“Feeling Bravado": NHL players say the league has work related to self-promotion


Taylor Hall's trade this week has wavered in the NHL.

A star moving from a lower feeder to an opponent is always big news.

But the winger also pushed the needle last spring after another disappointing season, watching the Toronto Raptors go to the franchise's first name.

“After more attention from the NBA to this Raptors race, I really opened my eyes to how big it is,” Hall wrote on May 31 on Twitter. “There is a real sense of bravado and entertainment that is not found in other sports.

"The stars are on display every night, and it's impressive."

Basketball has several advantages over a game, such as hockey, when it comes to impact. Each team has fewer players, big names play most of the time, and perhaps most importantly, the absence of helmets means that their faces are visible to fans.

It also doesn’t hurt that basically anyone with access to the ball and the net can play.

But Hall, which was handed out on Monday from devils from New Jersey to coyotes from Arizona, believes that hockey can catch on if more players want to be in the spotlight.

“I think the NHL is succeeding thanks to players who not only participate in the contract negotiations, but simply speak in the community,” he said in an interview. “You see, hockey players are usually pretty good guys. The speed of our game, it is becoming faster, faster and more wins.

"I think we are on the rise."

But without a doubt, a long way is yet to come.

New Jersey quarterback P.K. Subban is the NHL's leader in self-promotion on social media, personal appearances, charity, and its own reality shows, while young stars like the Toronto Maple Leafs center and Auston Matthews seem to be more willing to share their interests away from the rink than past ones generations.

However, they remain the exception rather than the rule in hockey.

"We are all different. Everyone will do different things, ”Subban said. “People just have different levels of comfort.

“We all have one thing in common – we all feel comfortable on the ice.”

The league and its players are proud of their dedicated team-based hockey aspects, but Sabban said there is always room to grow, especially when you look at the dollars scattered in other leagues.

“I don’t know what it is like in other locker rooms in other sports, but I can say that we have certain problems in hockey that are not in other sports, and we are happy about that,” Subban said. “But at the same time, we need to look at other sports where players are paid hundreds of millions of dollars off-site, and it's not just marketing.”

"They are doing something right."

At the beginning of last season, Matthews made a series of photo shoots for fashion magazines. He said the NHL and its players should be open to new attempts.

“There are many opportunities for improvement,” he said. “Not only in one specific area, but I think there are many things that you can look at what other leagues are doing, but we are not.”

NHL revenues have risen sharply over the past 25 years, and the league has been trying to expand its brand recently with games in Europe and China. Any significant growth on a global scale, of course, will mean more money for owners and players.

“We are on our way, and I think that the game and the product that we can offer in the long run will pay off,” Subban said. “I have seen improvements since I was in the league. I am pleased with how things are going.

“We just have to keep moving in the right direction.”





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