(Yahoo.com) – In a conversation with Puck Daddy at the league general managers meetings about the upcoming NHL Awards, chief content officer Steve Mayer mentioned that the NHL will look to televise both the awards and the announcement of the expansion roster of the Vegas Golden Knights around same timeframe in Las Vegas. The draft is set up to where all 30 other NHL teams must submit their list of protected players by 5 p.m. eastern on June 17. Then Vegas will submit their expansion draft selections by 5 p.m. eastern on June 20. The picks will then be made public on June 21.
Holy shit! Good marketing? By the NHL?? No way! I don’t believe it.
I honestly figured this event would go right under the radar because the NHL routinely ignores new ways to promote their product outside of having the Chicago Blackhawks play their games outdoors. So if I’m the NHL I take this expansion draft thing up a notch. I have WWE style entrances for every player announced, backup goalie included. I’d be firing off confetti cannons, laser light shows, scantily clad Vegas girls, and kegs upon kegs to the ceiling.
It won’t happen. Gary Bettman will come out in his suit and read the Vegas roster off in alphabetical order. The players in attendance will quietly raise their hand and say “here” when called. Then they will be assigned their jersey numbers 1-23. Immediately following the roster announcement Vegas will play Chicago outdoors.
The NHL should be embracing all new forms of marketing the league, especially the opportunity that Las Vegas presents. It’d be nice to see them nail the expansion draft “show” like it’s the NFL draft. Because you can be sure when the NFL and NBA finally set up shop in Sin City they’ll already have plenty of ways to promote their sports there that the NHL most likely missed out on.
Follow us on Twitter @BostonPucks and let’s talk hockey.