It happens every year around this time: Sports fans are left in the dark searching for a sport worth following.
The Super Bowl marked the end of the NFL’s season, and spring training is not around the corner. Some fans turn to college basketball. The majority of the rest flock to the NBA, while some face-painting lunatics will tune in to the outlandish XFL.
"But what the National Hockey League?" a few misguided souls may ask, to which I guffaw, "Who cares about the NHL?"
Now for some of you a game featuring the Vancouver Canucks and the Ottawa Senators may float your boat, but that compelling matchup just doesn’t do it for me. How about the Calgary Flames and the Edmonton Oilers? Nope, not really what I’m looking for.
The NHL has come to be known for only two things in recent years: low scoring games and fighting. The first is one of the many downsides of hockey, but how could a real sports fan dislike fighting? Well I can’t, but the last time I checked there was a sport that already specialized in fighting. What’s it called again? Oh yeah, boxing.
For one reason or another, hockey hasn’t caught on in the United States. Perhaps it has to do with the strange player names or the fact that the game is utterly unwatchable on television. The NHL just recently celebrated its All-Star weekend. Did you watch Lemieux blowing kisses to the fans? Neither did I.
Left bemused by this strange sport, I, in my infinite wisdom, propose a radical new plan that will save the NHL, both in America and around the world.
It is time for the NHL to bite the bullet and move all of their teams out of the United States. With almost all of their players coming from Canada or Europe, I recommend moving all of the teams in the U.S. to either our neighbors toward the north or overseas. If a few states in the north are opposed to this plan, I say just make those states a part of Canada. Problem solved.
The teams will be distributed all over the two continents, forming two conferences, one Hosers, one European. During the regular season and playoffs the teams will only face other teams from their conference, avoiding the rigors of overseas travel. To top it off, the champion from each conference will meet in a final three-game series for the Stanley Cup.
Can’t you see it? Clash of the Continents, the Canadians vs. the Euros. Media coverage would be out of control. Interest in hockey would never be greater, and ratings never higher. The NHL would be at its zenith, and with no other sport being able to top this brilliant format, hockey would be saved.
Now, I know a few of you may find this plan far-fetched, but ask yourself, "Wouldn’t I want to watch?"