Over the years, the NHL has faced a number of hurdles and setbacks while attempting to achieve its perennial goal of “growing the game” of hockey.
That includes a fairly disastrous television deal with NBC that has thankfully expired, multiple lockouts that have set the league back, players who took a persecutional (and hypocritical) stance while protesting multiple “Pride Nights” organized in 2023, and a number of other well-documented issues.
Of course, you can’t talk about the NHL’s problems without discussing the players themselves.
The league has traditionally been absent of the levels of interpersonal drama that make the likes of the NBA and NFL so intriguing, which can be largely attributed to players who resort to trotting out clichés in media interactions that almost always include at least some variation of “pucks on net,” “pucks in deep,” “keep it simple,” and a number of other phrases you can usually mark off on your “Press Conference Bingo Card.”
It’s hard to blame those guys for not wanting to give reporters a chance to blow their comments out of proportion, and it’s worth noting there are definitely plenty of people who have some pretty colorful personalities.
With that said, the fact that stars like Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid tend to have the personality of a cold bowl of oatmeal doesn’t really do wonders for their marketability.
As things currently stand, Canadian phenom Connor Bedard is poised to become the next generational talent to take the NHL by storm, and it’s a virtual certainty he’ll be selected by the Blackhawks with the top overall pick in the Entry Draft on June 28th.
Most fans are already incredibly excited to see the 17-year-old make his debut, and you have to imagine the NHL’s marketing department is already anticipating his arrival based on how he fared when he joined the TNT panel ahead of Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals between the Panthers and the Golden Knights on Monday.
That crew has provided viewers with some great entertainment over the course of their inaugural season thanks in no small part to their willingness to hand out and be on the receiving end of some great chirps.
The segment with Bedard was no exception, as he casually hit Paul Bissonnette with a fantastic burn while saying he was thrilled to get the chance to sit down with “a couple pretty good players on this panel—and Biz is here too.”
— B/R Open Ice (@BR_OpenIce) June 5, 2023
Something tells me Connor Bedard is going to fit in just fine.