NHL needed a feel good story after the strike debacle. Blackhawks delivered it big time. Assists to SA Smith and LeBron.
The NHL didn't need the Blackhawks and their streak to “bring it back.” They needed a compelling story to shift the national discussion from the league being a laughingstock for having lockouts seven years apart. The league got that, and while hockey fans were more than willing to welcome the NHL back with open arms, maybe more people have a reason to either come back or peek in for the first time.