MLB Advanced Media took over digital operations at the NHL back in January, which you may have seen in multiple places. NHL.com was redesigned, NHL GameCenter Live was rebranded and revamped -- if perhaps not improved -- as NHL.tv, and new mobile apps were launched for the league.
That transformation will carry through to the 2016-17 season, as the league’s 30 teams launch new websites that follow the form and function of the NHL.com redesign from earlier in the year.
Several teams, including the Tampa Bay Lightning and Carolina Hurricanes, have already launched their new sites publicly. Others like the Flyers have not, but the change can be seen right now anyway by heading to nhl.com/flyers.
Here’s what it looks like:
Personally, I’m not a fan. The new sites are responsive, meaning that they can function just the same on a small phone screen as they can on a large desktop screen. But it’s been roughly nine months since the NHL launched NHL.com, and while I thought it would grow on me over time, I find it less useful and harder to navigate even after months of use. Frankly, I use it less often than I used the old NHL.com.
That might be anecdotal, and just the experience of one person. Perhaps NHL.com’s traffic is up and most fans love the new site. I don’t know. But I’m not all that thrilled that all 30 — soon to be 31 — teams are switching to similarly designed sites. These might not feel like a step backward, but they don’t feel like a step forward either.