Welcome Matt: Are marathon OT playoff games bad business for NHL?
Long overtime games are a distinguishing feature of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but as I watched the Florida Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes drone on last night, found myself wondering if they’re on borrowed time.
We live in an attention-span economy. People don’t want to commit five-plus hours to stay in one place.
You saw the rink in Raleigh last night. Chris Cuthbert estimated it was two-thirds full by the end. Fans went home without knowing the winner. Their time was more valuable than seeing the game-winning goal.
As an aside: I do think if that game happens in a better hockey market, more people remain and are gripped to the proceedings. I think some North Carolina was showing amongst the departed.
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- Epic OT game ended so late that fans were literally falling asleep
Baseball has gotten the message and introduced a pitch clock. Once thought sacrosanct in the game that prided itself on no clock, even the most hardened, tobacco-spitting baseball men have instantly applauded the new era.
Why? Because they value their time, too.
Look, I like long overtimes. Used to be a nighthawk in my younger days back east, so a game that was still ongoing after I got back from the bar was perfect late-night entertainment.
And I still like long overtimes if my eyelids will cooperate.
But I think I’m in the minority, and that some sort of sudden resolution is on the horizon…especially if an ice hockey game runs too long and spoils whatever ESPN or TNT has coming up next.
It’s probably time, because more and more, people don’t have as much of it.