If you’re anything like me you’re a big fan of the game of hockey. Maybe not the NHL, but you love the game itself. That’s why the best hockey you can watch is the Olympics, not the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Playoff hockey is awesome hockey, no doubt, but the pure skill of the game is only found at the Olympic level. Why? Because there the skill and speed can transpire without the baggage. What baggage am I referring to? Mostly the inability of the money oriented NHL to reinvent some key aspects.
Firstly, they still deny head injuries (or the game itself) causes concussions. That’s purely a MONEY driven response. To admit the connection would open themselves to a slew of very expensive lawsuits.
Secondly, the NHL can’t re-imagine officiating. The quality of officiating no longer matches the speed of the game. We can’t just throw 5 officials on the ice. If anything we need more room, and less inconsistency. You get that by re-imagining officiating. You also get there by being transparent. There is ZERO transparency with respect to officials and officiating. Imagine if the league operated like rugby officials? It would transform the game and also open the door to new fans.
But instead the game is plateauing. That’s just an opinion, maybe I’m wrong on the actual data/viewership. I’m just speaking for me. I’m not interested in watching a game that can’t figure out how to produce a better product. After the Tom Wilson it’s very clear that the league (no surprising here) is purely about MONEY. In International hockey any headshot has immediate and massive consequences. You just don’t play around. At the NHL, inconsistent penalties and safety reviews lead to a degradation of the game itself. It’s not interesting to watch or be part of a game that’s caught in the stone-ages. Some profound, yet simple, changes to suspensions could solve a lot of problems. We should also blame the players here. The union prevents the NHL from implementing many worthy deterrents (like fines).
So with that, I’m going to hit them in the pocket book. I won’t be buying anything NHL related, and I’ll be cancelling all of my sports channels (no ad revenue for you!). Small change, but I think this is the beginning of the end for many viewers.
Which sucks, cause if you’re in Calgary and a fan of the Flames, your tax dollars are going to fund a billionaires hockey team to the tune of many hundreds of millions. It’s not pretty any way you look at it, but it’s coming. So that’s that I guess.
Another season down the tube for the disappointing Calgary Flames.