Offseason Thread Part IV - Let's Make A Deal
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07-18-2013, 07:40 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Originally Posted by
What other major sport shuts down in the middle of the season to play in the Olympics? It destroys the season. Its essentially two seasons. The risk of injury. Hopefully this is the last time. The NHL and NHLPA want to bring back the World Cup of Hockey. Its an event sponsored by the NHL and NHLPA. All of the money goes into the NHL revenue pot. It will be played in late August-early September. The NHL is closing its doors for three weeks to play games with an 7-8-9 hour time change. Ridiculous.
I think you are wrong.
Hockey is a very small sport. It's basically endangered.
Soccer got the Champions league and strong championships (Euro & World Cup). In the Czech Rep and Slovakia soccer has blown past hockey in a hurry. The NHL has lost its glare. The best players in the NHL makes more or less the same as they did in 97' (Sakic got 7m then, now the best get 8-9m). Hockey has just lost its glare. Low paid athleets in relation to most other sports playing in a league that is hard to follow. The trapping era hurt the game a lot.
In Sweden, not many has a reason to follow Hockey. The WCHs are blasse. The Canada Cup when played don't interest anyone, Canadian reff's calling the game in favor of Canada on Canada's home ice. During the night.
With the technical possibilities of today, a 300m crowd in Europe can watch the NHL. It's ironic because in 1990-2000, there was a great interest. Now it's loosing interest very rapidly.
That is from Europe's perspective, the game in the US could still grow. The Olympics gets headlines and tv time the NHL don't. The US got a great hockey program. They will have a great team in the Olympics. Reality has its own ways, but an OG tournament could feature some interesting matchups. The US playing Russia in Russia for example.
In the end, it comes down to creating an environment and identity for a game. Baseball got its identity. Football got its identity. Basketball got its identity. For Hockey, that identity is walking a thin line. All over the world except in Canada. It's the top game in Finland and Canada only. More then you would think, the game is at a cross road. It's growing in smaller countries and taking steps back in the bigger countries. Before you know it Hockey is getting closer to lacrosse than Basketball.
Where do you want the game to be in 20 years?
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