Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
The NHL is going to be dealing with a significant lost revenue situation this upcoming season.
But if they’re looking to milk us all of a bit more money when fans won’t be able to put butts in seats, they’ve found a damn good way to do it: meet the Reverse Retro Jersey series, the league’s newest (and, imo most effective) marketing ploy for the upcoming season.
— adidas Hockey (@adidashockey) November 10, 2020
Every team has slowly started to tease the reverse retro concept, which will take the old school designs that clubs have been incorporating over the last few years and flip them on their heads. The Arizona Coyotes, who have been meeting with tremendous success over their black Kachina jerseys as Saturday home game alternates for two years now, are going with a purple and orange theme; the Minnesota Wild are going with North Stars colors, the Anaheim Ducks with Mighty Ducks coloring, and the New Jersey Devils might just be David Puddy’s wildest dream.
The Avalanche already knocked it out of the park with their Colorado Rockies throwbacks a few years ago, paying homage to the team now known as the New Jersey Devils (who played in Colorado from 1976 to 1982). Now, they’ll move away from going with Colorado retro — and seem to instead be headed for a franchise pre-relocation retro design a la Quebec Nordiques. [Mile High Hockey]
(The artists over at Icethetics have come up with their predictions for every jersey, by the way, and they’re absolutely worth wasting some Friday work time poring over.)
It’s no secret that the NHL is one of the most reliant leagues when it comes to fan gate revenue, so the lack of confidence in attendance for the upcoming year is going to hurt badly. That means that the league will have to get creative in other areas to ensure teams don’t find themselves struggling to stay afloat by the time the 2021-22 season rolls around.
Some of that may come from things like flex ticket packages when fans are allowed to get into seats, ensuring that every possible seat gets filled as soon as possible. Some might come from other initiatives, though, and things like apparel sales will have to be pursued more aggressively than normal.
Does that mean that the reverse retro is purely a money-grabbing marketing ploy? Of course not. But does that mean that the league might just prey on our hearts to ensure we spend a little more without ticket prices? Just possibly.
In some amazing news, another one of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash survivors has taken to the ice again:
After two years of recovery, former @HumboldtBroncos player Layne Matechuk is back on the ice.
— NHL (@NHL) November 9, 2020
The season is still farther away than many would like. But when it does start back up, many are looking to the Avalanche as a team with something to prove after their earlier-than-expected exit during the fall postseason:
The TOP 10 teams in the NHL RIGHT NOW according to the @ProHockeyTalk writers.
— #ThankYouDoc (@NHLonNBCSports) November 10, 2020
Speaking of the upcoming season, there’s some word of worry out of Canada regarding the potential division realignment.
Nothing is set in stone yet, but the concerning covid-19 spread in many areas have left substantial travel restrictions in place far past when many expected them to be there. That leaves the NHL with a conundrum for Canadian teams trying to play games against American rivals, and vice versa, since it would be difficult to permit teams to cross the national border.
As a result, there have been proposals made that divisions would be re-formatted for the upcoming season, consolidating the seven Canadian teams into one national division and then shuffling the American teams to balance out the divisions that way. It would keep all of the Canadian teams in action against one another until the border opened back up, potentially keeping everyone a little safer and logistically improving the odds of the season happening altogether.
As TSN’s Jamie McLennan pointed out, though, that’s kind of a lopsided deal — especially if the divisions remain aligned that way for the postseason as well.
All of the Canadian teams but Ottawa are considered competitive at the moment, with none of the remaining six in rebuild mode any longer. It would give Ottawa an embarrassingly uphill battle to get any wins at all at the start, but would also create a ‘superdivision’ in which all but one of the teams were expected to be playoff-bound.
McLennan argues that this format would give the Canadian teams ‘no easy nights’ — but on top of that, it would mean we’re still far off on understanding how the playoffs would be formatted and determined upon. [TSN Radio]
Finally, I’ll end on a somewhat somber note — something I’ve tried not to do during Flurries, but feel is necessary at this point in time.
There’s been a lot of controversial talk surrounding the global covid-19 pandemic since the United States first saw sports starting to shut down in early March.
Some have tried to insist that the pandemic is a political hoax — which makes zero sense, as I promise you that Finland and company have zero interest in killing their citizens to somehow ‘own’ outgoing President Trump in an election outside of their own country. Others have insisted that lockdowns will cause more damage than the virus itself due to stagnating economy and mental health crises (something we need to talk about, although not at the expense of public safety).
The biggest argument of all, though, has been surrounding the need to wear masks.
I desperately don’t want another lockdown. I enjoy being able to head into work. I enjoy being able to lead small group runs in my community. I enjoy the prospect that my parents will be able to see me for Christmas, and my daughter will be able to see her dad for Thanksgiving when he’s given leave. Those things won’t happen in a lockdown. I am as invested in keeping things open as you are!
Do you know what it takes to keep things open, though? Following rules. So wear your masks. Hold off on parties for just a little bit longer. Avoid bars that don’t have outdoor seating, and places that don’t have good ventilation, and holiday parties with people you aren’t in regular close contact with. (But especially, wear your mask). There’s happiness on the horizon — let’s not blow it in the interim. Thanks!