Since Sidney Crosby’s concussion and Alex Ovechkin’s fall from grace, the National Hockey League has been in dire need of a new star. The league needs a face that every fan can get excited about. What I’m about to argue will irk a lot of the hockey world. Obviously, as a Bolts fan, I’m a little bit biased. That said, I believe that Steven Stamkos is the most marketable player in the game by a country mile. In this blog, I’ll outline my reasons.
Hard core hockey fans can truly appreciate Sidney Crosby’s work ethic and determination; but, what does the casual observer want to see? In smaller markets and non-traditional hockey markets, people want to see excitement. It’s the end to end rushes and superbly spectacular goals that create hockey fans. It’s not the small little stick plays and smart hockey thinking. Of course, once you begin following the game all that becomes equally as impressive; but the NHL needs to think about marketing the game to fans it doesn’t already have. Let me put it this way, regardless of what happens with the game of hockey, I’ll still follow it. Will Johnny Not-A-Hockey-Fan start watching if the game loses that excitement?
There is a lot of great players in the National Hockey League. You have Nicklas Lidstrom, Teemu Selanne, the Sedins, Claude Giroux, Sidney Crosby and so many more. What does Stamkos have on all of these guys? Age. Stammer is still so young in comparison to many of the stars in the NHL today. It would bode well for the NHL to pick up a marketing face that can stick around for a long time. Stamkos is that exact guy. He has that youthful exuberance and confidence that young hockey players and fans can look up to and try to exemplify. If anything, hockey needs more Stamkos like players.
He Brings Attention to a Non-Traditional Market
Whether the Sedins play in Vancouver, or Giroux plays in Philadelphia, fans of those teams from near and far will still follow. That said, there are a lot of fans outside of Tampa that just like the Lightning because Stamkos is there. Look around the league when the Bolts play in different arenas; Stamkos jerseys are littered throughout the stands. It’s quite a spectacle to see considering just how poorly this franchise was doing just a few short years ago. The attention the Lightning franchise now gets because of Stamkos is phenomenal. We can now consider the Lightning as one of the premier franchises in hockey with great management, great coaching and a young star.
He Puts up the Points
This one is pretty self-explanatory, but Steven Stamkos is one of the best in the game at scoring goals and putting up points. When the NHL is picking a face of the game, it doesn’t want a defensive specialist. Sure, said player may be a really great guy both on and off the ice, but is he marketable? Really and truly, not. Stamkos is the exact opposite. His ability to score in so many ways just breeds marketability. It would be interesting to see how many fans just started watching Stamkos highlights and then became Lightning fans. I believe that he has that power for the Bolts.
So there you have my reasons as to why Steven Stamkos is the most marketable, face-of-the-game. Really and truly, Bolts fans, we should consider ourselves so lucky. We get to watch this guy night in and night out as he continues to put up the points and will our team to victory. It’s an exciting time to be a TB Lightning fan right now. The best part is, we will get to see him for a long, long time.
Thanks for reading and have a great day!
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