By Allan Muir
You can’t really begrudge European hockey teams the practice of painting advertisements all over their ice surfaces. Sure it creates the occasional visual challenge for spectators, but for clubs struggling with miniscule TV revenues, smaller arenas and fewer fans drinking $12 beers, every penny counts.
That said, the Sheffield Steelers of Britain’s Elite Ice Hockey League probably should have taken a minute to think one particular ad all the way through.
Here’s a photo showing what might be a problem: a large advert for Ogilvie Fleet Management that encompasses the area surrounding the net. Not so much of an issue in and of itself . . . except that it is almost entirely black. In theory, that could make it difficult for officials to determine if the puck — which is also black — has crossed the goal line. Or if the puck is even in the general area of the goal. Again, in theory.
The home opener at Moorpoint Arena is Saturday night. The Steelers might want to dig up a bucket of white paint before then.