1. I think Canadiens like their hockey and watch the finals. Also the "Original 6" angle would have them tuned in.
The question is whether or not the NHL would prosper as a whole from the Rangers winning. How do the Rangers winning raise the fanbase in Canada? Furthermore, it has nothing to do with hockey becoming bigger because hockey is already king in Canada.
2. & 3. Ranger fans are everywhere, especially Florida
Precisely my point. This is about acquiring new fans.
Canadians watch every game of every series. Thats what everyone talks about here, most of us are interested in every series. I don't think it really matters here who is in, it's great if Edmonton is in here, the city is nuts, but I mean with that aside people just watch because they love the game, regardless if they are cheering for a team or not. Fanbase in Canada will be raised as long as their is a good storyline to go along with the playoff drive, it gives everyone that much mroe of a reason to tune in. The Pens and Rangers is a great example of a good series, there is a lot of anamosity there.
are you sure it was the lockout that enabled you to get season tix? I had been on a waiting list since about 1993 and didn't get tickets until Messier left. It seemed very difficult to get tix while Mess was around.
I do agree with Chosen, but if you want to measure the success of a season, and perhaps that's based on TV ratings or gate receipts, having teams like the Rangers, Wings, Chicago, Boston and a few others will yield better results than teams like Nashville, Florida, Tampa, etc. The casual hockey fan, who is the one the league is trying to convert into a die-hard hockey fan, is more inclined to watch a 'name' team (or one within his city of residence) than a small market team (exceptions being those that have name players). Then there is the non hockey fan the league wants to convert into at least a casual hockey fan - ditto on that front. A Florida/Nasville final seems like a trainwreck compared to a Rangers/Wings final from a marketing standpoint.