I concur with the "magical" sentiment. I have that feeling about 70s and 80s hockey.
Hockey today is still a wonderful diversion from everyday life. Some of the magic is not there like it was during my childhood but, it is still very compelling.
I hear you. To be sure, it's hard not to be at least a bit more cynical about things as your eyes open up with age. (Though it's unfortunate to see that same degree of cynicism already well entrenched in younger fans, I'll admit.)
Heck, back in the day, all I knew was the game on the ice; Alan Eagelson, etc. was meaningless. And I personally was spoiled, being weaned on Bobby Orr, then going right into my own team's dynasty at the turn of the next decade. Fact is, nothing, sportswise, ever again was going to match the glory of those times.
Today, the business side, the controversy, is unavoidable, on an all-too regular basis.
Still, there is a lot to love about hockey. Disproportionately so, IMO, relative to other forms of sport entertainment/diversions.