A relatively big day business wise, lets kick it off:
-All national TV outlets (American and Canadian) experienced a rise in ratings this season, along with 12 franchises gaining on the tube as well (Sports Business Journal):
"The leaguewide increase at the gate carried over to television, where average ratings were up at each of the league’s national broadcast partners. In the U.S., average viewership on Versus increased 14 percent to 310,000 viewers and a 0.3 cable rating, and NBC’s ratings rose from a 1.0 to a 1.1 household rating through nine telecasts. In Canada, viewership was up on CBC by 5 percent to an average of 1 million viewers, TSN by 12 percent to an average of 451,000 viewers and RDS by 7 percent to an average of 650,000 viewers."- The KHL is obviously in a financial mess, so with their recent re-draft, some salaries were cut up to 50% in light of the economy (From The Rink).
- The big news today of a "serious" group of investors that met with Bill Daly last week in downtown Toronto looking to put another NHL team in northern metro Toronto in approx. 3-5 years (Globe and Mail):
"The unidentified group met with NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly in downtown Toronto last week, according to sources. The group proposes to build an arena at the intersection of Highways 427 and 7 in Vaughan, Ont., on land north of Pearson International Airport that's owned by businessman Victor De Zen."James Mirtle has his take, and a very wise one at that:
"I likely wouldn't have said this prior to moving to Toronto, but after having lived here for six or seven years, it's very clear that a second team in – or close to – the city would be a huge success...He also mentions that it would obviously be a financially sound club, which is what I definitely would look forward to. I would say all systems go, but its still in a very primitive stage at the moment.
For Canadian hockey fans, however, the new team would be a huge boon. There are a lot of transplants in Toronto, like myself, who are hockey fans but not Leafs fans, and I could see many taking up the new franchise as their own (especially if tickets are more widely available). For Leafs fans, it would mean another regional rival and some heated intercity competition; for fans in other NHL cities in this country, it'd be another Toronto team to cheer against."
- Finally, I have a new gig to go with this one. I am now a co-writer at Blueshirt Banter; SB Nation's Ranger blog. I am excited to work there in a great (for now) time for the Rangers, so please stop on by.