I have a pretty elaborate setup to watch hockey. I hate getting my local (Sharks) games blacked-out, so I actually get the Center Ice package at my parents' house and watch games over my Sling. Today, I got to try out NHL Gamecenter and compare it to the Sling. Some random thoughts:
1) Gamecenter video quality is better, primarily because it tries to get 1600 kbps download speed, while the Sling is stuck at about 900 kbps. This results in very choppy video for Gamecenter, which has an 'adaptive' setting that tries to eliminate video frame-skipping and ends up looking as bad as the Sling. So no win there until I get a higher-speed internet connection.
2) You can watch four games simultaneously on Gamecenter. It's a bit bewildering, but it's a nice feature.
3) Center Ice has secondary feeds for every game - so if you want to watch the Canadiens in French, you can do it. Gamecenter, as far as I can tell, only has the home feed.
4) Phoenix-Detroit was blacked out on Gamecenter. I think it was being televised on Versus or NHL Network, so I would have had to go to my TV to see it. What's the point of paying for Gamecenter if you can't actually see every game?
5) Gamecenter has some of the NHL's RTSS stats integrated into it - you can rewind the video to see various events, and some goals have video you can click on directly.
Overall, I guess I'm not sold. The player needs more speed options (say 1200 kbps) so that I can watch video that's not choppy and not fuzzy. I don't want any games blacked out, and I need to get both home and away feeds. Basically, if I'm going to pay for something like Center Ice or Gamecenter, I don't want to be flailing around and having to look in six or seven different places to find the game I want to watch.
NOTE: In perhaps the stupidest decision in its history, the Federal Trade Commission ("Protecting America's Consumers") requires bloggers to state whether they've received the product that they're endorsing for free. I am saying that I don't really like NHL Gamecenter, so technically this doesn't count as an endorsement. But just so I don't run afoul of this moronic rule, I'm going to inform you that I received a free trial of NHL Gamecenter. Note that "traditional" journalists and opinion writers are under no obligation to reveal the extent to which they are in bed with their sources, and can serve as completely disingenuous mouthpieces for whomever they wish.