There are a lot of tough jobs in the NHL, particularly when it comes to selling tickets for teams who aren’t dominating the league.
One of the toughest of all might be selling tickets for the Dallas Stars this summer. The team wasn’t exactly selling like hot cakes last year, but after losing two long-time fan favorites in Mike Modano and Marty Turco, the uphill battle is turning into scaling a mountain.
Perhaps it’s a strategy born out of necessity, but the Stars are promoting team … in fact they’re putting it in ALL CAPS. Here is more about the Stars TEAM marketing campaign via Mark Stepneski of ESPN Dallas.
It’s a message that GM Joe Nieuwendyk and Marc Crawford will push and it’s a message that the team’s marketing staff will capitalize on as well.
“Your marketing message for the year has to flow up from an authentic place; it flows up from the team because you are trying to encapsulate the best of your team. This year it is: ‘It’s About TEAM’ and team will be in all capital letters,” Geoff Moore, executive vice president for sales and marketing. “It’s because the Dallas Stars were not built by one player. Certain players had more to do with it than others, but it was always about a team. “
That emphasis on team was a staple of the Bob Gainey-Ken Hitchcock era, when the Stars had their great run in the late 90’s and it continues as the Stars move into a new era.
“What did Bob Gainey and Ken Hitchcock preach every single day? It was about the team,” said Moore. “With Dave Tippett it was if everything you do is for the best of the team then you can’t go wrong. That’s what Joe and Marc are pushing forward – that if you work hard for each other every day then you can’t go wrong.”
Aw, does that mean that TEAM isn’t some contrived acronym? That kind of bums me out.
The Stars organization must cope with plenty of hurdles – from departing heroes of the past to bankrupt owners and maybe even a questionable coach and GM – but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any positives to look at. While their defense is suspect and their main goalie lacks consistency, they have a nice group of forwards to build around.
Some might even say that they have a pretty good TEAM, but I’d ask that they stop screaming.
The Los Angeles Kings may owe Mike Richards money until 2031 (seriously), but in settling his grievance, the team and player more or less get to turn the page.
Not before Kings GM Dean Lombardi shares his sometimes startling perspective, though.
Lombardi has a tendency to be candid, especially in the press release-heavy world of sports management. Even by his standards, his account of Richards’ “destructive sprial” is a staggering read from the Los Angeles Times’ Lisa Dillman.
“Without a doubt, the realization of what happened to Mike Richards is the most traumatic episode of my career,” Lombardi said in a written summation he provided to the Los Angeles Times. “At times, I think that I will never recover from it. It is difficult to trust anyone right now – and you begin to question whether you can trust your own judgment. The only thing I can think of that would be worse would be suspecting your wife of cheating on you for five years and then finding out in fact it was true.”
Lombardi provides plenty of eyebrow-raising statements to Dillman, including:
- He believed he “found his own Derek Jeter” in Richards, a player who “at one time symbolized everything that was special about the sport.”
- Lombardi remarked that “his production dropped 50 percent and the certain ‘it’ factor he had was vaporizing in front of me daily.”
- The Kings GM believes that he was “played” by Richards.
Again, it’s a powerful read that you should soak in yourself, even if you’re unhappy with the way the Kings handled the situation.
Maybe the most pressing of many lingering questions is: will we get to hear Richards’ side of the story?
Despite owning two Stanley Cup rings, there are a healthy number of people who aren’t wild about Jonathan Quick.
Those people might feel validated through the Los Angeles Kings’ first two games, as he followed a rough loss to the San Jose Sharks with a true stinker against the Arizona Coyotes on Friday.
Sometimes a goalie has a bad night stats-wise, yet his team is as much to blame as anything else. You can probably pin this one on Quick, who allowed four goals on just 14 shots through the first two periods.
Things died down in the final frame, but let’s face it; slowing things down is absolutely the Coyotes’ design with a 4-1 lead (which ultimately resulted in a 4-1 win).
A soft 1-0 goal turned out to be a sign of things to come:
Many expected the Kings to roar into this second game after laying an egg in their opener. Instead, the Coyotes exploited Quick’s struggles for a confidence-booster, which included key prospect Max Domi scoring a goal and an assist.
It’s worth mentioning that Mike Smith looked downright fantastic at times, only drawing more attention to Quick’s struggles.
After a troubled summer and a failed 2014-15 season, Los Angeles was likely eager to start things off the right way.
Instead, they instead will likely focus on the fact that they merely dropped two (ugly) games.