Aug 8, 2013; New York, NY, USA; NHL commissioner Gary Bettman speaks at a press conference at Yankee Stadium. Two outdoor regular-season NHL games will be played at Yankee Stadium during the 2013-14 season as part of the 2014 Stadium Series. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
In the absence of any real competition for viewers yesterday, the NHL was presented a prime opportunity to showcase two of next season’s six outdoor games.
There was no major NFL news; there was nothing of consequence going on in the NBA; the latest PED scandal to rock MLB had mostly died down; even the frenzy over Clint Dempsey returning to MLS had passed its sell-by date.
The NHL was front and center in the sports media landscape yesterday, but couldn’t put together anything worth getting excited over.
In what was possibly the most pointless press conference ever, the NHL—along with the New Jersey Devils, the New York Rangers, the New York Islanders and New York Yankees team officials—basically told the world what it already knew concerning the two outdoor games to be played at Yankee Stadium in January of 2014.
The Devils would “host” the Rangers on Sunday, Jan. 26, and the Islanders would “host” the Rangers later that week on Wednesday, Jan. 29. (Tell us something we didn’t know, Mr. Bettman.)
No plans for individual ticket sales were announced. No custom jersey designs were unveiled to the public. Heck, even though John Tavares was in attendance—all but confirming he would be named captain of the Islanders by the start of the season—he wasn’t even wearing the ‘C’ on his jersey.
The NHL had a prime opportunity to seize the media spotlight and run with it; the league had the chance to promote the two outdoor games in its biggest media market and the metro area teams that would play them, only to fall flat on its face by staging for the media an event that basically amounted to Gordon Bombay’s Hendrix Hockey apparel photo shoot from the D2: Mighty Ducks.
Executives stepped to the podium, talked about tradition, took some pictures with the players, and left. That was it.
The only thing the NHL successfully accomplished with yesterday’s press conference was not pulling a muscle while patting itself on the back. Hopefully the next time the league stages a media event for its “Stadium Series,” it’ll have some actual news to report.
In Case You Missed It
Buzz Builds Around Islanders-Rangers Stadium Series Matchup (NY Islanders)
Matt Moulson Seems Comfortable With Prospect of Contract Year (Pro Hockey Talk)
NHL Games at Yankee Stadium (Newsday)
Tavares: Loss to Pittsburgh Still Stings (Islanders Point Blank)
Devils in the Details – 8/9/13: Passel of Ownership Rumors Edition (In Lou We Trust)
Friday Morning Fly By: Friday is Great and So Are You (Broad Street Hockey)
Ranking the Worst General Managers in the NHL (Bleacher Report)
Two Minutes For Tweeting
As mentioned in the links section above, Moulson and the Isles have not discussed the prospect of getting a contract extension worked out prior to the start of the season. Since it’s also team policy not to negotiate contract terms in-season, it looks like Tavares’s favorite winger will play out the final year of his current deal with some added motivation to perform at a high level. (Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.)
Friend of the site Dan Petriw of SportzEdge sits down with Matt Donovan, future cornerstone of the Isles blue line in the coming years. Go ahead, give his interview a read and try not to be excited about having Donovan on the NHL roster in the near future. We dare you.
OK, two things here: 1) I can only imagine what the application process entails, and 2) OMG REMEMBER NYLES???
I, too, expect much less sleep when the Isles are on the ice. So we have that in common.
Need your hockey fix? Check out Isles Summer Ice tonight to re-live one of the Islanders’ biggest games from last season. (Spoiler: it goes well for the Isles.)
As always, thanks for reading us at EyesOnIsles. Keep it right here for all of your NHL offseason coverage and up-to-the-minute Islanders news. Be sure to check the menu bar at the top of the page for ways to connect with the EyesOnIsles staff; we’re always happy to talk hockey.