"Never has the National Hockey League been as popular as it is in Canada right now."
Labour issues dominate NHL awards
There are lots of predictions of doom and gloom, and rightfully so with the potential labour situation looming.
In fact, during Thursday's NHL awards and into Friday all the talk is going to be about the fact that there are between 150 and 200 NHL players in Toronto meeting with the NHLPA executive director Bob Goodenow. Call it a pep rally, an information session, or whatever you want, but even when they hand out the hardware the talk of labour can not be far behind.
I'll look back now on the year that was. Everybody is talking about the doom and gloom and the fact that the season was set against the potential labour Armageddon that's coming. Everybody talked about how hard it was to sell the game in the United States and how things are not going well - the style of play. Everybody had problems.
Think about this: NHL hockey has never been more popular in Canada then it is right now. Vancouver Canucks fans have an unbelievable passion level despite what happened with Todd Bertuzzi situation. You saw with the Heritage Classic what the Edmonton fans are all about. Calgary is self-explanatory - see the Stanley Cup playoff run. The battle of Ontario between Toronto and Ottawa saw Ottawa fans bitterly disappointed, but nobody could question the passion or interest in that hockey team. Same thing goes in Toronto. Also, the buzz in back with the Montreal Canadiens - it's a lot like it was 10-20 years ago and that is a good thing.
I don't know where things are going. It is doubtful there is going to be any hockey to start the fall, but I do know this: Never has the National Hockey League been as popular as it is in Canada right now.
That's all well and good but NHL hockey will live or die by what happens with NHL hockey in the US.
Also, most of the Canadian teams are winning now...wait until they start losing again and no one shows up ....then the Canandian teams will be *****ing about the taxes they pay, the exchange rate and how the Rangers ruined the salary structure ...... :shakehead :dunno:
Only problem is that the other 24 teams are in a country where hockey is a barely even thought about, much less ever been a national mania.
Having met him several times, I've never taken Bob McKenzie as a brain surgeon.
"Never has hockey been as popular as it is in Canada right now". Wow that's great, but the future of the league and it's 700+ players rests on whether or not the game has a future and more importantly whether it can catch on better in the states.
It's like me writing an article while on a train that's about to go off a cliff titled "Well the sky has never been more blue".
Good thing his ancestors started a magazine and had hockey connections, because otherwise the man would probably be homeless.
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