Archive for the ‘The Avs off the Ice’ Category

With the rumors coming out that the NHL approved to completely realign the league into 4 conferences rather than 6 divisions, there are going to be some major differences in the league next year. The Avalanche will be in the Pacific Conference, which consists of: Colorado Avalanche, Vancouver Canucks, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, LA Kings, Anaheim Ducks, San Jose Sharks, and the Phoenix Coyotes.

I am not a fan of this system at all, but one thing I have to give the NHL credit for, is they seemed to divide the conferences equally based on talent, right now. Here are the other proposed conferences.

Central Conference: Detroit Red Wings, Dallas Stars, Columbus Blue Jackets, Winnipeg Jets, Chicago Blackhawks, St. Louis Blues, Nashville Predators, and the Minnesota Wild.

Atlantic Conference: New York Rangers, New York Islanders, Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers, Washington Capitals, New Jersey Devils, and the Carolina Hurricanes

Eastern Conference: Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins, Ottawa Senators, Montreal Canadiens, Buffalo Sabres, Tampa Bay Lightning, and the Florida Panthers.

There are so many flaws with this alignment it is silly. There are 16 teams in the West fighting for 8 playoff spots, and 14 in the East for the same amount. That seems fair? The only thing I can think of is hopefully the Coyotes move to the Eastern half, and even everything out.

One part of the plan that I do like, is every team will play each other twice in a season. That makes it a lot more fair, especially when for the last couple years you have teams like Washington who were in a terrible division and were all but guaranteed a division title.

It will also bring Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, Steven Stamkos, John Tavares, and Claude Giroux to Denver every year, which although means some tough games, it will also mean increased attendance, more revenue, and hopefully more spending from the front office.

Maybe it is just me, but I think the Avs were put into the harder of the two Western Conferences. The conferences with 8 teams will play each team in their conference 5 or 6 times depending on the year, where the conferences with seven teams will play each other 6 times a year. The Avs will have to deal with a very good Edmonton team in the future, and well as the Canucks, Kings, Ducks, and Sharks. All of whom, give the Avs problems. Other than Calgary, there really is not a weak team in the conference.

Another proposed change for the NHL is the playoff system. After the first two rounds, which are played within the “Western” and “Eastern” Conferences, they will re-seed, leaving the possibility of having an all western or eastern Stanley Cup Final. Two words for why that is happening: Crosby-Ovechkin. Of course the NHL just wants to have those two battle it out in the finals for years to come.

The reason why I don’t like it, is because of the round before the finals. Lets say Vancouver and Washington are playing each other in the semi-finals, and the Red Wings and Blackhawks in the other. While it does provide some very exciting Stanley Cup finals possibilites, the possibility of having one series be all across the country while the other is close to each other, leaves a big advantage for whoever wins the geographically close series.

The NHL realignment strategy is bold, but I think like the rest of the sports in the US, there is too much of an East Coast bias in the plan, and will hurt the teams in the west, and make it more difficult for the Western Conference teams to make the playoffs, and make a deep run in the playoffs.


For one of my classes I had to write a business story. Being interested in sports, I wanted to make my story sports related, and I settled on “How the Avs make money”.

A major part of my story was about the Avs marketing team, and what they are doing to get people to come to games. Some of the things I found out were quite surprising, so I thought I would share them.

First off, I was told that NHL teams could not market outside of 50 miles from there city. That is just stupid in my opinion. I don’t know how many readers like further than 50 miles away from Denver, but there are a ton of Avs fans further than 50 miles away who, I think, if they were marketed to, would go to more games. Here in Laramie, 150 miles from Denver, I feel there is a decent amount of hockey fans would go to games if there was stronger advertising in the area.

The next thing was the most shocking, and baffling piece of information from the whole story in my opinion. As sports fans will tell you, the NBA is currently in a lockout. And personally, I love it and hope it lasts all year. If it does, it would give hockey the entire North American professional sports world starting in February. Football will end, and if there is no basketball, hockey has the stage to itself. What an opportunity for the sport to gather popularity and become much more mainstream than it currently is. And for the Avs, it will start in January, because there is no way the Broncos make the playoffs.

So here are all these Nugget fans, with no events to go to, and no sports to follow except hockey. But according to an Avalanche Marketer, they are not doing anything, and won’t do anything to try to attract Nugget fans to Avalanche games. Am I the only one who thinks that is incredibly dumb? Here you have a large group of people who are willing to spend money to go to sporting events, and for a whole year, they cannot go because there are no games. The same thing happened with the NHL in 2005, and people stopped caring about the NHL. I simply can’t understand why they would not go after Nuggets’ fans. The only explanation I got was they were different demographics. And maybe age they are, but both are sports fans, willing to spend money on sports, and are going to do what is best for themselves, and going a year without sports is not what they would want, so why not try hockey? Better than nothing? Not according to the Avs Marketing Team.
In some ways I don’t want to get too upset with them, because they are professionals and I’m just a random person with not nearly as much knowledge about marketing as they have, but at the same time these things seem like it would be so obvious to try and would be successful.

Here are some other quick facts that I learned: Avs target market: Males, 35-54, “Because they can afford the tickets”. Main goal for the marketers? Getting the young players out to the public. The Puck Drop contest before the season is the biggest way they market the team because it involves so much social media. And last, accorded to the marketer, getting new fans is just as important as keeping current fans.