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" • Canada • 26 Years Old • Male
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.

He’s Exciting
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?

He’s Young
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!

Follow me on Twitter: @michaelstuart93
Filed Under:   tampa   bay   lightning   steven   stamkos  
January 2, 2012 6:27 PM ET | Delete
I agree 100% on Stammer being the most marketable player in the league, problem is the rest of the NHL TV world thinks otherwise. The constant bickering about Boucher 1-3-1 system, larger markets getting on Tampa's fan base, blah blah blah. I figured with Yzerman in charge that would cure the BS that's out there. Look at the All Star voting, you can't possably tell me Stammer shouln't be #1? Complete joke as far as i'm concerned
January 2, 2012 6:32 PM ET | Delete
I enjoy reading your stuff Michael. Keep it up. But yes, I do agree. I recently took a trip down to Orlando and was shocked to see the amount of TBL/Stamkos gear.
January 2, 2012 6:34 PM ET | Delete
The time will come when he will get the credit he deserves. As stupid as it sounds I was a little shaky on him going into this year for some dumb reason. He's prooving me wrong everytime I see him play. Watching him take over games is absolutly amazing. What a better way to promote him but a winter classic game in Tampa! Sounds imaginary but its been talked about and would be a perfect way to showcase "STAMMER TIME" to the average Joe
January 2, 2012 6:47 PM ET | Delete
Thanks for the vote of support, Habsteen!
January 2, 2012 7:06 PM ET | Delete
Oomroy: As he begins to get more exposure, surely people will take note of just how dominant he is. I'd love to see the NHL combine the all-star game with the Winter Classic and do it all outdoor. Make a week of it. What better way to market the game on an international stage. Unfortunately, due to NBC, the Winter Classic will most likely remain the Northeast Classic.
January 2, 2012 11:01 PM ET | Delete
I have changed my mind about our draft pick this year. I want Andrei Vasilevski, holy crap he's good. I am watching the world juniors right now!!!! Would be nice to get in the second round but looks good as a first.
January 2, 2012 11:10 PM ET | Delete
Best wrist shot on the game. Hands down. Even without st Louis he piles up goals
January 2, 2012 11:19 PM ET | Delete
Best wrist shot, best one timer, best all around shooter in the game if you ask me!
January 3, 2012 2:23 AM ET | Delete
Artyukhin: He's got the size to be a great goaltender. Time will only tell whether we will be able to get him. I haven't heard too much on his ranking heading into the draft. Have you heard?
January 3, 2012 10:20 AM ET | Delete
Tsn.ca/draftcentre (that isn't a typo) has his at 44. Hockeybuzz.com/adamfrench has him at 39. However after his performance at the world juniors that my ver well change.
January 3, 2012 12:25 PM ET | Delete
He doesn't have age on Giroux. But yes, Stamkos is probably the best bet for marketing the NHL.
January 3, 2012 12:54 PM ET | Delete
Love the point about the away arenas. When I drove down to Buffalo (I live in Toronto) for a game back in October, anything that had the lightning logo on it also had Stamkos' name. Pretty sure it's gonna be the same in Toronto tonight (I am still in Florida which I am pretty disappointed about not being able to be at the game) The only reason I don't like wearing my Stamkos jersey at away games is because I don't want people to think I'm a bandwagoner like a lot of the people that do lol
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14 Lightning Talk: Defensemen to Target in Free Agent Frenzy
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