The Seattle Kraken became a real team on July 21st by filling out an actual roster! A pretty damn good one too, but more on that later. Nothing beats an expansion draft. I have been so lucky in my hockey fandom to get nine of them now, six during the height of my fandom. While the expansion draft is done, we still have the amateur draft and Free Agency to go, so things are definitely not done yet.
The only one who did drop the ball, and it’s the least surprising thing of all-time, was the NHL. In an effort to kowtow to his new US TV master, good ol’ Gary Bettman decided it would be best to give them an Expansion Draft show in primetime day of…because NOTHING gets leaked in the NHL! Not like it was a huge loss, ESPN wouldn’t even give them the main channel, relegating them to ESPN2 anyway. But once again, Gary shows he has zero clue on how to market his league.
If Gary didn’t just rip-off whatever the NBA does, he would have heard of TSN Trade Centre. A produced show that goes live on Trade Deadline Day with all their insiders in one place, and athey break news as it happens. What a concept! Although, why copy how the Canadians cover the NHL? What do they know about hockey?
I’m sure Gary’s retort would be “ESPN wouldn’t give us that much airtime!” To which I say, great TV partner ya got there Gary, and also, THERE’S THIS THING CALLED THE INTERNET YOU DINOSAUR. Hockey fans will watch on Twitch, Instagram, Twitter, or maybe say NHL.com. But I doubt Gary has heard of any of those. Anyone who cared enough to watch that ESPN2 show, would care enough to look up the results ahead of time, and save themselves an hour plus of inane rambling and time filling.
I just love the fact the NHL thought the hockey world wouldn’t leak and spoil every single one of those picks hours before the “official” show. Once again, the NHL thinks it’s 1985 and the only way for us to consume news is via the TV and press releases. Once again, Gary sacrifices a quality interaction with fans over bowing to a US TV partner who treats his league like a second class organization. That’s what Gary does though, that’s why a third of this league can’t fill their arenas, and he bankrupts municipalities, because good ol’ Gary is wandering aimlessly around NYC muttering “Phoenix is a great market for hockey! Phoenix is a great market for hockey!”