Monday, 9 January 2012

Making the NHL Sit Up and Take Notice

I believe that the majority of NHL fans want to see fights in hockey eliminated.  I have no proof, no studies that I can cite, or documented surveys that I can publish.   My opening statement might seem foolish using anecdotal evidence – when I’m at the Air Canada Centre and a fight breaks out, I’m one of the few that remains seated, waiting for the interruption to be moved off the ice by the referees.   But when I see various media stories on fighting and then move to the reader’s comments I am encouraged by the number of people who also want to see the NHL put an end to fisticuffs.

So what can we do?   Well my objective for starting this blog was to attract that silent majority that I think exists, and have them subscribe so we can use the power of many to affect change.   Once we have a significant amount of subscribers we can then contemplate the actions noted below:

Send a message to the NHL – With a large enough following we can continually put the NHL and individual teams on notice that fighting has to end.   A relentless campaign that includes; email campaigns, posting comments on NHL Team fan sites or calling for “Stop Fighting Nights” where fans are asked to boycott games on the schedule. 

Send a message to the media – If any of the blog readers come across a story that promotes fighting, we communicate to our subscribers to post comments that provide a counter-point.  We send messages to hockey journalists across North America and let it be known that there is a large group who wants fighting out of the NHL.  We could start with the CBC who uses the song “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting” as the theme song for their hockey broadcasts (the Nickelback version).

Send a message to the advertisers – Money drives the NHL.  As much as it’s a sport and entertainment, it’s also big business.   A movement that has a large group behind it can put pressure on any company that advertises on the rink boards, in the programs or on the telecasts.   With enough anti-fighting fans we can designate products for a rotating campaign where we email those companies about the issue, or stop buying their products for a period of time.

Send a message to the players – Many media articles talk about change starting with the NHL players, and that the majority is not opposed to fighting.  This becomes the biggest challenge, getting a message to the players that a sizeable amount of their fans wants them to come out and support the end of fighting in hockey.  We can focus on the NHLPA and target their social media section and continually contact them to let our views be known.

I would suggest that it will take all of the above to bring about change.  It would have to involve the coordinated and overlapping strategies listed and many more that I haven’t though of yet.  But that’s the advantage of having a large group of like minded subscribers – we can share ideas and use the input of all to bring about the end of fighting in the NHL.

If you have somehow found this site and you agree that fighting has to be taken out of hockey then please sign up for email updates to my blog using the Subscribe tool in the top right corner.   My hope is to collect enough subscribers that we can start to make a difference by taking some of the actions noted above.   At the very least we can become a voice for the opposition, countering the many pro-fighting sites and blogs that exist today.  

Because, it’s not part of the game.

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