By the looks of it, the NHL is trying to go crawling back to ESPN. Should their groveling succeed, we probably will still have to wait until the 2008-09 season to actually see hockey on ESPN.
Nevertheless, this would put an end to all the MSM garbage complaining about how they don't care about hockey anymore simply because they can't find it on TV. Maybe that would let them move on to complaining about, you know, how bad their "favorite" team is playing or how much of an asshole Gary Bettman is.
I'm sure many hockey fans are happy about a potential move to ESPN for many different reasons. Off the top of my head I can think of; 1) Not having to worry about whether or not your cable provider carries Versus. 2) More NHL coverage on ESPN. 3) More Barry Melrose on ESPN. (Who doesn't want that?) There are lots more reasons, but I give you fair warning; be careful what you wish for. ESPN might do a really, really good job of messing up your sport. Just ask NASCAR fans.
To try and help out our
beloved ESPN Overlords in their (potential) re-domination of hockey coverage, I offer a sacrifice in the form of a list of tips on how to not fuck up hockey coverage. ESPN Overlords, I only ask for your good will in return.
...ask poignant, well thought out questions. We don't need whatever Rachel Nichols is having. Really. Less "Kevin Lowe, how are you feeling?" and more "Kevin Lowe could you please explain why you seem hell bent on signing a star RFA this off season?"
...give us more Barry Melrose and John Buccigross. Dare I say it, combine their powers and resurrect NHL2Night! Not everyone may like and/or agree with Barry Melrose, but either way, he is the face of the NHL media in America. The general populous listens to him and the general populous knows who he is. That being said, I have yet to meet someone who dislikes Bucci, so the logical conclusion in regards to him is: more Bucci.
...admit that the sport is finally back in America's consciousness simply because it is back on ESPN. As egocentric as this is going to be, we know you're going to say this anyway, since you love giving yourselves reach arounds. The reason I suggest it is that the drones will listen and comply. Ratings will go up.
...hire more "hockey only" writers for ESPN.com. During the summer, Scott Burnside is the only regular hockey writer, and it seems like he writes a million articles a day. I'm sure the World Wide Leaders has the budget to hire some co-workers for Mr. Burnside.
...persuade Jeremy Roenick to retire and join the broadcast side of the game. This guy is going to be the next big name in broadcasting. It's only a matter of time. I believe that Roenick could be the Stephen A. Smith of hockey. That is, if was possible to listen to Stephen A. without earplugs.
...assign Kenny Mayne to hockey coverage in some capacity. This has endless possibilities, and all of them conclude with the word 'hilarious'.
our little sister Mark Messier degrading names.
...give us the second coming of glow pucks. I will personally come to Bristol and beat down the guy who lets that happen.
...let Mike and Mike become the lead broadcasters. I know they seem to be able to do anything and everything these days, but the last thing this sport needs right now is to be best known because it's star broadcast crew moonlights as Spelling Bee announcers. Isn't that degrading to the folks at the head of the Spelling Bee, too?
...give us fake press conferences. That should be a given. Less bullshit, more actual journalism. I know, I know. That is going to take (gasp) actual thinking and hard work, but I believe you have it in you, ESPN.
...get too creative. When that happens, you give us "Who's Now?" and a "Budweiser Six Pack of Questions". Once you have wasted our time, we can never get it back.
Side note: Google the words "ESPN" and "hockey". All you get are a bunch of pictures of our good friend JR. He's really begging to get hired, isn't he?