NHL Business Line: NHL Goes Back in Time with Green Day

NHL Business Line is back ahead of puck drop on the 2019-20 NHL regular season on Wednesday. Today’s topics are headlined by the NHL’s odd choice in picking Green Day to be a partner and NHL Seattle’s AHL selection.

On Monday the NHL made a stunning announcement with a two-year partnership with punk rock band Green Day making headlines. Per the league, the early 2000s band will provide All-Star Game entertainment as well as the new theme song for Wednesday Night Hockey.

The partnership was also done in collaboration with NBC Sports who are taking a page out of their football package playbook (Sunday Night Football) in creating a theme song for their weekly broadcast.

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While Green Day is a five-time Grammy-winning band that has been around for decades, the choice by the NHL is rather bizarre. Even if this partnership was made 10 years ago it would have felt a tad off. For a league that hasstarted to see an age problem amongst its demographic tapping a band that was at its peak popularity in 2004 isn’t exactly an ideal choice.

That being said, the Green Day choice may resonate with the NHL fanbase and does fit with the rock vibe that the sport does align with. Certainly worse choices out there but for now, it comes off as being an out of touch move by the league.

Seattle Gives the AHL Nod to Palm Springs

Also on Monday was an announcement out of the AHL with AHL President and CEO David Andrews announcing that an expansion franchise has been awarded to NHL Seattle. The league’s 32nd team will be located in Palm Springs and affiliated directly with NHL Seattle.

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Ron Francis is presented with a hockey jersey by Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, left, as Seattle Hockey Partners CEO Tod Leiweke looks on (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

“Palm Springs has all the makings of an outstanding hockey market, and will further strengthen the growing base of our sport in California,” said Andrews in the league’s press release.

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Palm Springs will be the fifth AHL franchise located in the State of California. Both AHL Palm Springs and NHL Seattle are without names for the moment but both are expected to be up and running for the 2021-22 season.

It is worth noting that Palm Springs is roughly 20 hours by car to Seattle and 3 hours by plane. The reason for not going local with the AHL affiliation, according to NHL Seattle, is the team’s desire to not take anything away from already established WHL teams.

Predators Extend Arena Naming Rights Deal

On Sunday, the Nashville Predators announced that the naming rights of their arena will extend through 2030. Bridgestone Arena tacks on five additional years to a contract that was initially signed in March 2010.

Nashville has been extending the naming rights fairily often since its initial signing with an extension in 2017 running through 2025 before re-upping this week for another five years. The arena has hosted the NHL’s 27th team since 1996 and has attracted over 23 million fans over the years.

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Nashville Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm (Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)

The arena in Nashville has been in the news quite a bit this offseason with the Predators locking up a lease that will run through the year 2049. Over the past several seasons the venue has undergone an $80 million overhaul including $8 million this offseason alone with a new scoreboard and party suites.

The Predators also happen to be a participator in the 2020 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on New Years Day in Dallas. This is the first new logo the team has revealed since 2011-12. Winter Classic jersey reveals are expected in November.

NHL Business Line will be back at the end of the week recapping the early wins and losses from the leagues opening games from a business perspective.