The morning after the NHL’s All-Star Game and while everyone reflects on the events of the last few days the industry is taking a look at the numbers, and not just the number of goals NHL All-Star MVP John Scott scored last night.
The NHL made an effort to change up the game and it looks to have made a difference. While the All-Star Draft had been fun and a fan favorite in the last few years the game itself on Sunday was still lacking in drawing in the fans. Thus the need for change.
“[It was] better. These type of things, it’s really hard to put expectations on it. You don’t know what the speed’s going to be like. But I think a 3-on-3 format, if you’re not trying you’re going to be pinpointed, so I think everyone was definitely trying . . . Originally I thought it was a great idea and now that I played it I think it should be like this from here on out.” – Dallas Stars All-Star forward Tyler Seguin.
When the NHL announced that the game was going to be more of a tournament of 3-on-3 games it was met with some skepticism; but going by the numbers, it worked.
NBCSN saw their biggest ratings for the game on their network – good thing being they are the broadcast partner for the league in the U.S. for the foreseeable future.
What was not foreseeable was the impact that John Scott would have.
John Scott was voted in by the fans, in a manor many see or at least saw as a joke, and he ended up being the hero. Scott shined the light back on what it is like to be a role player in a league that is home to the best hockey players on the planet.
Scott brought hockey back to when it was blue-collar guys hitting the ice and became the player of the fans. Blue-collar fans in blue-collar cities tuned in.
The fans found a player they could relate to, and they tuned in in droves.