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Cannon Blasts: TV Killed The Hockey Star?

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Good morning, and welcome to Cannon Blasts! Here you'll find a quick collection of links from around the Blue Jackets, hockey and sports worlds. What better way to start your day?

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Two weeks from last night marks the beginning to the 2017 Major League Baseball season and, while yes I'm aware this is a hockey blog (although I do love baseball, and just about our entire writing staff does too), there's a point here, I promise.

If you have been paying any lick of attention to baseball news in the last two months or so, you know new rules regarding "pace of play" have been the hot topic of discussion surrounding the sport. When you boil it all down, all the pace of play talk is around is for one simple reason - make the game more TV-friendly.

Which leads me to think - are there ways the NHL, or hockey in general, could make the game more TV-friendly?

I know, I know. That might seem like an odd question to ask. But, I swear to you I know people who have told me they don't enjoy watching the sport on TV. The biggest complaint I've heard over the years is how hard it is to follow the puck, and therefore, they lose interest.

And while it's a futile discussion to have with hockey die-hards about that not really being the point, I think there are a few ways your average NHL broadcast could be changed to make it a more engaging, informative experience.

-- If the NHL can develop it's own "Statcast" that baseball has (heck, NHL is currently running under MLB Advanced Media with NHL dot TV and NHL Network sharing a studio with MLB Network), just imagine the world of possibilities. Real-time fancy stats updates, player tracking on the ice (in either real-time or on replays) or real-time stats (like speed of a player during a breakaway, live shot speeds, live goalie reaction times - would that even be possible? That'd be dope). It would be awesome, and if MLBAM is involved, it's most likely more than doable.

-- Something to highlight who is on the ice at any given time, and maybe some real-time line stats. During NBA games, especially at the beginning of a quarter or the second half, there'll be a "who's on the court" graphic that pops up. Granted, basketball players are on the floor for much longer stretches than hockey players, but I think there's still a way to make it happen. Just a quick "line update" graphic could pop up. It doesn't have to be literally every shift - just for those lines who are having a severe impact in that game.

-- Referee/goalie cams. This past fall's World Cup of Hockey gave us a glimpse of "Ref Cam" and it. is. awesome. Imagine being able to cut ON TO THE ICE to see the action. Or imagine a replay where we see Sergei Bobrovsky make a splendid save, except from his vantage point. This might be the most plausible/soon to happen item on this list. Because it's amazing.

-- Bring back the glowing puck. GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT. They wanna see the puck? LIGHT THAT SUCKER BRIGHT GREEN AND HAVE AT IT.

Happy Monday. I hope your weekend was awesome. I went to see Beauty and the Beast and I recommend it for a beautiful viewing experience. Here are today's links.

Columbus Blue Jackets News

Cleveland Monsters News

Hockey News

Sports News