Quick Hits: The Disappointing Numbers Edition

In Red Wings Land

Furloughs, layoffs hit business side of Detroit Red Wings, Tigers, other Ilitch Holdings venues - Freep

The cuts only affect the business side of Ilitch’s sports and entertainment empire, which includes venues such as Little Caesars Arena, Comerica Park and the Fox Theatre. The baseball and hockey operations side of the Tigers and Red Wings will not be impacted by Wednesday’s moves, a person with direct knowledge of the situation told the Free Press.

“These actions, which are being implemented throughout the day today, are incredibly hard, especially for those who regrettably will be leaving us,” Granger said in the email. ”Each of you will be contacted today and notified whether or not any changes are being made to your employment. For those of you impacted, details regarding any furloughs or layoffs will be shared with you.”

It was bound to happen sooner or later as entertainment venues remain relatively shuttered for the time-being, but it sucks.

Around the NHL

2020 NHL Stanley Cup Final least-watched since 2007 - Awful Announcing

Needless to say, this isn’t an ideal situation for the NHL, but like with the NBA Playoffs (faring better than the NHL, but still down), the ridiculous amount of competition on the schedule didn’t help. In addition to the NBA playoffs and regular season baseball, two regular competitors, the NHL has been forced to deal with the return of football.

The article goes on to point out that last year’s Cup Final were the culmination of the most-watched NHL playoffs in two decades, so viewing this as a harbinger of doom rather than just a reminder that the league faces a concerning challenge to bring regular viewers back amid a changing competitive landscape is perhaps a little premature.

I said before this all started that the NHL faced a challenge of pulling this off with the right timing: that they had to get it done amid the risks of a huge embarrassing shutdown if they spiked a cluster inside the bubble, but to make sure it was out in front of a whole lot of competition looking to get America’s entertainment-starved captive television eyes on THEIR product.  Ultimately, they nailed the first worry but just missed the second. They’re better off than they could have been, but not as well off as they want to be.