Newest NHL craze: jersey ads!

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Newest NHL craze: jersey ads!

By Jon Fucile
WickedGoodSports.com

The Florida Panthers are awful. Really really awful. They shouldn't even be a hockey team. You can't pay people to go see them. Obviously they are not making much money for their owners. Because no one watches and the owners want more money, Panthers ownership has come up with a new way to make money.

They are putting another ad on their rink and making their broadcasters refer to the rink as Lexus Rink. Yes, the car manufacturer Lexus bought the rights to the Panthers ice. Next season during broadcasts the Panthers broadcasting team will have to say the Panthers are playing at the BankAtlantic Center on the Lexus Rink.

Panthers president Michael Yormark said Lexus "wanted a game changer." So they chose the Panthers? The people at Lexus must not watch any hockey. At all. Ever.

Yormark went on to say "People are always looking for the same old thing, and that's not in our DNA." Really? Because you've been doing the same old thing and losing for years so apparently that is in your DNA you idiot.

But he doesn't want to stop there. Now that the ice is sold, he wants to put ads on jerseys. Yeah. He basically wants to make Panthers jerseys look like Nascar cars.

So that got us thinking. If certain NHL teams marketed the product that most defined them or their fanbase on their jerseys, what would it look like? A few teams were nice enough to model that concept for us. Take a look.

IS Lindy Ruff and the Buffalo Sabres are constantly leaking tears. They cry about everything. They've basically cornered the market in America on whiny little pansies. How do you plug up all those tears? Well, Buffalo went with a natural choice for their jerseys.

Vegas has that slogan "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas." Well, Philadelphia has that slogan "Come to Philly, Leave with Herpes!" The people of Philly are so gross and dirty that it is virtually impossible not to get herpes if you go there. And now Mike Richards is helping to advertise something that can help!

The folks in Montreal love a good fake emergency. Dirty dishes? Call 9-1-1. Too afraid to kill that spider in the corner of the room? Call 9-1-1. That pizza you ordered is a couple minutes late? Call 9-1-1. So Carey Price and the Canadiens are making sure the citizens of Montreal know who to call.

The Coyotes are in trouble. Attendance is down. No one really wants to buy them because they hemorrhage money. The arena lease is terrible. Their sponsorship was just a natural combination. At least they're advertising a company their players can use to book a flight to their new homes next season.

Well, that is assuming that Air Canada has not made good on their threat to pull all sponsorship from the NHL. No one cares enough about Air Canada to check and find out.

Next we have the Washington Capitals! There were a lot of choices for them. Summer's Eve. Geico. Chokers R Us. But instead the Capitals decided to pay homage to a fan base that didn't know they had a team until around 2005. A local bandwagon store bought some ad space on their jerseys.

Hop aboard!

These days everyone complains about everything ever. Apparently everything is supposed to represent both sides of an argument at all times every day. If they don't, they're considered bias or closed minded. With this in mind, the New Jersey Devils decided to get a little holier and give the opposition a little face time on their jerseys.

Minnesota's team is called the Wild but they are anything but. They are often very tame while other teams have their way with them. They need a little injection of energy! Seeing a good opportunity, a pro wrestler still pretending he's popular saw the chance for some more money and with his recent divorce he can use all the money he can get. The partnership was basically a match made in heaven and now maybe Minnesota can start running wild!

Maybe the NHL is on to something.. or not.

AL East picture through April: Red Sox better than expected

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AL East picture through April: Red Sox better than expected

BOSTON -- With the first month of the season at coming to a close, Boston finds itself half a game behind Baltimore for first place and 2.5 games ahead of the third place Rays.

With the question marks surrounding the pitching staff behind David Price entering the season, among other issues, the Red Sox are in a much better position than initially expected.

John Farrell credits much of the early success to his potent offense.

“[We] finished better than we started I think the biggest thing is that guys in our lineup have developed that trust in one another,” he said. “There [are] some elements to our offense that’ve been very encouraging. The all-field approach and the way we’ve run the bases [have] been very consistent.”

It’s undeniable that the newfound consistency to the pitching staff has been a huge help -- although Farrell did note Clay Buchholz needs to get the ball rolling.

“The last two turns through the rotation has been more consistent. We’ve been able to give our guys in the bullpen a little bit more regular rest,” Farrell said. “I like the fact that we’ve added to the depth of power arms in our bullpen. We still have room for improvement we know that.

Entering the final game of the opening series against New York, the Red Sox and the Orioles are the only AL East teams with winning records against their inter-division rivals.

Even though they’ve performed better than anticipated, a case can be made that the Red Sox should sit in first place.

Tampa Bay shut them out in the opener, and won the final game of the series that was powered by a rare David Price implosion.

Toronto won the final two games of the second season series by the skin of its teeth, narrowly avoiding Red Sox comebacks in the ninth inning of each game.

Baltimore won the first game of its opening series in Boston thanks to a ninth inning home run.

New York has one game left before both teams leave town and, weather permitting, Boston has a chance to start May off properly -- by disposing of the only team in the AL East stuck with single digit wins.

With the ups and downs for the five AL East teams, Farrell doesn’t expect there will be disparity in the division.

“Every team has got their strengths,” he said. “We don’t expect this to be a huge separation among any of the five teams here. We’re all probably searching to sure up areas that we’re in need of. That first starts with making the necessary adjustments with the guys that are on our roster right now. Not that we’re going to make wholesale changes.”

Carson Smith (forearm) to be activated for road trip

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Carson Smith (forearm) to be activated for road trip

Reliever Carson Smith is set to be activated for the start of the upcoming road trip Tuesday in Chicago, and his arrival will be welcomed by the Red Sox.

Smith, a big off-season acquisition from Seattle last December, has missed the first month after suffering a strained flexor muscle in his forearm late in March.

His return can only boost a bullpen that has performed better in recent weeks.

But his return could force the Sox into a tough roster decision. It had been assumed that Smith would return at the expense of two other young relievers on the staff -- Matt Barnes or Heath Hembree -- but manager John Farrell hinted otherwise Sunday.

"Because we've leaned on our bullpen so much,'' said Farrell, "I think we've got to be careful that we don't fall back into a similar situation that we've just been able to survive and come out of, where we've given some ample rest. To prioritize an extra pitcher versus a bench player, that's an internal discussion that's ongoing right now.

"And we've got to be mindful that Carson comes back to us with a limited rehab so we've got to be careful on his frequency of use, so it's not being ruled out that we might go with an extra pitcher for the short-term.''

That would suggest that the Sox could send out Marco Hernandez, who returned to the team Saturday to once again give them four bench players.

Barnes has appeared in 10 games and compiled a 2.92 ERA with 13 strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings while Hembree is unscored upon in four appearances, covering nine innings.

Both players have options remaining that would allow the Sox to send them to Triple A without first exposing them to waivers.

But for the time being, it would seem that the two will remain, giving the Red Sox 13 pitchers and eight-man bullpen.

 

McAdam: Red Sox ‘won’t sit pat’ on underperforming players

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McAdam: Red Sox ‘won’t sit pat’ on underperforming players

Sean McAdam and Trenni Kusnierek discuss John Farrell’s comments that seems to call out Clay Buchholz’ performance this season.