In honor of the recent start to the NHL season, what can be done to revive the troubled league? |

In honor of the recent start to the NHL season, what can be done to revive the troubled league?

I don’t know. … Melt the ice, drop a few Google stock certificates into the pool, and allow randomly selected fans to dive for them, nude. Then at least the frequent fights would be amusing, and we’d pay better attention to who’s in the penalty box.

It’s quite fashionable to ignore the NHL thanks to their strike ” most got along fine without it. Remember the excitement when the Avalanche won the Stanley Cup, feuded with the Red Wings, and contended every year?

Then Patrick Roy retired, mediocrity arrived, and the strike …

Two things draw fans: a winner (see: “Rocktober,” fading with every Red Sox two-out run-scoring hit); and feeling connected. Since no one we know plays for the Avs, the NHL should enlist the regional draft once used by the NBA. Each team should be made up of players from local colleges and high schools ” if there are none, it doesn’t make sense to have a team there (i.e. Atlanta, Phoenix).

Several Colorado colleges have done well ” gradually those fan bases could be expanded.

As a last resort, put a pee-wee team on between periods ” ever noticed the crowds for pee-wee football, soccer and basketball?

The NHL has taken some huge lumps in the past couple of years, and deservedly so. One, canceling a season wounded it right to the core. Also, cutting a deal with the Outdoor Life Channel to present its games nationally just won’t cut it.

The one thing that will get this league back into the limelight is being media savvy. The NHL needs to get the media back on its side and positively promote the product.

I think they do OK on the local level, but nationally they need to do better. The NHL is constantly pushed to the back of the sport pages or nightly sports.

If that fails, maybe they need to do cheerleaders or a dance team.

When thinking about the state of the NHL, I am reminded of the line from the movie, Major League, “I didn’t know Cleveland still had a team.”

To which, Jake replied, “Yeah, it’s great. We’ve got uniforms and everything.”

In Colorado in particular, the Avalanche, who’ve been playing well by the way, are overshadowed by the amazing Rockies’ run and the up-and-down season of the Broncos (future winners of Super Bowl XLII).

To save the league and boost popularity, the NHL needs to take these steps. First, shorten the regular season so it doesn’t interfere with the baseball playoffs and so the players try hard like they do in the playoffs.

Next, they need to promote global warming and climate change. This will force millions of people to live in a place with a favorable climate and abundant freshwater, i.e. Canada. With more people in Canada, surely the teams would return and the Canadian government would brainwash its new citizens to worship hockey like they do to the current population.

Finally, the NHL needs to embrace the power of the mullet in the sport and give frequent free concerts of Def Leppard, 38 Special, Ted Nugent, Molly Hatchet, Quiet Riot, and Styx. If you don’t believe in the power of the mullet in this country, just pay attention to Rock Jam, NASCAR, the number of Steelers fans across the country, and all those red states who elected W.

Apparently the world of hockey has passed me by. Since I haven’t the slightest idea as to what a “fledgling league” is, I am sort of at a loss as to how to revive it.

However, I will take a stab at it. In today’s world, the common attempt at problem solving seems to be to “throw money at it.” So, maybe the fledgling league needs to have a fund raising drive, apply for a grant or, better yet, get a Colorado congressman to include funding in one of his earmarks or pork bills.

Any of these sources generate revenue that can be used for any purpose without any obligation for repayment.

Contract, contract, contract. And I mean the verb form of the word, not a signed piece of paper.

For whatever reason, the NHL decided it’d be a great idea to add billions of new franchises and relocate ones with large, loyal fan bases over the past decade or so.

The end result: countless disenchanted Canadians and brain-dead fans in locales that don’t deserve a pro hockey franchise. Nashville, Columbus, Atlanta, Phoenix? Get real.

Oh, and the season is way too long. There’s maybe a week between the Stanley Cup and the start of training camp. Americans don’t have that kind of attention span.

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