Around the League

No fan noise: The NHL should leave arenas silent

It looks like we have our first glimpse at how the NHL will be faking fan noise during their Return to Play.

This is a real email sent from the NHL to Ranger fans, and presumably customized to all fans, about how to produce fan noise for big moments. You can tell there are out of touch pieces. For the first three seconds, pretend like this email didn’t exist.

There is a lot of value in having an empty arena. Usually there too much noise in the arena and in the broadcast to hear players talk to each other. Hearing someone shout “wheel” or “reverse” to identify which breakout to use would be nice. Hearing what players say in the defensive zone –particularly the Rangers– is something that would give us a new perspective on the game.

The NHL has a chance, without fan noise, to mic up some players and give us more than the 10-15 second clip that we usually see on NBC. Let’s hear how the players talk to each other on the ice, signaling coverage and cuts. Let’s hear what they say after they score a goal, if they chirp each other on the way back to celebrate.

Hearing the refs and linesmen talk to the players is something we rarely get to see as well. Are we going to hear a ref tell Sidney Crosby to stop diving? What about someone telling Carey Price that they would’ve lost anyway?

It comes with risks. Without fan noise, the NHL risks having an f-bomb drop on national television. Or worse. These guys are no angels, and some have been suspended or fined in the past for abusive behavior. It’s a risk, but it gives us a unique experience for these playoffs.

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  • There may be no fans, but MSG is still billing, giving us the “option” to pay or not pay, after we paid the first 2 installments for next year.

    Are they serious? LOL.

  • It’s inexplicable how often the NHL makes the wrong choice. Rather than giving fans the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hear what the game actually sounds like on the ice, it looks like they’re going to opt for the sports version of a canned laugh-track.

  • I don’t know about the rest of you, but I know there’ll be plenty of fan noise in my living room during a game. Don’t need anybody else’s…

  • So I understand things are happening now at 711 Old Saw Mill River Rd in Westchester County NY……… (Per internet Rangers practice facility) ……..Lets Go Rangers !!!!!

  • Mic up the glass and let us enjoy an inside look at the communication on the ice. I wouldn’t mic players but maybe the officials. Maybe we need a delay for the F bombs.

  • I think the NHL will seize this as opportunity to showcase the game in a way it never has been seen on TV. The NHL has everything american sports fans love, it is fast, it is physical and the skill is at another level. I think the networks in the US and Canada will do everything then can do to enhance the TV product. The higher the rating the bigger the next tv deal will be, which could accelerate the cap going up .

    I think having the natural sound is huge opportunity for this game to get the casual fan really into hockey. The casual fan is starved for sports and will most likely watch. We will basically have the opportunity of having “Hard Knocks” accessibility during the most intense time of the season. The players have an opportunity to show there personalities with the chirping. We as fans get to hear the on ice sound and we could also hear strategy being talked about during the game then see the conversations on the bench become plays.


  • I’d definitely like the refs and linesmen being mic’d and the glass around the ice being mic’d to capture the sounds of the players that you don’t normally hear on TV. It will be strange without the crowd, but it would be cool to hear the players and the officials. I definitely do not want canned crowds and hope that they don’t go there.

  • It’s unfortunate that a f-bomb or the mention of some form of excrement is that much of a problem. I’m pretty sure we’ve all heard the words used at some time or another, we shouldn’t pretend like they don’t exist or get overly scandalized by our favorite player using a word not normally accepted in polite society …. but you know, the children … the children. To be perfectly honest I’ve heard worse things on Access Hollywood, read worse things on Twitter, etc. —- at least over the course of the last 4 years or so. In any event I understand their (the NHL) concern even if I don’t happen to agree with it.

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