Last spring during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, NHL.com experimented with linking to SB Nation hockey blogger content for the 16 clubs the qualified for the post-season (sadly the Thrashers were not one of those teams). The content sharing agreement allowed NHL.com editors to link to SB Nation bloggers at their discretion. This provided NHL.com with some original content beyond what their staff writers compose and it provided SB Nation writers with more readers than they might have otherwise.
The good news is that NHL.com has renewed that relationship heading into the 2009-2010 season. As you can see here they have attached a prominent link to SB Nation at the top this the page and links to specific stories at the bottom of the page.
Personally, I'm pleased to see this. Many sports leagues (SEC) and media outlets (ESPN) are wrestling with the new media landscape. It is a sign that the NHL is being very pro-active during a time when media is rapidly transforming.
In the case of Atlanta, the Thrashers have been very progressive in terms of directing fans to this blog and many other Thrasher blogs for several years. Coming out of the lockout, they hired Ben Wright to create a team blog and in light of modest TV coverage and diminishing pages in the AJC the Thrashers have ramped up their Thrashers TV segments during 2009. The team has been less progressive about providing opportunities to talk to players, coaches and management in the past, but perhaps that will change over time. Perhaps with a more exciting team this coming season, they will worry less about negative critiques.
This is also a great coup for the front office staff here at SB Nation. They have worked diligently to form partnerships with big online media players. In the last year they have secured content sharing with Yahoo Sports, SI.com, CBS Sports and now NHL.com. That's quite an accomplishment on their part.