It's old news that some NHL teams ban bloggers from getting coveted press box seats at home games. The Rangers and Oilers have strict "no blogger" policies. OK, that's strict, but now we learn NHL teams want to ban bloggers from covering the games during road games too.
To be clear: the Oilers, for instance, don't allow bloggers at their stadium's locker room, and now they figure bloggers shouldn't have access when the team is on the road too, as hockey blog Puck Daddy explains.
In essence, these teams wish to see bloggers become a second-class citizenry in the press box: Given a 'B-grade' credential that allows them on press row and in the home-team dressing room, but prohibits them from interacting with players from the visiting team if that team has a policy against alt-media access.
What's strange is how the NHL has accepted bloggers as legit press, but not specific teams. Pucky Daddy spoke to Mike DiLorenzo, the League's director of social media marketing and strategy, and also director of business communications. He said: "Blogs are the original social media, and at the League level, social media is an important audience development device."
Why are some NHL teams so blind to the publicity they can get with bloggers? No, they're not all couch potatoes living in their mom's basement. Some bloggers, like those at Puck Daddy, deliver pertinent under-reported news to hockey fans across the world. We all don't read ESPN and Sports Illustrated; some of us prefer the less beaten path.
I hope those anti-blog teams rethink their policies and allow hockey bloggers access at both home and road games. It would be foolish to ignore the power of social media in today's 24/7 sports coverage, especially when some bloggers do a better job at covering games than ye ol' stringer.