With all of the attention the National Hockey League has earned during the offseason, it can only be regarded as nothing short of a public relations’ dream. Has it been good publicity? No. Not entirely. But as most PR personnel would suggest, any news is good news.

In direct competition with the National Football League (NFL), National Basketball League (NBA), and even NASCAR and different soccer leagues, the NHL could use all of the publicity it can get. Other top dog leagues consistently sell out games not simply for the majority of their teams, as in the NHL, but for each and every one of their franchise clubs.

Take Jim Ballsille for example, who’s been no stranger to headlines this offseason. He’s spent the last however many months trying to convince Gary Bettman that he can turn the Phoenix Coyotes into a profitable franchise. The saga continues, and I’m sure will remain until Ballsille is granted access into the elite gentleman’s club of NHL owners.

Aside from the legal drama, the Great One made headlines as he retired from his head coaching position with the Coyotes. The National Hockey League Player’s Association (NHLPA) also got a bit of a face lift, firing Paul Kelly as executive director, and his assistant stepping down thereafter.

Then there’s Dany Heatley. Who demand to be traded from the Ottawa Senators, only to be placed on the roster of the previous President’s Trophy winners, the San Jose Sharks.

In other trading news, two of the Montreal Canadien’s best – Saku Koivu and Alex Kovalev, got traded to Anaheim and Ottawa respectively. The Habs in turn picked up a big name seen in Mike Cammalleri, and other top players such as Rob Neidermeyer went to New Jersey, and Jay Bouwmeester to Calgary.

When it comes to headlines, the Toronto Maple Leafs always seem to have something interest-worthy. After making it quite clear last year that they had no intentions of making the play-offs, the Leaf‘s front office seems to be more than confident in their team’s performance this season. Brian Burke has made competitive moves to bring together a team of gritty players.

From signing ex-Bruin Phil Kessell, to bringing in the Swedish Monster, Jonas Gustavsson – regarded as the best goalie not playing in the NHL – Toronto, dare I say it, looks to be a play-off contender this year.

Additionally, Tomas Kopecky and Marian Hossa went to the Chicago Black Hawks who seemed to have been plagued with one too many negative headlines this summer.

It was rather embarrassing when eight of the team’s restricted free agents failed to receive their qualifying offers as a result of improper document filing.

Shortly after, the team’s experienced general manger Dale Tallon was fired only to be replaced by Scotty Bowman’s son Stan. It’s hard to say whether or not he was let go simply because of his inadequacies, or if it had anything to do with Mr. Bowman’s status.

Then there’s the whole Patrick Kane beating up a cab driver incident, where apparently he and his cousin beat up the driver over an alleged 20 cent fare dispute. The 2007 number one overall draft pick plead guilty to the charges and went on to apologize to the world, and give the team unprecedented media attention.

With all of the news the league has developed off the ice, the season is shaping up to be an exciting one. And the attention of the public is nothing to shy away from.