Sunday, March 7, 2010

Hallmark has gone Hockey

The NHL trade deadline has now passed and we will all speculate and guess about what deals were good and which ones were bad. We will all try to figure out who won and who lost. It caused me to think about this whole day as I watched Sportsnet and TSN and listened to the Team 1200 and the constant pinging of my blackberry all day.

TSN has done a masterful job of becoming the sports broadcasting version of Hallmark. The Hallmark greeting card company decades ago realized that by creating events out of what had been loosely held traditions, was good for business. People would need their products to celebrate those events. Things like mothers day, fathers day and others were literally the invention of Hallmark. It was a genius move.

The CBC has done that with Kraft Hockeyville and HockeyDay in Canada. TSN has done the same thing with the world junior hockey tournament. It used to be another one of those age group international hockey tournaments that no one other than parents and scouts paid much attention to. TSN has turned it into an event in Canada almost as big as the Grey Cup, the Briar or the NHL playoffs. Most of the same players took part in the world under 17 championship and nobody really cared about that. The reason is no network has turned it into an “event”.

The same holds true for the NHL trade deadline. It used to be a conference call that everyone knew about the day after it happened and life leading up to it and just after it, didn’t seem all that different. TSN changed all that and now every media outlet treats it like an event with special coverage and countdowns and tallies. It is now like an election.

I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing but I know it is now a “thing”. I love it! I love the excitement, the wondering, the anticipation and the hundreds of thousands of amateur GM’s who now break down every trade that either was or wasn’t made.

See you at the rink.

1 comment:

Kal said...

Here in Canada. It seems that we're all somehow related to a someone who's buddies with a guy who plays or used to play in the NHL!

Yet no matter what rumor that we, the great unwashed, hear of, it's all BS because we have so-called "TSN hockey insiders" to tell his breaking NHL news and deals.
Yet another TSN creation.

And so I love how Pierre Mcguire was asked about Chelios' chance of signing with an NHL team and answered "Not a chance".
A few hours later Chelios signed with Atlanta!