Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 01/29/14 at 02:53 PM ET
from Bob Ford of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
Not to pick on the NHL, which isn't crazy about the situation, either, but the league has compromised its level of play, put its players at greater risk of injury, and turned itself nearly inside out in order to shut itself down at the worst possible time.
There isn't another sport out there that would do such a thing. (Of course, there isn't another sport that thinks it's a good idea to award points for losses, either. That stupidity can be the subject for another day, however.)
It isn't as if hockey is football in this country and is popular enough and rich enough to do whatever it pleases. Hockey needs to develop and hold onto casual fans, although the NHL has no idea how to do so. The league office became so enamored with the attention it got from the first few Winter Classic games that it scheduled six (six!) outdoor games this season, proving there is no innovation so good that it can't be run into the ground by men with little imagination and a lack of other ideas.
It is downright silly for the NHL to stop playing in the middle of its season, to disappear just as the NFL monster has finally relinquished the stage and before the basketball tournaments and baseball season get going. That is when the NHL could catch the attention of fans looking for something to watch. Instead, it will be Duke vs. Somebody Else and Arizona vs. Another Team, and if you don't like that, there will be curling and the bobsled.
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