As popular as “Ice Girls” are becoming in the NHL, I always figured it was an American way of drawing attention to a sport that’s not very popular south of the border, like a desperate gimmick Gary Bettman planted to increase the ratings of the NHL.
But now that the Oilers are hopping on board the skank-train, Canada (a country that isn’t desperate for ratings in hockey) is getting its first NHL cheerleading squad.
You can hear a low grumble growing across the nation as real, female hockey fans fear this disease will spread to the other five Canadian NHL teams.
What’s my problem with it? Am I jealous?
Nope. I just don’t think cheerleading is a part of hockey, and many male hockey fans feel the same way. Keep it in football, basketball — that’s fine, but hockey?
What’s next – golf cheerleaders?
I’m not a feminist by any means, but I think in hockey, a sport with a rapidly increasing FEMALE demographic, should be pushing for marketing ideas that will attract fans in general, not just male fans.
I understand that the Oilers have had a rough past four years, but do they think getting scantily-clad women is going to distract Edmonton’s fan base from what’s actually happening on the ice?
The Canucks’ ice team (a mix of men and women) have received praise for being classy – but what would happen if Vancouver started a cheerleading squad?
I’m sure a lot of (most) men who aren’t blind would appreciate the eye candy, but what about all the women out there who are seriously getting into hockey? Again, a lot of you are thinking “who cares?”, but the fact that female fans are skyrocketing in the NHL’s fan base should remind marketing that it’s no longer a man’s sport. It’s a fan’s sport.
A more important point – what about the TimBits hockey kids who play during intermission? Will this be replaced by ice dancing routines and cheerleading?
What’s more important? Developing these kids as players and giving them the thrill of their little hockey careers by letting them play in front of 19,000 people, or cheerleading?
I guess my point is, I see ice girls in hockey as a trashy, desperate attempt to distract the fans from a struggling team. The Florida Panthers, for example, was one of the first organizations in the NHL to adopt ice dancers, and we all know how the Panthers play… I do know that teams like Boston and Chicago now have ice dancers as well and they’re by no means bad teams, but they are in America.
Why did a Canadian organization have to lower their club to this?
As a Canadian hockey fan, not as a woman, I’m kind of insulted.
I hope that other Canadian organizations don’t see this as competition and feel compelled to adopt it as well. Keep intermission about the TimBits hockey and about showcasing the fans, not about scantily clad girls with shovels.
If you want to see that kind of performance, go to a BC Lions game or Number 5 Orange.
This isn’t a strip club – it’s hockey.