City Journal: Empty ’Net

The Bruins are courting the online crowd—but is anyone noticing?

Two seasons after the NHL lockout fiasco, the hometown Bruins are having a tough time generating much interest beyond their hard-core fans. The story’s the same across the league—but here in the Hub of Hockey (as the Bruins have taken to calling Boston), apathy is particularly shameful. So the team is embracing the Internet in ways other local pro clubs would scoff at: It hired a blogger to rile up visitors to its website, and is happily handing out press passes to other Web scribes. Online radio guys sometimes even outnumber the old-school radio crews. The Pats, meanwhile, refuse to let Web types in the door.

Bruins brass says it’s about creating buzz. (Any buzz. At all. Please.) But what reader of the New England Hockey Journal isn’t already turned on to Bruins hockey? To get average folks rooting, the B’s need either a winning club, or some controversy. Since the former’s in doubt, here’s an idea: Manny’s always looking for a new team, right? He can’t look any worse on skates than he does in the outfield.