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02-03-2007, 09:00 PM
  #18
JRGNYR
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 206
vCash: 500
The lockout clearly cost the NHL any momentum it had with casual fans. In fact, it's done that twice in recent memory.

Obviously the lack of ESPN exposure hurts, but I think the most important deficiency to the NHL's style of play post lockout is physical play. The general sports viewing public enjoyed hockey because of the fights and the hits. That those are sorely lacking right now.

I'm not saying the league should condone fighting necessarily, but it was very much a fabric of the game.

In a related story, MMA is starting to attract a larger audience. It's new, it's different, but it also appeals to the casual sports fan's desire to see physical competition. The NHL has become a ballet.

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