Say what you will about the NHL’s marketing efforts in the past, it’s pretty easy to say that the series of “History Will Be Made” spots the league has crafted before and throughout the playoffs have been, for the most part, poignant and well thought out. Much like all things, however, there comes a moment where you wonder if perhaps the ad wizards in charge of everything have gotten a bit carried away and pulled a Fonz and went water skiing with it.
Enter the latest spot from the NHL featuring Dustin Byfuglien and Chris Pronger asking “What if the Blackhawks couldn’t be bullied?”
Never mind the question the spot asks since Game 5 was the only game in the finals where we really saw the Blackhawks get physical right back with the Flyers. How about the NHL giving some folks the idea (read: crazy conspiracy theorists and/or Flyers fans) that the league is openly rooting for the Blackhawks? And we bet you thought all the tinfoil hat talk went away with the Red Wings… Ha!
So what do you think dear readers? Is the league taking sides here or is this just an example of a great ad campaign going over the top?
Could Raphael Diaz be on his way back to Switzerland?
We’ll know in a month.
Diaz, who lost out on the Rangers’ final blueline spot in training camp, has reported to the club’s AHL affiliate in Hartford but doesn’t seem pleased with his current situation, per the Post:
The 29-year-old Diaz, who cleared waivers last Saturday after the Blueshirts opted to keep rookie Dylan McIlrath as the club’s seventh on the blue line, is interested in the European option if he is not in the NHL.
The Blueshirts have told Diaz they will revisit the situation at the end of October, but have not promised to release him or assign him to a European team at that point.
If Diaz, a Swiss native who represented Switzerland in the 2014 Olympics, does play in Europe during the season, he would have to go through waivers in order to return to the NHL.
Diaz’s agent, Ritch Winter, told the Post that Diaz signed a one-year, $700,000 deal with the Rangers “to play with the Rangers.”
And it’s understandable if Diaz — a journeyman offensive defenseman — isn’t happy with this situation.
While some believe McIlrath earned his roster spot on merit, some think it’s because of his contract status. McIlrath, who’s only 23 and a former first-round pick, would’ve needed to clear waivers to go back to Hartford, and it’s believed he would’ve been claimed by another club.