No NHL, AGAIN...are you kidding me! That is a phrase heard far and wide up north, but not too often here in the US. Labor issues have cost sports fans, what looks to be, another NHL season. That means no toothless smiles, no playoff beards, and certainly no Stanley Cup Finals yet again.
We are told of stories that claim the two sides are "closer", or "nearing a solution"...a solution to what though? This labor issue? THIS season stopping lock out? Or this sport, as we know it. If you can't keep the doors open, you can't have a business...even I know that much. A solution may be found, but how long until another must be found?
Expansion in the 1990's ruined what this sport had going. What it had going was momentum. Momentum in the United States, a country still somewhat new to the whole hockey thing. When teams went from Winnipeg to Phoenix, Hartford to Raleigh, and popped up in Atlanta and Nashville, I knew the sport was in trouble. Short term results, which most all new franchises get, were all they got. Not enough interest or talent to go around. That's why we are where we are today.
The short term solution, for starters, realize the league is too big and contract. Some will easy, such as Florida and Phoenix, and some will be hard, such as Edmonton and Columbus, but it has to be done. The teams will be deeper, and by default, better. I would hate to see the Blue Jackets go, but they are among the many that would be on the chopping block if this came about....or is it aboot?
Another would be a TV network, such as ESPN, or some of the many others sprouting lately, to take a big chance on a NEW NHL...not this lockout riddled mess they throw at us now. This sport has a history, and frankly is exciting. It needs to remodel, change the menu, and throw a fresh coat of pain on the place. So look good, and wear a nice suit, your opportunity, NHL, may only come one more time in the US...eh?