In case anyone wasn't sure if the NHL was still a part of the "Big 4" of pro sports in America, we have some stone-cold proof that is no longer in that group.
Neilsen Media Research is reporting that Saturday night's Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals on NBC equaled the lowest rated prime-time program in network history. It tied a July 2005 repeat of The West Wing.
I really don't have much to say about hockey as I join the rest of America in not giving half a crap about it. I am from Southeast Texas...we don't do hockey. It can't be too much longer before hockey realizes its American impact is going down the tubes and it assumes the role of a regionally popular sport that stays up north and in Canada. The NHL as a league has overextended itself, assuming that fans across the U.S. would support it. The best advice I have heard for any owner who isn't earning the dividends they want, is to move it to Canada, where it belongs in the first place.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman's misguided attempts to push hockey further in America than tap into the bundles of fans in Canada is killing the league, and some owners really should consider moving franchises out of bad U.S. hockey markets. Bettman is pushing the potential owner of the Nashville Predators to stay in a moribund NHL market. And the prospective owner has said he'll agree to it, which would likely have the Predators in Nashville for seven years more. Nashville. Some people need an injection of common sense. Move it back to the great white north or continue to bleed money. It's very simple.
But hey, at least I could care less about hockey and it's ultimate fate as a second-tier sport. And not so surprisingly, I have a lot of buddies that are members of that club also.