Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Where Should Crosby Land?

We will know on Friday where Sidney Crosby will be playing hockey, but there has also been a lot of talk on where he should end up to benefit the NHL. On his blog, Jes Golbez lists the best and worst markets in the U.S. and Canada in terms of bringing the NHL fans, exposure and money.

He lists the three best U.S. markets as Los Angeles, Chicago and New York. The worst U.S. markets as Florida, Carolina and phoenix. The best Canadian market for Crosby would be Montreal, and the worst, Ottawa.

This is a pretty standard list and nothing to call the press over, but I wanted to comment on something he wrote in his post.

You'll notice I said New York, and not necessarily the Ranger$. Although only an outsider would ever put the Islanders and Rangers together, I believe Crosby's impact as an Islander would still be felt throughout the NHL. If Crosby was leading a new Islanders' dynasty, you can bet the NY media would jump right on that bandwagon. If Crosby were to end up on the Isles, it might just speed up the process of getting out of the death trap that is the Nassau Memorial Coliseum.

Obviously, Crosby would better serve the NHL as a Ranger, rather than an Islander...but having him in the New York market, period, would be a great marketing boon for the NHL.
I am a die hard Ranger fan and I would rather Crosby land anywhere in the league rather than on Long Island. But Jes is right. Hockey doesn't just do well when the Rangers are winning; the Islanders have a big impact too. When the Rangers won in '94, the played Long Island in the first round of the playoffs and it generated huge interest. An Islander dynasty led by Crosby (with hopefully a new stadium for them) would still be good for the league.