Do the media and Box office have too much influence over the NHL?
Led by Rick Carpiniello at his Rangers Report blog, rumours are beginning to circulate that the Rangers are considering (somewhat) giving up home ice advantage due to contractual commitments (concerts) at the Garden, the condensed NBA season schedule and of course, NBC’s television scheduling demands.
If true, this will create quite a stir amongst Rangers fans and crank up the negative feelings towards NBC whose prime concern is being able to show both the Rangers series and the Pens – Flyers (surely a big ratings draw). The initial rumour/suggestion can be read in Carpiniello’s blog and would see the Rangers still retain game 7 at home if needed.
Rangers fans shouldn’t necessarily see it all as a negative however. Change can be a good thing, even if it is temporary change. At the end of the day, we’re still discussing the second best road team in the NHL starting on the road. This isn’t exactly the 11 win Columbus Blue Jackets giving up home ice to Vancouver.
If the Rangers did end up starting on the road for two, before apparently three straight at home, and they could just split that pair it could even be advantageous given the team’s strength at home this season. What this all does suggest however is the league’s desperation to get in bed with NBC and hints at their attempts, regardless of the means, of increasing exposure to the league. Sometimes that’s a good thing sometimes that’s a bad thing.
…..Or is it just an April Fool’s joke?……