Archive for April, 2011


Who would have ever thought it would end up like this?

How I Would Fix the NHL

Posted: April 20, 2011 in NHL

The NHL playoffs have started and I’m not sure many Americans know this. The average American (myself included) doesn’t really pay attention to hockey. I mean the playoff games are on the Versus Channel, for god’s sake. Try to find that on your cable guide. The NHL is far behind the NFL, the NBA and MLB in terms of popularity among sports-loving Americans. And if they’re not careful, they will be overtaken by Major League Soccer. That’s a scary thought.

But I have a way to change all of that.

Now, I’m not a hockey fan. Not in the least bit. I don’t think I’ve ever watched a whole game. Or match or scrum or whatever they call it. So, in my mind that makes me the perfect person to fix hockey. Because if I can create something that would make me want to watch hockey, then the rest of America will want to watch as well. And that’s really the goal here, to get the average American interested in hockey.

The solution is pretty simple. The execution will be far more difficult.

The solution is this: create two new conferences; one Canadian one American. Each conference would have their playoffs and send their champion to the Stanley Cup. That way, every year we will have USA vs. Canada for the Cup. That is something that I, and most other Americans, would watch. Everybody loves sports even more when National Pride is on the line. It’s a chance to prove that your country is better than their country. It would be like having the Olympics every year.

Executing this plan will very difficult because some teams are going to have to move. We would need 15 teams in Canada to match the 15 teams here. By my count, there are only six teams in Canada. That means nine US teams will have to move. Like I said, it’s not going to be easy.

I think we can start with all the Southern teams. There is already talk about moving the Phoenix Coyotes back to Canada, so there’s one.  Nashville, Florida, Tampa Bay, Atlanta and Carolina can go, too. That’s six. The last three will be harder to choose. I’ll leave that up to the NHL. And I know that they wanted those teams in the south to be more of a national sport but it’s just not happening.

I know a lot of fans in the cities I just mentioned are going to have a fit because no one likes losing a team. Just ask Seattle or Sacramento. But if you’re a hockey fan in those cities, your loss will contribute to the greater good. Every year we will be treated to a spectacle of UAS vs. Canada, Us vs. Them.

I can’t think of anything else that would create more interest in hockey than that. Can you imagine a packed arena full of fans all screaming, “U-S-A! U-S-A!” as one of “our” teams goes for the Cup?

That would be something to see. And I hope it happens in my lifetime.

So there you go, NHL. I just gave you the best idea for hockey since the ice skate. And you can have it for free. All I want are some tickets to the first International Stanley Cup.

The Western Conference seems a lot more interesting that the Eastern. There are more storylines. Are the Lakers in trouble? Can the Spurs keep dominating? Will the Mavs implode again? Is this the Thunder’s turn?

So, here we go.

First Round:

Spurs/Grizzlies: Spurs in 4

Thunder/Nuggets: Nuggets in 6

Mavs/Blazers: Mavs in 6

Lakers/Hornets: Lakers in 5

Second Round:

Spurs/Nuggets: Spurs in 6

Lakers/Mavs: Lakers in 7

Western Conference Finals:

Spurs/Lakers: Lakers in 6

The NBA Playoffs start tomorrow and I am very happy. The Eastern Conference seems pretty cut and dry. Chicago, Miami and Boston are the cream of the crop.

Here are my predictions:

Bulls/Pacers: Bulls in 4.

Heat/Sixers: Heat in 5

Celtics/Knicks: Celtics in 4

Magic/Hawks: Magic in 6

Second Round:

Bulls/Magic: Bulls in 5

Celtics/Heat: Celtics in 6

Eastern Conference Finals:

Bulls/Celtics: Bulls in 6