Capitalizing On Success

The NHL experienced some of its best action during the 2008-2009 season last year. The ratings for the biggest game, The Winter Classic went up, the revival of the Chicago Blackhawks, an Original Six franchise captivated the city of Chicago and NHL purists everywhere, the success of the Stanley Cup rematch, and watching the game’s biggest player win his first Stanley Cup. The NHL season was full of great action and memorable moments all season long, and this is the golden opportunity for the NHL to make next season even better.

The things the NHL did right in the offseason was not make TWO Winter Classic games. The outdoor game, usually played in a baseball/football venue of some historical significance, should just be one game that is played once a year instead of making it a double header. The Stanley Cup playoffs had some of the greatest action seen in a long time, especially with the drama of the Carolina Hurricanes and their wins over New Jersey and the Boston Bruins. The game’s two biggest stars lived up to the hype in their postseason battle with Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin. The action was fierce, and electric throughout.

Finally, the Stanley Cup final between the Red Wings and Penguins. The numerous storylines, and the Penguins being able to topple the mighty Red Wings. Marian Hossa, who left the Penguins and their lucrative contract offer to play for one year in Detroit to win a Cup, ended up being a non-factor for the Wings, and Pittsburgh wins at Joe Louis Arena, and Sidney Crosby raising the Cup for the first time in his career. The NHL experienced high ratings for the Stanley Cup finals, it’s highest in years, and it really shows that the league is going in a right direction.

With these success from 2008-2009, it will be a tough year to follow up on, but with the Olympics in 2010, it will be useful for NBC to cross-promote the Winter Olympics and the NHL, and keep the interest going.

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