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Players/teams that make the NHL a better place when they are succesful

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Old
10-26-2012, 09:16 PM
  #1
Big Phil
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Players/teams that make the NHL a better place when they are succesful

I was talking to my brother in law and while I am not a huge fan of the San Francisco 49ers we both agreed that this is a team that makes the NFL a more prosperous league when it is succesful. People like seeing a legendary team like them or the Packers for instance being successful. No one cares if the Tampa Bay Bucs are an elite team even when they are.

So that being said what is the NHL equivalent to this? Can you think of a player past or present that can represent this feeling? Or a team? I'll get the ball rolling.

Wayne Gretzky - A no brainer. The NHL was always a better place when he was around. Now, we barely had a glimpse of him injured but we did see him decline at the end of his career - to his standards. And the NHL wasn't the same place anymore when Gretzky wasn't the best player in the world. Let's say a post 1993 NHL for instance.

Mario Lemieux - The NHL always had a bigger hop in their step when he returned. Whether it was the 1991 or 1992 postseason, or returning from cancer in 1993 or returning in 1995 from a missed season. The same thing happened in 2000 when he came back. The NHL just seemed like a more interesting place when he came back.

Sidney Crosby - The current face of the NHL always makes it a more interesting place when he's healthy. Corey Perry probably shouldn't win a Hart Trophy.

Jaromir Jagr - He was still in the NHL, but when he wasn't among the NHL's elite like from 2001-'04 there was a revolving door of Art Ross winners. None that dominated either.

Montreal and Boston - I don't know about you, but the NHL is a richer and more entertaining place when these two teams hate each other and face off in the postseason. Whether it is Chara vs. Pacieoretty or the 2011, 2004 or 2002 series it always seems like the NHL is in a better place when it's richest rivalry is at its finest.

Chicago - Maybe it is the logo on the front of the chest. But despite not winning a Cup from 1961 up until 2010 I still thought that one of the NHL's most nostalgic teams makes the NHL more entertaining when they have a good team. Whether that's seeing Denis Savard do a spinorama or Jeremy Roenick's antics or the "love them or hate them" type of players like Chelios or Belfour I think this is a franchise few people loathe and most don't mind seeing them do well. How can you dislike Jonathan Toews too?

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10-27-2012, 01:45 AM
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Gobo
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Teams wise, if the Rangers ever win a cup, it'll be HUGE. Honestly, only team that would be bigger is the Leafs IMO.

Player wise, Ovechkin at his peak made the NHL a far more exciting highlight reel to watch then it is of late (bar Datysuk and Malkin).

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10-27-2012, 02:12 AM
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Kloparren
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Quebec City and Mtl. Never got to see them play

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10-27-2012, 02:13 AM
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LyricalLyricist
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gobo View Post
Teams wise, if the Rangers ever win a cup, it'll be HUGE. Honestly, only team that would be bigger is the Leafs IMO.

Player wise, Ovechkin at his peak made the NHL a far more exciting highlight reel to watch then it is of late (bar Datysuk and Malkin).
I'd put montreal in there, 25th cup and all.

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10-27-2012, 02:59 AM
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Czech Your Math
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I don't think the NHL needs any particular team or player to be successful, in order for the league to be successful. I think the best thing is for the underdog teams to have a chance. Teams that have never even been to the Stanley Cup Finals... or haven't been to the conference finals ever (or in ages)... teams like Winnipeg, Columbus, Nashville, St. Louis, Minnesota, Phoenix, Caps, etc. Also, it helps when there's a Canadian team deep in the playoffs, keeps more interest.

I think the NHL has been its own worst enemy the past two decades. It's on its third lockout, after letting the league devolve into clutch and grab with Michelin Men for goalies and letting players be targeted by cheap shots. Hockey is such a dynamic game that it's been successful in spite of its frequent mismanagement. What it really needs is for the boneheads managing it to get out of their own way.

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10-27-2012, 04:10 AM
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JackSlater
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Originally Posted by Czech Your Math View Post
I think the NHL has been its own worst enemy the past two decades. It's on its third lockout, after letting the league devolve into clutch and grab with Michelin Men for goalies and letting players be targeted by cheap shots. Hockey is such a dynamic game that it's been successful in spite of its frequent mismanagement. What it really needs is for the boneheads managing it to get out of their own way.
Definitely true.

Anyway, I find there's more general interest when Original 6 and Canadian teams are doing well, plus Philadelphia. That's a lot of teams, but really the other teams don't resonate all that much. I would also like to see the Islanders amount to something again, and I'm interested to see what happens in Minnesota if their franchise ever has an extender run of excellence.

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10-27-2012, 12:06 PM
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Evincar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gobo View Post
Teams wise, if the Rangers ever win a cup, it'll be HUGE. Honestly, only team that would be bigger is the Leafs IMO.

Player wise, Ovechkin at his peak made the NHL a far more exciting highlight reel to watch then it is of late (bar Datysuk and Malkin).
I would say the Flyers and Kings make the NHL better when they're successful too.

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10-27-2012, 01:31 PM
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BubbaBoot
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Chicago - Maybe it is the logo on the front of the chest. But despite not winning a Cup from 1961 up until 2010 I still thought that one of the NHL's most nostalgic teams makes the NHL more entertaining when they have a good team. Whether that's seeing Denis Savard do a spinorama or Jeremy Roenick's antics or the "love them or hate them" type of players like Chelios or Belfour I think this is a franchise few people loathe and most don't mind seeing them do well. How can you dislike Jonathan Toews too?
I'd go with this. They're an O6 team but when I was out there last I was surprised as to how few rinks or interest there was in hockey itself. I can only think that it was still fallout from the Wirtz Family debacle.

When they are playing well with a good core of players they definitely make the NHL better. Hell, even my ex-wife, a Chicago native and a big sports fan, but who hated hockey, texted me right after the Hawks Cup win a few years ago, "That was a very exciting series". I texted back, "NOW you understand why I love hockey like I do?".

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10-27-2012, 02:24 PM
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I would say because of the media influence it is best for the league when the Rangers do well. I would agree, of course, about the need for the rich Candiens versus Bruins rivalry.

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