The Cold Hard Truth: On Sports

NHL: Sport without a Country

NHL tampa bay lightning and florida panthers (miami)

NHL: Sport without a Country

BY Kevin Krest


It’s hard to believe that it will be Florida 2 and the entire country of Canada 0 when it comes to teams in the NHL playoffs. If you think Adam Silver has a problem [in the NBA], how would you like to be NHL commissioner Gary Bettman? You’re more likely to get a sunburn than a Molson at this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs.

You’re more likely to get a sunburn than a Molson at this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs. Teams from Florida (2), Washington, Texas, Tennessee and California (3) give the whole affair more of a college football feel than one that generally features teams from north of the border. Really?

What are Canadian hockey fans supposed to do for two months? Oh, yeah, they can watch the Raptors make a run in the NBA playoffs, complaining all the while that Lebron should be called for high sticking. Or maybe gear up for the NCAA lacrosse championships, since that sport is in fact the national sport of Canada. More likely they’ll watch anyway, mostly out of habit than support for a particular team. Much like Europeans would tune into a World Cup Soccer final between Brazil and the United States.

But on a more serious note, the NHL really needs to be concerned that an entire nation is left out of the playoffs in a sport that is nothing short of a religion in Canada. Americans just don’t watch hockey on television, as evidenced by the inability of the league to keep a network contract for any length of time. And if the Canadian fans choose to opt out this year, things could get even tougher for the league from a broadcast perspective.


[Photo: AP Photo / Joel Auerbach]



For more follow Kevin Krest on Twitter @KevinKrest and don’t forget to check out my new book, “Roughing the Passer – A PK Frazier Novel” and my first, “Illegal Procedure – A PK Frazier Novel”, available in print and e-formats at, iBooks and Smashwords.

NHL: Sport without a Country

NHL: Sport without a Country

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