NEW YORK: The National Hockey League is in talks with Rogers & Cowan to help rebuild the sport's image following the cancellation of its 2004-2005 season.
Bernadette Mansur, NHL group VP of communications, confirmed that it was in talks with the firm, but declined to discuss the nature of the meetings.
The NHL, which lost its season due to a league-initiated lockout, faces an uphill battle to woo back fans and the media should a season commence this winter. The press was highly critical of both the players and the league during the drawn-out negotiations earlier this year.
News of a possible deal with R&C was first reported by Toronto Sun columnist Al Strachan, who wrote in his April 18 column, "NHL to soften a hard sell," that he had spoken to someone at the firm who had alluded to an approaching relationship with the league.
Rubenstein Associates assisted the league with media relations during the lockout. Rubenstein has worked with the NHL on a retainer basis for a number of years, and EVP Patrick Smith confirmed the agency was still doing so.