOBER SOAPY.. THEY ARE THE MINDLESS RANTINGS OF RYE WHISKEY & BEER. CHUM OR PRATT MAY HAVE HAD AN INFLUENCE ...BUT THEY ARE BOTH FAKE..THIS IS A DISCLAIMER**
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Postby orts » Thu Dec 14, 2006 9:16 am

Soapy wrote:Great topic.
The problem is that a lot of fans relate old time hockey to the original six....which in my opinion is crazy as I'm 38 years old & remember very little about the era.


I don't remember any hockey before the early 90s, 'cause that's when I went to university and was near television. Actually, I do remember listening to the 1982 series on the radio...

Anyway, I agree with this thread entirely. In the runup to the Grey Cup (I was much more interested in CFL football this year than in hockey, which is new for me), the CBC showed one Grey Cup game from each of the last five decades (starting with the 1950s). That was great, especially for someone like me who has an interest in cultural shifts and changes in media. I mean, wow, the sideburns on the announcers in the 70s! and the lack of ass-slapping or any celebration that the players showed in the 60s as opposed to now or even a few years later.

I want to see some of those hockey games from the fifties, sixties and seventies with people like Orr, Esposito, Richard. They're just names to me, really.
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Postby Antony » Thu Dec 14, 2006 9:27 am

Look, the NHL turned its back on its own history when it went to basketball to recruit a Commissioner who probably had never seen the game before, never owned a pair of skates, came from an enthnicity with no profile in the game.

To the old guard Ted Lindsays corduroy face is a symbol of the game, today, it's more the visage of the shifty-eyed businessman. Until the NHL figures out how to grind bucks from history (like the NFL) the NHL will remain all about convincing us that there should be hockey in the desert, in the deep south and out of Canada. I mean, what has Bobby Orr done for YOU today?
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Postby tuzzi44 » Thu Dec 14, 2006 5:25 pm

Hey guys, well being in my early 20's i didnt watch a whole lot of hockey in the 80's and if i did, it didnt mean alot to me cause i was too young. but as i got older and fell in love with the game, i made it more of a personal mission to learn as much as i could about the game, past and present. can you believe i had a 30 year old hockey fan ask me if the conferences were always east and west?! CRAZY!!!

so anyways, the new fans that the nhl are trying to attract will be helpful to the league as far as sales and whatever, but i think its us veterens that should take it upon ourselves to teach what we know to others!!
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Postby ververgaert » Thu Dec 14, 2006 7:50 pm

Great topic Cornuck.

I just watched a Legends broadcast on C.B.C the other night about Gordie Howe. It was great. They interviewed alot of the big names at the time and talked about rivalries of the day.
I don't think there is a problem in Canada about the history or traditions of the N.H.L ,the C.B.C seems to do a good job with H.N.I.C 's opening montage ( spelling?) and intermision bits. AS well they have occasional series on the game.

As for the United States I think Soapy despite the Rye and Beer had some good ideas. The individual franchises should invest in educating thier fans on the history to try and get them more involved.
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Postby DavidPratt_ » Thu Dec 14, 2006 11:55 pm

Soapy wrote:**ALL OF THESE COMMENTS ARE NOT THE OPINIONS OF SOBER SOAPY.. THEY ARE THE MINDLESS RANTINGS OF RYE WHISKEY & BEER. CHUM OR PRATT MAY HAVE HAD AN INFLUENCE ...BUT THEY ARE BOTH FAKE..THIS IS A DISCLAIMER**


What kind of rye whiskey were you drinking Soapy? Alberta Premium?

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Postby Grizzly » Mon Dec 18, 2006 4:22 pm

I thought they did show some games on ESPN Classic .. not that I get that or anything ??? Or is that just a myth ??
For sure if they want to try and promote hockey in the States they should do some older games or promote some of its history. Then again maybe they just don't really care about hockey down there at all ??


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Postby Cornuck » Mon Dec 18, 2006 8:03 pm

Not everyone gets ESPN classic. It's not part of most regular cable packages. Sometimes, ESPN would show a classic game if they game they were planning to show was blacked out locally.

last year, OLD/Verus did show some documentaries before or after games, but I usually found those by accident while tuning in for a game - I don't know how many hockey fans watch OLN when there's not a game on.
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Postby Puck » Tue Dec 19, 2006 12:39 pm

Tuzzi... thanks for reminding me about the conferences.
I think that the change in the division and conference names was a huge blow to carrying forward the history of the league. I really don't care that new fans couldn't figure out where the divisions were. We really lost touch with the roots of the game when we dropped Smythe, Patrick, Norris, Adams, Clarence Campbell and Prince of Wales. I suppose it was related to the addition of more divisions, but hell, they could have grabbed two new names.... how 'bout Orr and Richard? The divisions, as they used to be, were unique in the sport world. Chris Berman from ESPN actually used to refer to the NFL's NFC North as the 'Norris' division. Those old names had character. The loss of them has contributed to the watering-down of the game.
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Postby Soapy » Tue Dec 19, 2006 9:12 pm

DavidPratt_ wrote:
Soapy wrote:**ALL OF THESE COMMENTS ARE NOT THE OPINIONS OF SOBER SOAPY.. THEY ARE THE MINDLESS RANTINGS OF RYE WHISKEY & BEER. CHUM OR PRATT MAY HAVE HAD AN INFLUENCE ...BUT THEY ARE BOTH FAKE..THIS IS A DISCLAIMER**


What kind of rye whiskey were you drinking Soapy? Alberta Premium?

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It was Crown & Ginger...mmmmm Ginger
Anywhooo...just taking a little stab at ya with the disclaimer...I knew you would enjoy it. I'd take the AP if it was poured for me.
Back to the topic, I'd love to see the NFL Films type show for a lot of games. Like game 7 VAN/NYR where the have the interviews with coaches/trainers where we learn Messier had sand in his vagina or Linden played with two broken legs & a detached retina...capture the crowd...the 1940 hanging over the team..just that one game is an hour program.
Or the game where they ripped the "C" off of Sittler at the old Gardens....remember the stiching was still there when they panned to Sittler on the blueline during the anthem...drama!!
There are a million games that should be documented & shown to our kids so they get that ORR is ORR. Kids do not know who he is.
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