Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 06/07/06 at 08:58 AM ET
Come the playoffs, we were treated to the unprecedented spectacle of the top four seeds in the West getting flushed in the first round. The Edmonton Oilers woke up 14-year-old echoes by becoming the first No. 8 seed ever to advance as far as the conference finals. It was more than the Bettmanites at the league office had a right to expect. Some would say the NHL got far better than it deserved, given that it had gassed an entire season. It was as if the great hockey godfather in the sky had gathered everyone 'round after the labor impasse had passed and said, "We shall never speak of this again." But as it specifically states on page 873 of the current collective bargaining agreement (paragraph 12, subsection J; just after the part about the price of ice in Glendale, Ariz.): "There is no guarantee that a dream season shall end dreamily." And so it has come to pass for the NHL, which can only long for the days when the biggest problem with its Stanley Cup Finals matchup was that it featured media markets only slightly larger than Yellow Grass, Saskatchewan.more
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