I was so excited for the start of this hockey season. Why exactly I cannot say. Season opening the last few years ever since the lockout has been an event I've barely noticed.
Tonight, however, a mild ankle sprain kept me out of the lineup for my rec floor hockey game, which was ok, because the temptation of the raising of Detroit's Stanley Cup banner, the Wings-Leafs game, plus whoever's on the late game (joking, I know it's Vancouver-Calgary, I moved to Toronto from Alberta recently and I'm trying to offend my friends back west by affecting the kind of disinterest in the rest of the country that people out west think all Torontonians have) was almost enough to make me a self-imposed "healthy scratch" anyway.
And yet, something troubles me as I suffer through "NHL Rocks" between games. This is the hip, funky, "new" NHL everyone's been talking about since the lockout ended, right?
So they've decided to showcase this by getting Def Leppard to play? With an Alanis Morissette song telecast from Montreal?
What is this, 1995? Or, if we're searching for Def Leppard's actual prime, 1985?
This just screams hockey, don't you think? British 80's hair metal. What was that song they played at the opening of the broadcast? Was that something new? Def Leppard still writes NEW songs? Why? How about Alanis? Depressing rock songstress that she is, she just screams hockey, doesn't she?
I assume this is somebody at the NHL's marketing department's idea of "getting the season off to a rocking start" or some such similar tagline. It nicely demonstrates the idea that the league's brass is stuck at least ten years in the past, though. Otherwise there'd already be bigger nets, a European division, and they wouldn't still be trying to make modern 6'4 goalies look like Grant Fuhr (generously listed at 5'10) or Andy Moog (5'6). That or they're far too cheap to spring for anybody who's charted in the last ten years or popular with people under 35 (with apologies to my friend Tim, still under 30 and a Def Lep fan). Even Ron MacLean from CBC wondered aloud at the wisdom of having such an over the hill band do the season opener. Don Cherry seemed to like the idea, though. Which should probably tell you something right there. Don's players probably played Def Lep to fire themselves up when he was still coaching in the NHL. Which was almost 30 years ago.
I mean, I may be a marketing neophyte, but isn't the 18-to-35 male demographic considered important to most entertainment companies? And shouldn't it be all the more important in sports broadcasting? You could at least have host Carrie Milbank wear a skimpier top, couldn't you?
Maybe I should just turn the channel and watch something else until the 'Nucks-Flames starts, but it's like a train wreck.
Oh my God, Joe Elliott just took the Stanley Cup from Darren McCarty and put it up on a stand upside down.
That sums the idea behind this whole "NHL Rocks" thing up nicely, don't you think?