An April 25 letter writer asked legitimate questions. Let me respond. Like many other minor-professional hockey general managers, I became excited by the prospect of gathering a larger fan base because of the National Hockey League's labor dispute with the players' association. With the Detroit Red Wings not playing, our organization investigated and sought many marketing avenues to help attendance at Toledo Storm games.
We had conversations with both of Detroit's major newspapers and acquired advertising quotes from both. The Storm also priced outdoor advertising billboards in the metropolitan Detroit area along with receiving advertising rates on many of the Detroit-area sports radio stations.
But I learned rather quickly that the cost of an advertising campaign in the print media, electronic media, and billboard advertising was well out of our range.
We also had conversations with the Detroit Red Wings regarding their season ticket holders. The Red Wings, tremendous partners of the Toledo Storm for 13 of our last 14 seasons, had fears that supplying information about their fan base might alienate their loyal supporters at a time when professional hockey's waters were so unsure.
Also, the ECHL's playing rules and collective bargaining agreement hindered players at that level from being signed here in Toledo. The ECHL is a salary-cap league, and many components of the contracts submitted to locked-out players would not be allowed in our league.
First and foremost, I think the letter regarding how the lock-out affected the Storm was a fair one. As an organization, I felt we explored many options to capitalize on the NHL labor situation.
Except for a few markets, the majority of minor-league markets did not see a spike in their attendance because of the problems in the NHL. I wish that wasn't the case, but those are the facts.
and General Manager
Toledo Storm Hockey Club
As an avid reader of The Blade, I continue to be amazed by the people who disparage it. The criticism usually revolves around the same tired themes: political leanings, Block family influence, or the aggressive uncovering and reporting of things some people want kept hidden.
All of it misses the point entirely. A newspaper, like any other news or information medium, should make you think and form your own opinions as you read it.
Is The Blade always satisfactorily neutral or the much touted fair and balanced? Probably not, because it is written and edited by people with opinions and beliefs that may differ from yours.
Therein lies the problem. The minute you stop reading something you may not agree with is the minute you stop thinking - and learning. When you stop learning both sides of an issue, you close your mind to new ideas or points of view other than your own. In a democracy that's not a good thing, especially at a time when our community, state, and nation seem so polarized.
If you criticize The Blade because you read it, keep up the good work. If you're really steamed about something you read, write a letter to the editor and present your point of view. Whatever you do, continue to read, think, and learn every day. A quality newspaper like The Blade will help you do it.
I live by a rail line in East Toledo. People are dumping everything imaginable along the tracks. I've called the mayor's office and my councilman about it. I had city inspectors and nuisance control over to take a look at it. And they all say the same thing. It will be taken care of. It's been going on for 10 years and nothing has been done yet!