Kaspars Daugavins: Hockey Should Be Bigger in US

Mark McGuire, Timesunion.com 3-3-2010 “Making a difference in hockey “

Check out Mark McGuire’s excellent piece about the hockey buzz post Olympics.

Here’s all they need to deliberate: On the first Monday and Tuesday in March, with college basketball reaching a fever pitch and pitchers and catchers in Florida and Arizona and the NBA playoffs and NFL draft looming, people of all backgrounds were talking hockey.

That’s right, hockey.

It’s a crowded sports landscape across the country, and even here in Albany. To succeed presenting hockey you have to be distinct, do something different, do something that will make the casual fan or even non-fan notice.

“Especially here in the States, there are so many sports that a lot of people don’t follow hockey,” said Binghamton Senators left wing Kaspars Daugavins, who played for the Latvian national team that went 0-4 in Vancouver. “It should be a little bigger in the States because the NHL is here.”

The Olympics opened that door. Still, owners grumble about shutting down the season or risking injuries or fatigue for players in a tournament that doesn’t help their teams win the Stanley Cup. The short-sightedness would be stunning if not for the fact the sport has repeatedly failed to market itself successfully.