The NHL Might Have a Huge ESPN Personality in Its Corner
I'll say it until I'm blue in the face: there is nothing in sports quite like Stanley Cup playoff hockey. The intensity, the physicality, the screaming fans that, even at half capacity, can still rock an arena to its foundation. I've grown up watching it, and I'll watch it until I croak.
With the NHL moving to ESPN and TNT next season, the entire sports world is about to experience playoff hockey at a whole new level. As a sport that's searching for ways to become more popular, having important names in the sports world on their side, urging viewers and listeners to watch playoff hockey, is incredibly important.
Enter: Scott Van Pelt.
There are very few members of the media that I admire and respect more than SVP. The SportsCenter anchor-turned radio host-turned late night television star has consistently helmed shows that have become the pinnacles of sports media. As a young sports media professional, that's a peak you aim to reach someday.
Having someone as big in the world of sports media as Scott Van Pelt pumping the tires of the NHL's greatest stage is a huge thing for the sport, and a trend that I hope continues once the NHL switches back over to ESPN. Having hockey feature on his nightly SportsCenter show would be big, and having a hockey-centric clip from it go viral would be even bigger.
It's one small step for hockey, but it could lead to one giant leap later down the road.