Grantland’s Simmons right to complain about denied Blues credential

Bill Simmons is right. For a league striving to grow its profile, it doesn’t make sense for an NHL team to deny a credential to a reporter from a national site.

In this case, the site is, and the reporter is Katie Baker. According to a tweet posted by Simmons, Grantland’s editor, the St. Louis Blues refused to give Baker a seat in the press box last week.

He tweets:

Still laughing that the Blues denied @katiebakes for a media credential last week. The NHL is the best. DON’T COVER US!!! STAY AWAY!

Baker writes about hockey for Grantland. On Monday, she did a post about her trip to Nashville to cover the Predators and a wrap-up of the playoffs over the weekend. I dare say it was about as long a piece as you’ll find anywhere on hockey.

I’m not sure why the Blues wouldn’t credential Baker. Rule No. 1: If a national site wants to attend one of your games, especially one under the ESPN umbrella, you get that person in the arena. Even if the press box is full, you find a way. My goodness, this was St. Louis-San Jose in the first round, not the Stanley Cup finals.

Joe Lucia at Awful Announcing said this was another case of Simmons being “petulant.” Previously, Simmons complained about Duke not giving a credential to Grantland.

Lucia writes:

I’m just wondering which league or team Simmons is going to start whining about not credentialing next. Maybe it will be the Olympics, since Grantland has spent so much time talking about Olympic sports in recent months. Maybe the PGA won’t credential Grantland for the US Open, and Simmons will start a crusade against golf. All I really know at the end of the day is that Simmons is managing to come off really, really bad by sniping at various teams for not giving credentials to his writers that barely cover the teams on his site.

Sorry to disagree, Joe, but the NHL can’t afford to be ticking off a site like Grantland, and especially its editor, who has a fairly powerful voice in the sports media world. You want Grantland to writing more about hockey, not less.

Think of it this way: Simmons’ tweet went out to his 1.685 million followers. It’s probably the most attention the Blues have received on a national level all year.










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