The Incredible Shrinking League

The NHL is coming back. It will be smaller than ever. This is not a bad thing.
Share |

Okay. Deep breath. Hockey is coming.

I feel sort of unqualified to write about this from Mexico, where even less people care about the NHL than do in the United States, but also sort of extra qualified. When the puck drops in a couple weeks, even less people are going to watch hockey than did before. This is what happens when owners in marginal sports leagues alienate their fanbases over relatively piddly amounts of money and power. This is a new reality we must calibrate ourselves to. (We being hockey fans; for everybody else nothing much changes).

Even before the lockout, the NHL was smaller than its self-perception. It was smaller than golf and tennis and MMA. It was smaller than Major League Soccer. (Although it does have one thing in common with the well-managed and upward-trending MLS: it is much more popular in-person than on television). Now the NHL will be smaller still. Shrinking salary cap, shrinking contract lengths, shrinking audience.

The other day on Grantland, Brian Phillips wrote about dismissive comments that FIFA President Sepp Blatter made regarding Major League Soccer. But more than that, Brian was writing about the difference between a sport and a business. “Sport generates economic activity, but sport isn't inherently economic,” Brian wrote. “Sport is just some people playing a game.”

He is right. But the unfortunate corollary is that sport as business has a huge impact on sport as sport. It’s the business that made people want to Be Like Mike, etc etc. It’s the business side of Sepp Blatter’s FIFA that has helped make soccer not just a global phenomenon, but “soccer as global phenomenon” a brand in itself, with K’Naan blaring on the stereo and poor kids playing in a cinematically-lit Buenos Aires alleyway in, somehow, an Adidas commercial.

One way of looking at this would be to say, “okay, the NHL has fucked up its own brand but not even Gary Bettman can ruin Greater Hockey.” This would be true in certain parts of Minnesota and areas further north. Another way of looking at this would be to say that unlike soccer, hockey is not commercially successful or universally popular enough to withstand the continued stupidity of its most famous and successful league.

Even before the last lockout, hockey and the NHL had to think a lot smaller than soccer in terms of global appeal and commercial potential. (In retrospect, some of the NHLs sillier expansion efforts into crowded sunny markets were nothing more than the nocturnal emissions of hubristic millionaire owners).

Now the league’s path toward a leaner, more efficient self is no longer destiny - it is reality, and the NHL must embrace it rather than fight against it. In many cases, hockey teams remain extremely popular locally. Fans will take winning back, but when they do come back (and I think many will; not cancelling the season feels like a victory in itself) they will do so city by city, rather than nationally all at once. Kings fans want to see their banner raised. Nashville fans want to see the Predators’ steady rise to awesomeness amount to something. Rangers fans want to know that last season was not a fluke. In this sense, hockey will be taking on the model of minor league sports. The regional popularity of the Tacoma Rainiers and Albuquerque Isotopes far outweighs national interest in Pacific Coast League baseball.

Minor league does not have to be a slur. It can simply mean a different model. For national fans, or fans like me who don’t live in NHL cities, this might mean that when the NHL comes back, it feels somehow less broadly substantial. The NBC Sports Network remains small-time, and the rushed schedule of the post-lockout season will feel awkward and forced. Hockey will probably remain absent from the greater national sports dialogue, and you know what? That’s okay. Those of us who want to can still watch the games, can still read about it. Even a diminished NHL can still add a measure of equilibrium in the sporting universe (one potentially positive consequence: I stop spending so much time looking at baseball trade rumors). For the NHL to be sustainable, and to eventually begin to grow again, the league must first make itself small. Hockey depends on it.


Share |

Comments

For national fans, or fans like me who don’t live in NHL cities, this might mean that when the NHL comes back, it feels somehow less broadly substantial. The NBC Sports Network remains small-time, and the rushed schedule of the post-lockout season will feel awkward and forced. Hockey will probably remain absent from the greater national sports dialogue, and you know what? That’s okay. Those of us who want to can stil
http://textmate2.org

I am really enjoying reading your well written articles. It looks like you spend a lot of effort and time on your blog. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles. Keep up the good work. voyance immediate

Very nice blog and articles. I am realy very happy to visit your blog. Now I am found which I actually want. I check your blog everyday and try to learn something from your blog. Thank you and waiting for your new post. beanstripe amazon seller

First You got a great blog .I will be interested in more similar topics. i see you got really very useful topics, i will be always checking your blog thanks. gonorrhoea

Even before the last lockout, hockey and the NHL had to think a lot smaller than soccer in terms of global appeal and commercial potential. (In retrospect, some of the NHLs sillier expansion efforts into crowded sunny markets were nothing more than the nocturnal emissions of hubristic millionaire owners).

how can you make a woman want you

Choosing the right treatment center will significantly aid you in sobriety. There are thousands of great facilities that are well equipped to handle drug and alcohol rehabilitation, but the right facility requires patience and persistence to find. We have compiled one of the largest and most comprehensive lists of rehab’s from around the country http://www.findingsobriety.com

It is perfect time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I've read this post and if I could I desire to suggest you some interesting things or suggestions. Perhaps you could write next articles referring to this article. I want to read more things about it!forge 1.8.4

This post is really magnificent. I really like this post. It is one of the best posts that I’ve read in a long time. Thanks a lot for this really good post. I really appreciate it!irctc signup

I was just browsing through the internet looking for some information and came across your blog. I am impressed by the information that you have on this blog. It shows how well you understand this subject. Bookmarked this page, will come back for more.bamboo flooring

Business Opportunity BusinessOpportunity.com is a leading source for finding business opportunities for sale—along with a number of other exciting work-at-home and other small business-model options like distributorships, licensee opportunities and small franchises—any one of which may be specific to your needs. Our team is dedicated to helping you realize your financial goals by providing you access to the perfect business opportunity, one that is just right for you!

Opportunities Made Simple | Business Opportunities from A to Z Always Free - BusinessOpportunity.com is a leading source for finding business opportunities for sale—along with a number of other exciting work-at-home and other small business-model options like distributorships, licensee opportunities and small franchises—any one of which may be specific to your needs. Our team is dedicated to helping you realize your financial goals by providing you access to the perfect business opportunity, one that is just right for you!
Online Business Opportunity

This is my first time i visit here. I found so many entertaining stuff in your blog, especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the leisure here! Keep up the good work. I have been meaning to write something like this on my website and you have given me an idea.hack hay day | 8 ball pool cheat

e-cigarette kits This content is written truly well. Your share of formatting whereas making your minutes manufactures your notes really explicit moreover comfortable to perceive. Bless you

Good to become visiting your weblog again, it has been months for me. Nicely this article that i've been waited for so long. I will need this post to total my assignment in the college, and it has exact same topic together with your write-up. Thanks, good share.fast web hosting

Easily, the article is actually the best topic on this registry related issue. I fit in with your conclusions and will eagerly look forward to your next updates. Just saying thanks will not just be sufficient, for the fantasti c lucidity in your writing. I will instantly grab your rss feed to stay informed of any updates.internet marketing

Pleasing info, expensive besides tremendous object, as use nice things among excellent suppositions moreover images, multiples of amazing info moreover incentive, both of which I want, blesss to proposal such a beneficial info here. Free Merchant Account

Just saying thanks will not just be sufficient, for the fantasti c lucidity in your writing. I will instantly grab your rss feed to stay informed of any updates. Business Opportunity

Great post i must say and thanks for the information. Education is definitely a sticky subject. However, is still among the leading topics of our time. I appreciate your post and look forward to more.Rika Nagasawa and Mao Sakurai are good at what they do healing nurses in japan hot miracles from god the world need to join this site now see why we nomore wars but healing-love you going join today !

This is a wonderful article, Given so much info in it, These type of articles keeps the users interest in the website, and keep on sharing more ... good luck. We also provide FREE Tools to help promote your FreeViral webpage! Ready to start receiving your FREE TRAFFIC Then follow the instructions see link place website now free !

Really nice and interesting post. I was Dental Implants Loxahatchee looking for this kind of information and enjoyed reading this one. Keep posting. Thanks for sharing

I most likely appreciating each and every bit of it. It is an incredible site and decent impart. I need to much obliged. Great employment! You all do an incredible blog, and have some extraordinary substance. Keep doing awesome.https://www.rebelmouse.com/textyourexback/

Thank you a lot for providing individuals with a very spectacular possibility to read critical reviews from this site. buy ukash with paypal

It should be noted that whilst ordering papers for sale at paper writing service, you can get unkind attitude. In case you feel that the bureau is trying to cheat you, don't buy term paper from it. Best Torrent Client

Kings fans want to see their banner raised. Nashville fans want to see the Predators’ steady rise to awesomeness amount to something. Rangers fans want to know that last season was not a fluke. In this sense, hockey will be taking on the model of minor league sports
how can a fat kid get a girlfriend

It should be noted that whilst ordering papers for sale at paper writing service, you can get unkind attitude. In case you feel that the bureau is trying to cheat you, don't buy term paper from it. hack dragon city | hack subway surfers

football free bet I definitely enjoying all insignificant item of it. It is a amazing website further fetching use. I like to acknowledge you. Worthy employment! You boys do a amazing blog, moreover bear few awesome capacitys. Restrain up the decorous process

It is really no surprise that this building was found to have bed bugs infesting it. I mean, it is in New York city, which is pretty disgusting itself. And some of the people who work there, even if they do make decent wages, probably don't site make enough to afford what is considered a "nice" place to live in New York City. Especially in midtown, of all places.

Kings fans want to see their banner raised. Nashville fans want to see the Predators’ steady rise to awesomeness amount to something.
how can you get rid of herpes forever

Safe Work Method Statement Free Appreciation for actuality very judicious further and for selecting on book true conductors most persons are very insufficient to be cognizant of.

Bracialeto Europe Beads med guld og diamanter Glassten Armbånd Halskæder Billige smykker smykker Lav selv smykker Tilbud på smykker Månedens sten Armbånd. Charms til armbånd

the games, can still read about it. Even a diminished NHL can still add a measure of equilibrium in the sporting universe (one potentially positive consequence: I stop spending so much time looking at baseball trade rumors).
guaranteed mobile phone contract

hockey will be taking on the model of minor league sports. The regional popularity of the Tacoma Rainiers and Albuquerque Isotopes far outweighs national interest in Pacific Coast League baseball.
quickest way to get her in the mood

I want you to thank for your time of this wonderful read!!! I definately enjoy every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff of your blog a must read blog! Internet Business

Two full thumbs up for this magneficent article of yours. I've really enjoyed reading this article today and I think this might be one of the best article that I've read yet. Please, keep this work going on in the same quality.παπουτσια online

Kings fans want to see their banner raised. Nashville fans want to see the Predators’ steady rise to awesomeness amount to something. Rangers fans want to know that last season was not a fluke. In this sense, hockey will be taking on the model of minor league sports. The regional popularity of the Tacoma Rainiers and Albuquerque Isotopes far outweighs national interest in Pacific Coast League baseball.
fast way to lose weight that really works

hockey will be taking on the model of minor league sports. The regional popularity of the Tacoma Rainiers and Albuquerque Isotopes far outweighs national interest in Pacific Coast League baseball.
am i too ugly to get a girlfriend

the sporting universe (one potentially positive consequence: I stop spending so much time looking at baseball trade rumors). For the NHL to be sustainable, and to eventually begin to grow again, the league must first make itself small. Hockey depends on it.
tanweir

this is my first time i visit here. I found so many entertaining stuff in your blog, especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the leisure here! Keep up the excellent work. Abc for toddlers

I have to search sites with relevant information on given topic and provide them to teacher our opinion and the article.Diazepam Online

Thanks for ones marvelous posting! I genuinely enjoyed reading it, you are a great author. I will be sure to bookmark your blog and may come back very soon. I want to encourage you to definitely continue your great job, have a nice weekend. music

The Vales Singhaiyi Homes that will fulfill your dream! Are you searching for homes in Singapore? If yes, then this article will be of great benefit. It is a very common problem between all people that they hardly find homes, according to their requirements such as some wishes to have a beautiful garden in front of their house while some people wants...

A good blog always comes-up with new and exciting information and while reading I have feel that this blog is really have all those quality that qualify a blog to be a one. Distributorship Opportunities

The web site is lovingly serviced and saved as much as date. So it should be, thanks for sharing this with us. find a babysitter

proxy Proxy Sites for Privacy Online. Hide Your IP and Use the Proxy List, Unblocks Sites like facebook.com and Youtube.com.Proxy Turbo.

Very nice blog and articles. I am realy very happy to visit your blog. Now I am found which I actually want. I check your blog everyday and try to learn something from your blog. Thank you and waiting for your new post. Gclub

Very informative post ! There is a lot of information here that can help any business get started with a successful social networking campaign !vpn review

First You got a great blog .I will be interested in more similar topics. i see you got really very useful topics, i will be always checking your blog thanks. parfum pas cher

I was very pleased to find this site.I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.Visit this site

Two full thumbs up for this magneficent article of yours. I've really enjoyed reading this article today and I think this might be one of the best article that I've read yet. Please, keep this work going on in the same quality.Visit this site

Regular visits listed here are the easiest method to appreciate your energy, which is why why I am going to the website everyday, searching for new, interesting info. Many, thank you!Visit this site