For those of you that have looked around the SB Nation hockey world today, you may have noticed that Samsung is sponsoring a post from each site about different ways to 'Enhance the Fan Experience'. They will be for each of the next two Fridays as well.
This is something our colleagues at INCH have touched on in the past, but there may not be a more valuable piece of information when it comes to a college hockey game than the line chart. With just a single sheet of paper, it is able to convey nearly every piece of a valuable information a hockey fan would need. The press table to pick up the night's line chart is also the first stop for everyone in the press box, and if they were made available to fans, it would go a long ways towards enhancing their experience.
Read more about line charts after the jump.
For those that have never seen a line chart, imagine a team roster on steroids. The information on each varies slightly from team to team, but almost all of them follow the same basic pattern. The 12 forwards dressed are organized into four lines, the six defensemen are organized into pairings, and the dressed goalies are listed. Just looking at it, you know immediately who is dressed, who is likely to be playing with whom, and which goalie will be starting. Way simpler than showing up early and trying to mentally jot down lines while watching warm-ups.
Under each player's name is tons of pertinent information about the players: height, weight, his stats this year, his career stats, his NHL Draft status, perhaps a name pronunciation. This is especially valuable for fans, especially more casual fans, that may not know much about an opposing team, because with a quick glance, you can get a pretty good idea about what an opposing team has to offer; who the top scorers are, which players are top NHL prospects, etc.
It would be an incredible fan enhancement if teams started making these more readily available to the general public. The best part is that it's not like they'd need to print out an entire media guide. You'd just need a single sheet of paper for each team. They could be sold for fifty cents or even a dollar and still be a bargain for what they offer. They could put sponsors on the back and hand them out for free. It would perhaps take away from game day program sales, but selling a couple hundred line charts, especially at the mark-up of $1 for a two sheets of paper, would far outweigh the profit of selling a couple dozen programs. And it would be a great way to enhance a fan's experience at games.