Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 08/24/05 at 05:01 PM ET
This starts with a consumer warning: Fans in the NHL's "nontraditional" markets would be well advised to brace themselves. As the league relaunches, you're in for a new wave of "you don't belong" derision. It's nothing personal. Well, at least not most of the time. You're in the markets that are considered Bettman's Folly, and you are the scapegoats and easy targets for put-downs -- some deserved, but many not. This isn't going to be unprecedented, of course. On the last night the NHL competed in anger -- well, at least not including a bargaining table -- there was a curious reaction in some quarters to the absence of either riotous or raucous revelry in the Tampa Bay region. (Which brings us to a pet peeve: Saying anything happening "in Tampa Bay," whether a football or hockey game, a chiropractors' convention, or a Rolling Stones concert, means it is happening on the water ... or at least on a boat.) The question sprang from the traveling media corps, as well as those jealously watching from afar: How could anyone say this was a hockey town?
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