Somebody emailed me and he goes,
‘Colin, you’re right about the NHL. It’s not for everybody. I love it, but I understand I’m the minority on this one. … The NHL doesn’t seem to know who it is. There’s two teams in Florida and none in Wisconsin. Wisconsin is mad for high school hockey, mad for college hockey. And yet there is no team in Wisconsin, and two in Florida. The NHL needs to understand who they are.’
This is a very good point. The only way stuff works in America (borderline sports) is when we have people pummel us. We don’t give a rip about hockey, until we are facing the world and the world is mocking us in the Olympics. The biggest sporting moment, in my life, was team USA hockey beating Russia. With out question, is the biggest sporting moment in my life. Hockey. Bigger than any Super Bowl. … Why did I care? Because you picked on us. You were bullies and we were the underdog and we are never the underdog.
Here’s the point about hockey, there are too hockey many teams. If you want to make it work in this country, my theory has always been you have a twelve team league.
You have 6 exclusively northern teams, mostly midwest and northeast teams; New York, Philly, Chicago, Detroit, Boston, and Minnesota.
Then you have 6 either Canadian or Canadian International teams. Ottawa, Calgary, Montreal, Toronto, British Columbia, throw in Czechoslovakia.
Twelve team league and they don’t play until the playoffs. It’s America against the Canadians. And when they win about 7 straight Stanley Cups, it’ll tick us off, and we’ll care. Less is more.
That’s my theory on the NHL, nobody will do it, we’ve got these Sun Belt teams nobody cares about, about half are bankrupt, nobody goes. You turn this into a twelve team league and it’s us against Canada or us against the world, and we would care. Make it a short regular season and a very long playoff, like the NBA. … That’s how you elevate the sport.