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America’s National Hockey League is said to be discussing a partnership with such top Japanese anime studios as Kyoto Animation, Madhouse and J.C. Staff in a deal which could see Azunyan and Kuroko promoted against the unlikely backdrop of gangs of burly men whacking each other with sticks.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman supposedly confirmed that the evidently desperate league has been discussing a partnership with Japanese animation studios:

“Everything we do is with one goal in mind – preserving and propagating the great sport of hockey, seeing that the best players in the world get the recognition they deserve, and thrilling the fans.”

However he was apparently very keen to emphasise the preliminary nature of these discussions:

“The reported negotiations are part of what is only one of a plethora of options on the table. Nothing is set in stone.”

No concrete details are known but Kyoto Animation, Madhouse, and J.C. Staff are purportedly involved in the discussions. The agreement itself would allow anime to be aired during intervals at games on television or at the arena, as well as the usual array of events and anime goods associated with such tie-ups. Studios for their part would each have to purchase a 10% stake in the league.

The partnership could commence as early as the next season.

The president of one team was less than enthused about the possible implications of the deal, and the fact that it was being discussed behind closed doors:

“When the owners are the last to hear about the potential sale of their team, there’s a problem. When fans are the last to hear about the possibility of their mascot being turned into a pink-haired girl, there’s a problem.”

A business professor who specializes in sports marketing asked to comment on the NHL’s chances with the “otaku” demographic was apparently rather positive however:

“Otaku a very dedicated bunch, and, more importantly, are a large demographic that intersects with current NHL viewers very little. If the NHL can turn the Otaku crowd into regular viewers, advertising for their games suddenly becomes much more lucrative.

That’s to say nothing for increased ticket sales. The League ownership would like nothing more right now than for gametime crowds to start looking like an anime convention.”

With US anime fans not known for their interest in sports, and with Japanese interest in ice hockey virtually nil, this is certainly an optimistic assessment – doubtless the report should be treated with the scepticism and incredulity it deserves until moeblobs do indeed appear over the bleachers.

Update: As seemed far from unlikely, the story’s publisher has retracted it as having no basis in fact.


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    Avatar of Tateha
    Comment by Tateha
    01:54 19/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    probably one of the most unlikely collaborations ever if this shit goes through.

    even in japan crossover to baseball with anime is rare.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:51 19/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    This is totally absurd. They honestly think a little anime dressing will get anime fans to give a shit about hockey?

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:54 19/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Anime fans are literally the scum of the earth, and the bottom barrel of members of society, so I would say that hockey could care less if "anime" fans give a shit. They can stick to their oversexualized children and lonely 2d fantasies.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:32 19/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I am thoroughly confused. As someone who used to watch hockey I cannot see the connection.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:05 19/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    It being Fake, its bleacher report. IT CLEARLY is fake.

    Avatar of Icy-nee-san
    Comment by Icy-nee-san
    03:58 19/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    As a Canadian Otaku I approve... anything to see Railgun on Ice here in Canada :3

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:32 19/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Eklund has this rated as an e5. It's not like Eklund could ever be wrong, right?

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:47 19/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    National Hentai League?

    Avatar of colonyan
    Comment by colonyan
    23:24 18/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Um... wow, what a bold idea.
    I like anime and I respect professional sport.
    Thus I want this to succeed so more people have
    understanding for anime in general.

    To make it successful, content must be chosen carefully. Maybe studios can make some short
    exclusive scenes with existing and new characters of
    their which doing some fancy action scene and
    safe comedy. Hire comedy writer from States and Canada
    is good too.

    Make a hockey anime series with 10 minutes each
    and air it during interval.

    I just simply want to see what it looks like
    if it succeeds.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:16 18/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    In general, people who watch hockey do not watch anime. And if anime is aired during hockey....well there will be a lot of angry fans.

    Avatar of An Otaku's Opiate
    Comment by An Otaku's Opiate
    01:53 19/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yes, because disparate hobbies are, without fail, always mutually exclusive.

    Avatar of loplop
    Comment by loplop
    23:42 18/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I would beg to disagree. I happen to be a big fan of both . . .

    Avatar of Darkrockslizer
    Comment by Darkrockslizer
    00:43 19/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    ME TOO SO THAT'S THREE PEOPLE BY NOW SO FU ANON!!! HAR HARRR

    Avatar of fxc2
    Comment by fxc2
    22:29 18/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Beating each other with sticks? What kind of hockey have you been watching? o_O

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:07 19/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I've followed hockey since before I really started to enjoy anime. I still follow the Av's to this day, as well as my local farm team the Cyclones.

    Honestly I don't see this mixing very well... Like at all.

    I like both things, but I don't want to see anime when I want to see killer one-timers, bone crunching body checks, and insane glove saves. Last thing I want is to see some chibi yeti dancing around on my TV screen during an Avalanche game.

    I like the game because of the tradition and athleticism. Anime doesn't strike me as bridging those two gaps.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:15 19/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    looks like Mr. Hockey Commissioner is finally coming out of the closet lol

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:30 20/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    As someone who is not interested in hockey (again, I don't hate it, I'm just not interested) I seriously doubt that this will bring in any notable ammount of newcomers to Hockey.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:32 21/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    And the power and influence of Japanese anime, manga, and culture continues to seep into America

    That's amazing, seeing how Japanese anime/manga is making such an impact in America.

    Avatar of Nos3bleed
    Comment by Nos3bleed
    01:11 22/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    SanCom gets mentioned and linked to on Greg Wyshynski's Blog for posting this story. Wyshynski is the main hockey blogger for yahoo. I can only imagine the average hockey fans reaction SanCom.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/puck_daddy/post/Bleacher-Report-causes-erroneous-stories-on-NHL-;_ylt=AoAo2cZRJN1sZImz1qzT2Sx7vLYF?urn=nhl,235162

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:51 20/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Weird, nothing good will result of it...

    Nice pic btw

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:54 20/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    http://blog.bleacherreport.com/2010/04/18/clarification-re-recent-article/

    "The information presented in a recent blog post, which speculated that the NHL is pondering an anime partnership, is completely fictional and the post was a misguided attempt at humor."

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact
    Avatar of Role
    Comment by Role
    09:37 19/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Inazuma Eleven + Hockey = ?

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:57 19/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Finally a hockey anime

    Avatar of Myballz
    Comment by Myballz
    05:30 19/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Candians might as well watch that anime series about hockey.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:18 19/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    What a surprise. Apparently the Bleacher Report article's already been deleted, which pretty much confirms it was a hoax. Good thing too. I like hockey, as well as some anime, but they would not work well together.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:13 19/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I really don't see hardcore otaku watching regular hockey. An animu about it? If it's got enough moe shit, but I doubt many of them would watch regular hockey.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:59 19/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    The idea is really bold and unexpected.

    On a side note, a Hockey anime could be really cool.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:07 19/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Not going to happen, guys. The article was BS.

    Bleacher Report allows anybody to write articles, so long as they've commented on other articles in the last two weeks, and the author of this one - which is no longer up, BTW - has no previous connection with the web site. So, it's definitely not official and it's not going to happen.

    Granted, as both a hockey and anime fan, I would have been curious as to see what a hockey anime would have looked like. It can't possibly be as cheesy as that JDrama Pride.

    Also, "America’s National Hockey League"?

    America? NHL? Seriously?

    Sankaku Complex, I am disappoint.

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    As so many Canadians object to calling the US "America" what's wrong with calling it (North) American?

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:19 18/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I learned from the NHL anime that your team wins in hockey if you summon red eyes teal skinned dragon to wipe out your opponents life points then drop a space colony on your goal ... the earth.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:49 18/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Obvious troll is obvious. Canadian hockey and anime fan here. If for some reason something like this actually happens, I'm not sure how I would feel about it, but it's safe to say it's probably bullshit.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:54 18/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    wow everything is really going to be taken over by anime and stuff

    Avatar of Darkrockslizer
    Comment by Darkrockslizer
    00:36 19/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    No, 3d will become trendy again once there's only two people left on Earth.

    Avatar of Darkrockslizer
    Comment by Darkrockslizer
    00:36 19/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    by that I mean me and myself. muhahaha.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:08 19/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    That's 3 people

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:01 18/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    There's only one letter difference between NHL and NHK and they are right next each other in the alphabet. Coincidence?
    Inbou da!

    Avatar of CowExtract
    Comment by CowExtract
    03:19 19/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Nihon Hikikomori League...

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:51 18/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Real or not, sounds like a fail to me.

    Avatar of Recycle
    Comment by Recycle
    15:01 18/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Guys, Basquash was badass and it was sponsored by Nike, so this could work.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:17 18/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    basquash was garbage. BELEIVE IT.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:09 18/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Hockey, Anime & Manga are among my favorite things.
    I think it needs to be the right match ups to work. The whole Mo thing definitely is a no go. but something on the order of Soul Eater, Naruto, DBZ, or some of the sports Anime like Prince of Tennis. These may work.

    Also Hockey is only about fights, (just like all Anime isn't about big eyed girls with their clothing in disarray) it's about stamina, strategy and speed. Very like some of the fast paced battles in various Animes.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:14 18/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    none of the companies mention have those kind of animes. Madhouse might have some as there are many titles that I'm not formilar with, but Kyoani and J.C. Staff don't have any animes in that category

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:10 18/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Bettman is fucking stupid. The choices he makes are stupid. Won't give Canada(winnipeg, hamilton, waterloo) another team by saving franchises(pheonix, other nhl teams) that are bankrupt. Now this shit. Otakus won't go to an NHL game even if there were anime to watch. Unless it's some limited edition episode I don't see how this would work. There are other places (conventions, stores) to purchase anime merchandise.

    Avatar of dreamingArtemis
    Comment by dreamingArtemis
    16:25 18/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    April 1st was 18 days ago

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:26 18/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I bet Canadian hockey players are watchning eechi anime! hahahahahaha!

    muhahahaa.

    Avatar of Ghostchase
    Comment by Ghostchase
    16:37 18/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'm Canadian. I play hockey. I love the NHL. And I love anime. But this doesn't make any sense.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:05 18/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    sorry for the english of watchning instead of watching.

    The only doenst make sense to you is you dont understand what i meant.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:11 19/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    he never said anything about you making no sense. Ghostchase only said it(NHL+anime) didn't make sense.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:23 18/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Lol! I bet Canadian are anime fans as well! hhahahaaa.

    Avatar of Darkrockslizer
    Comment by Darkrockslizer
    00:37 19/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    but they get arrested for importing loli manga so their all demotivated






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