Buffalo Sabres Tank, ECHL Moves, NHL Jersey Ads


Good morning, Buffalo Sabres fans! After much of the United States and Canada’s sports fans paid all the attention to the NFL and the Super Bowl last night, eyes can return to the NHL tonight, as there’s three games on the schedule. The Buffalo Sabres don’t have game on tap until Tuesday, but there’s been plenty of hockey-related news over the past few days to talk about.

First up: the Buffalo Sabres and the idea of tanking.

We’ve heard this one time and time again. Some fans express their support of a supposed “tank,” while others are very anti-tank. The team itself has opposed the idea, and now NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has stepped in to express his thoughts on the idea of tanking. [The Buffalo News]

What do you think? Personally – just my opinion here – I think the idea of tanking is… non-existent. The entire purpose of sports is to try to win; no matter what anyone says, I find it hard to believe that any team would ever purposely lose, even if it meant getting things like high draft picks and rebuilding and a potentially better future team.

After the American Hockey League announced some pretty big moves last week, the ECHL stepped in and announced how those moves affected that league. With AHL teams moving to Stockton, Bakersfield and Ontario, the ECHL teams in those markets are all affected. [ECHL.com]

More from Sabres News

The ECHL moves will see Norfolk, Manchester and Glens Falls pick up ECHL teams. In addition, the ECHL announced Friday that the Las Vegas Wranglers voluntarily withdrew from the league. The team was unable to find an arena for next season and were under a voluntary suspension this season.

Next up: jersey ads in the National Hockey League?

According to the Orange County Register, it’s not too far off — in fact, the NHL could test putting sponsored ads on jerseys as early as next year’s World Cup of Hockey in Toronto.

Having sponsored advertisements on hockey jerseys isn’t a brand new concept. Many, many teams overseas do it; many minor-league teams do it. Even the NHL already does it – consider the Reebok logos on the back of every jersey.

In the end, hockey is a business. It all boils down to making money, and if putting an ad on a jersey creates additional revenue for the league…. why not do it?

Of course, there will be those who are strictly opposed to the idea, while others won’t care and others will fully support it. I suppose another factor that has to be considered here is just how many ads will be allowed on jerseys; will there be one or two, or will they cover a good portion of the jersey? How big will the ads be, and what companies will be advertised?

Finally, in non-Buffalo Sabres related news, Alex Ovechkin joined NHL history on Sunday in the Caps’ game against the St. Louis Blues.

Ovechkin scored his 30th goal of the season, making him just the fifth player in NHL history to have 30 or more goals in each of his first ten seasons.

Regardless of whether you love Ovechkin, hate him or have no feelings either way — you’ve got to admit that’s a great accomplishment. Ovechkin joins Wayne Gretzky, Mike Bossy, Jari Kurri and Mike Gartner — all great historic names in the NHL.