HOW THE EIHL UPPED THEIR SOCIAL GAME
As things start to knuckle down and all the teams up their game as the new season is upon us, you may also have noticed the game has been upped with the media output coming from the Elite League.
The new-look website rolled out live late last week, with a new attractive layout while the standard of social media output is certainly up on what it was the last couple of years.
It seems like the league are finally joining the race this year and with goal videos within a couple of hours of games ending, more and more social interaction and other little subtle things, you realise a lot of work has gone in over the last 10 months to get to this stage.
I’m not going to lie. Losing the job from working with the league’s media last October stung as it was something I thoroughly enjoyed, along with my partner Rob McGregor, but when I see what differences have been made, I have to applaud how much it’s come on.
Luke Fisher, who replaced us, clearly knows his stuff having worked with the Champions Hockey League and perhaps looking at their output as well as one or two other leagues, it was clear having two guys, also working full time jobs, just couldn’t bring the new level they were after.
I’ll be honest enough to admit there are still areas of new media that I haven’t quite got to learn or have limited experience enough. We just couldn’t do that to the standard that’s now there.
Along with the board and the Director of Hockey, Mike Hicks, the stats gathering has been revamped also, which has meant the institution of Ronnie Nichol and Jim Lydon, R & J Stats, are no longer around too.
Knowing both guys quite well, I think they knew this change was coming and to lose something that has taken up a large part of their lives for the last 15 years, it’s naturally going to leave a gap.
There’s a new live set-up for gathering the stats, which updates throughout the game. Early signs are it’s working well and while there one or two minor teething issues, it’ll be a huge benefit over the course of the season.
Certain people have access to post game information that shows you where shots were taken from and how many shots in each zone were being taken. In terms of reporting, this is game changing information and will take the league forward in so many ways.
The Elite League have never had it so good for their output and even I’m honest to admit, it’s far better than anything Rob and I did in two and a half years and I’m sure our predecessors, Seth Bennett and Chris Ellis would say the same thing too.
It’s a lot more than getting interviews, posting it out and sharing relentlessly on social media to get the numbers. Luke has really taken things to new level and having only seen a glimmer of what’s to come, it will be a big season going forward for the league on the media side of things.
Well done to all concerned.
ELITE’S TOP TWO NO LONGER CANNON FODDER
The impact of British teams in European competition shouldn’t come as any surprise in the last three years as we’ve seen a better standard of performance in the Champions Hockey League and relative success in the Continental Cup.
So, to see Belfast Giants and Cardiff Devils come away from the weekend with ten points from a possible 12 between them is fantastic to see as the continent takes notice.
Strong home performances by both teams in their two games has put them in a great position in the early stages and going away this week will represent a true marker of how well these teams can do in the CHL.
Cardiff have been over the course and will look for more from this latest attempt, but Belfast have taken the challenge head on and look like a team that are relative veterans of this competition.
Things are a long way from being decided at this stage, but if either teams can take a couple of favourable results on their travels this week, we could be looking a presence of some kind from these shores in the last 16.
And to think there are folk out there desperate to see get out of Europe as quickly as possible.
WE’RE ON THE AIR
If you haven’t had a chance yet, have a listen of our brand new podcast where Ben Hughes chats to some of the top names in the Elite League to preview the new season.
There’s some good interviews in there and it’s something we’re keen to do more of in the coming season so subscribe to it through Audioboom and Apple Podcasts as we bring a more central look to life in British Ice Hockey. You know you want to. Have a listen here.