It’s a simple question; with a complicated answer. Is the NHL game watered down? This question may haunt fans and the NHL’s front office alike. It may also depend on what team you are watching. One thing is for sure; it’s not the same game anymore.
Do you remember a time when players cared about the crest on their jersey? Its true players became a fixture in cities, and with teams. The salary cap may keep things “fair”, but it may be a main cause of today’s product. Let’s think for a minute.
What will happen if the NHL does expand? Can the talent support two more teams? I’ m not sold that it can. As it stands now there are teams that don’t have an NHL roster, and some teams that have enough talent to put two NHL teams on the ice. Adding two more teams is not the answer. Sadly taking teams away may be the answer.
The NHL and its partners have gone so far to create rivals. NBC Sports has a weekly rivalry game. But, the NHL has very little rivalry’s left. It takes years of hard play, and playoffs to create a strong rivalry. They cannot be created just by putting teams on TV. The NHL depends on a handful of “stars” to drive advertising, and TV numbers. That sounds watered down to me.
There is no question that this is a great game, and I’ll always enjoy watching it. But, there will come a point where the talent can no longer support the league. I think Gary Bruce Bettman has some work to do restore the glory of NHL hockey.
What do you think?