Boston Canucker wrote:If the NHL really wants to move beyond 4th sport (at best) status in the US, beyond a niche sport that will always, always, struggle for relevance, it should consider something more radical, like an English soccer league division system. Have a top EPL like division with no or a very high cap, then a 2nd division with a lower cap and so on, allow teams to move up and down based upon results, which would also encourage those in the bottom divisions to enhance revenue to compete in the top divisions rather than rely on just getting by etc. Bring the stars and best players up to a top division with only 10 teams. A superstar like league all season, which then puts pressure on lower division teams to step up, and if they don't still provides a legitimate league for their play. Then, have a Stanley Cup Tourney like the FA cup, or some such, to decide the big trophy.
It won't happen, I know, but the present way we're going is just going to keep repeating itself. The NHL is a punch line in the US. I expect the same nonsense will keep up for decades to come, stupid lockouts every 6-8 years from a sport few in the US have reason to care about...until, say, soccer gets big enough here that the NHL becomes the 5th sport...and don't believe for a second it won't happen. The answer to the long term future is not a 50/50 split or revenue sharing, it is radically rethinking how the league is structured, and finding a way to get the best players to be the show (like the Olympics)...Pittsburgh playing Vancouver (or pick your marquee East and West teams) once a year ain't doing it...time to get way way way outside the freaking box. If only there was some actually creative, bold leadership in this sport.
never happen I'm sure, but perhaps the sport of hockey needs a set up like soccer, where there is a champions league where the major global hockey cities play each other based on their standings in their own leagues?
Something that gets more games between major cities and generates more excitement than Columbus vs Phoenix...
It just seems to me that of the big four only Hockey is a truly global sport and thats not really being taken advantage of. I know basketball is a global game and Baseball a bit too, but there isnt the same level of international competition like in hockey.
Just thinking outside the box but if this keeps up and Bettman keeps this culture of lockouts and downward pressure of salaries and contract over the long term, he's risking the relevance of the NHL as a force in the sport.
I guess for Canada that would probably mean that Toronto Montreal and Vancouver could manage to avoid relegation and the rest of the country would have to make do with the American league but the A would be a much better league than now and like in the UK it doesnt matter what league your home town team is in the fans are just a rabid... maybe a little too rabid
the payoff would be games and series between cities like
Pure free markets the best players go to the best teams, water finds its own level, perhaps that would bring the game and health of the sport up to a more equal footing?