NHL Takes to ‘Top of the Rock’ to Promote Upcoming Season
Added by Luis Vazquez on September 10, 2013.
Islanders captain John Tavares. (Photo Credit: Marlene Amaya-Vazquez)
The NHL held a special press gathering at the “Top of the Rock” Observation deck on 30 Rockefeller Plaza. It was 70 floors into the sky, with the full view of Manhattan Island on both ends where ten NHL players discussed the upcoming outdoor game series, the outlook of the league, and their hopes for their respective teams.
The idea of open air games in stadiums are a natural special event that provides a nostalgic aspect as most hockey players started playing the sport outdoors in cold environs. “It takes you back to competing as kids on the ice, growing up in the winters. Just get your skates and sticks and grab a puck and go skating in the pond, it was a great time.” New Jersey Devils Andy Greene shared.
Henrik Lundquist of the New York Rangers agreed. “It does bring back memories, only on a different level, I have been playing in New York for many years, and this is going to be special. I can’t wait to see it.” John Tavares described the brutal weather playing up in Canada. “I remember playing for seven hours. We played until we couldn’t feel our toes.” Tavares recalled, “It’s just a passion for the game.”
The NHL suffered a lot of popularity as they came very close to seeing another season nearly lost to a strike. The results were a truncated season. For John Tavares last year had its positives. “I think the season we had last year was unique. You had a choice of great games every night and it was a lot of fun for the fans and I think they enjoy the outdoor events.” Henrik is ready to regain its fan base. “I think it’s going to help the growth of our game.” Henrik is quite optimistic as well. “The players feel real good to start the season. I hope the fans are excited to have hockey back again.” Lundquist explained, “I can’t wait to start playing.”
In an attempt to regain momentum and move forward the NHL decided to add a slate of outdoor hockey games in stadiums that unlike the occasional winter classic would count in the standings and give several markets a shot at seeing the NHL in a fresh light. “I think these events are a positive. It brings out the best in what the league has to offer.” Andy Greene explained, “It’s great because you don’t have to be a rapid hockey fan, you can be a casual fan. One good showing and you can win new fans.” John agreed, “I think it’s going to help the growth of our game.”
New Jersey Devils’ Andy Greene (Photo Credit: Marlene Amaya-Vazquez)
The three metropolitan teams all are looking to do better than last year. The Islanders look to exceed last year’s surprise playoff, the Rangers want to get the level their potential implies, while the Devils look to regain old glory. John Tavares feels it’s a matter of repeating what worked in the stretch run last season. “I think the approach is about the same. To keep building off what’s been done and get better.” John points out, “We have to understand that it’s not going to get easier because the more success people don’t take you for granted and aren’t taken by surprise.” Henrik coolly pointed out that the Rangers, who had a coaching change, may just benefit. “I’m excited. I’m ready to get going. I think we are in a good place.” Henrik said, “I hope we can take another step, we definitely have the pieces.” For Andy Greene of the Devils it’s about returning to the top. “We had a good summer and we want to get back to where we were two years ago.”