Puck Drunk Love was established in the early stages of November, 2011. This means that 2012 was the first full year that Puck Drunk, or PDL as it's commonly labeled, graced the wide world of the Internet. The year was a wild one. Hockey fans saw Los Angeles climb the ranks and hoist the Cup, the sale of the Phoenix Coyotes go back and forth numerous times and were treated to several articles about Rick DiPietro's accumulating injuries.
Now that we're about to close the book on 2012, here's a look back at some of the most popular and most visited articles from PDL in 2012.
The rankings were determined by a combination of reader comments, social media shares and page views. It's not a perfect system but it offers a fair idea of what people were drawn to at PDL the most.
It's rather appropriate that a story about the lockout makes our list of the five most popular articles. The current lockout, one that currently makes the fate of the 2012-13 season look grim, has been a widely discussed topic since the 2011-12 season ended.
Here we discussed which veterans will be hurt by the lockout most. Players such as Teemu Selanne, Jaromir Jagr and an impressive cast of others are among those that could have the final stages of their career ripped away from them thanks to the stalemate between the NHL and NHLPA. The lockout claiming the last portion of Teemu Selanne's career could be one of its most regretted casualties.
When you compare the current lockout to the lockout that killed off 2004-05, you'll find one huge difference – social media. For better or worse, fans have immediate access to the players. Players have an instant form of communication to express their opinion on a variety of issues. The lockout has brought out the best and worst of that immediate communication.
We've seen players Tweet rational, intelligent messages about the lockout. Unfortunately, we've also seen players that are complaining about lost revenue send out pictures of their sports car or of them holding bricks of cash. Social media has brought out the dark underside of the lockout that previously went unseen by the fans. Player agents are a constant stream of PR drivel, desperately trying to angle their side in positive light. Other players have taken to Twitter to complain about the situation, as Ovechkin did above, which one has to imagine won't sit well when the lockout ends.
Finally – a story that isn't about the lockout. Here Wayne Gretzky's most iconic quote was found on an outdoor advertisement promoting Espolon Tequila. The ad was placed in New York but other versions of the ad were found in Los Angeles. We assume the locations were chosen due to Gretzky's time in both cities during his NHL career. Looks like Edmonton was forgotten – again.
This might be the first time we've seen such an inspirational quote used to push alcohol in such a clever manner.
The Phoenix Coyotes were a terrific story on the ice last season. As questions persisted about their sale and future home, the Coyotes made it to the Western Conference Finals where they were sent packing by the LA Kings.
Unfortunately, the Coyotes didn't exit gracefully. Instead, they complained about the officials, directly protested Dustin Brown and made the handshake line an awkward one. Mike Smith used his interview after their elimination to go on a tirade about how the officials did everything they could to ensure LA advanced. Smith's comments cast the goaltender's outstanding season in a negative light, especially considering he had been accused of diving on multiple occasions earlier in the team's battle with the Kings.
A network failing to understand its audience takes our top spot. Back in May, CBC promoted their new podcast for women "While the Men Watch" during Hockey Night in Canada. They suggested that female fans barely watch the sport and were less knowledgeable than male fans.
Not surprisingly, women were outraged. The women involved in the spot were as stereotypical as could be and real women hockey fans weren't happy about it. The whole thing proved rather comical aside from the fact it was actually a serious attempt and an absolutely horrible idea.
Hopefully those behind "While the Men Watch" learned their lesson and now know not to label their female viewers any differently than their male viewers.
Thanks for tuning in during 2012. We look forward to an exciting, eventful 2013 that hopefully features plenty of hockey.