The NBA lockout seems a golden opportunity for NHL teams to win advertisers and woo basketball fans who have free time and unspent money. But that's more complicated than letting everyone know the NHL is in full swing while the NBA is idle.
"Work stoppages aren't good for any of us," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. "And I get asked a lot about how we're 'taking advantage of an opportunity.' The truth is, you can't make an elaborate plan when you never know how long a work stoppage is going to last."
There are other reasons NHL teams can't be perceived as profiting from the misfortunes of NBA teams with whom they often share arenas and owners.
The NHL has been through two lockouts since 1994 and faces another labor negotiation next year. If the league shuts down again, NHL owners wouldn't appreciate NBA owners using that as a marketing tool. There's also a prevailing sense in hockey that it's better to emphasize what's positive about your team than the negative aspects of some...