SBD/Issue 244/Leagues & Governing Bodies

A New Summit Series: NHL Stars Meet In N.Y. To Work With Media

The NHL and NHLPA are concluding their media summit in N.Y. today, working with 17 players to provide more than 18 media outlets with content for the upcoming season. The league and union set up on multiple floors of the Empire Hotel and gave players like Penguins C Sidney Crosby and Blackhawks RW Patrick Kane time with NBC, Versus, ESPN America, TSN, Sirius, Sports Illustrated, USA Today and others. The players today are going to the Prudential Center to film portions of TSN’s “Wednesday Night Hockey” introduction. NHL COO John Collins said the summit “brings the story of the NHL to life." Collins: "The demands of the season are so intense that this gives the media and advertising community a chance to interact with these players in a laid back setting. It's all part of getting these guys to the proper level of exposure." It is the second year of the media summit, and player participation is up from 14 players in ‘08. League execs said that last year's summit resulted in additional coverage the NHL might not otherwise get and pointed to five articles in USA Today in ‘08 that were reported and photographed during the summit (Tripp Mickle, SportsBusiness Journal). The following players are attending the summit.

PLAYERS ATTENDING SUMMIT
Penguins C Sidney Crosby Rangers G Henrik Lundqvist
Penguins C Evgeni Malkin Blackhawks RW Patrick Kane
Bruins LW Milan Lucic Blackhawks C Jonathan Towes
Bruins G Tim Thomas Canadiens C Scott Gomez
Ducks D Chris Pronger Wild G Niklas Backstrom
Ducks C Ryan Getzlaf Blue Jackets LW Rick Nash
Flyers C Jeff Carter Bruins D Zdeno Chara
Flames D Jay Bouwmeester Rangers RW Marian Gaborik
Capitals LW Alex Ovechkin  

HARD-LINE STANCE: In Boston, Fluto Shinzawa wrote the NHLPA is "sending the message that it will take a hard-line stance when the CBA expires" after the '10-11 season "by terminating the level-headed [Paul] Kelly and handing over power to interim executive director Ian Penny (old guard), Ron Pink (labor guy), and Buzz Hargrove (labor guy)." In response, the NHL, "which views the split-asunder NHLPA as a laughingstock, will most likely push for at least these concessions: NFL-like nonguaranteed contracts; a reduction in player percentage of hockey-related revenue from [57% to 50%]; and no NHL participation" in the '14 Sochi Games. Shinzawa: "And that, ultimately, spells another work stoppage unless the NHLPA hires a conciliatory leader" (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/6).

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