Let’s face the truth: “Canada’s game” has been sold off to the highest bidders … and they are in the United States.
Canada’s National Hockey League millionaire owners, I suspect in a bid to become billionaires, long ago delivered OUR hockey league … the NHL … to the Americans.
So right now, there are two US teams in the FINALS for the Stanley Cup, but only ONE person I know in Canada is watching.
The games and thus, the team names, are irrelevant to Canadians: most of our population couldn’t even name the cities they represent.
So Stanley Cup game statistics are now largely ignored; fewer and fewer here can identify any of the players (are there any stars?) and I suspect the TV ratings north of the border suck. (No wonder they’re treated like a military secret!)
Today’s NHL is stacked against Canada!
It has been DECADES since a Canadian team won the Stanley Cup (Montreal Canadiens 1993) … and I believe the current NHL business model/schedule/playoff setup all but ensures it will never happen again.
There are currently 31 NHL teams (32 once Seattle starts playing) … that will make 25 of them in the US and only 7 in Canada.
Clearly the odds are loaded against our chances of realistically having a shot at winning the cup.
Population numbers, market size, advertising revenues and much larger endorsement potentials act like a giant magnet pulling the best coaches and players, from not just Canada but every hockey nation in the world, to the U.S.
Who can blame them!
It’s time Canadians face the reality: the NHL and the Stanley Cup are gone … never to return to Canada, except for visits.
It’s that bad!
Time to take a hard look at our reality … and deal with it.
I believe Canada’s “national” sport still lives in some (used to be most) of our hearts, as a crucial part of our culture and many even believe, even in our nation’s blood stream.
And ironically, the Covid-19 pandemic shows us a possible way to save professional hockey … and playoffs … as a CANADIAN pastime.
The founders of the NHL purposely didn’t call it the International Hockey League, but the NATIONAL Hockey League in recognition of its critical importance of hockey, even as a commercial venture, to THIS nation, THIS people, THIS country.
Why not a new, national All Canadian Hockey League?
Featuring Canadian teams from coast to coast … not just Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver … but also Quebec City, Halifax and Hamilton!
And, as the country’s population and the Canadian league grows, even Victoria, Hamilton, Regina etc. could be added.
A just imagine: playoffs featuring Canadian teams from Canadian cities playing Canada’s sport for Canadian fans!!!!
With a Canadian WINNER!!!
Holding the Harvey Cup! (After me … for coming up with the idea? 🙂 )
Why not a new all-Canada league?
Covid has shown us we no longer need massive arenas, crowded with thousands of fans: professional hockey is now, by far, primarily a television sport, and even when we get back to in-person attendance, upgraded smaller arenas could do quite nicely.
As long as the TV broadcasts are first-class, with top quality broadcasters, cameras, graphics, sound systems and promotions.
Canadian advertisers would love it!
Why spend hundreds of millions of dollars sponsoring programs and a league that fewer and fewer Canadians are watching???
Especially if there was a viable, popular Canadian alternative!!! Where your advertising actually gets seen!
And with Canada’s population now topping 38 million, with more cities involved, just think of the coast-to-coast potential for promotional gear: team sweaters, sticks, skates, flags, cups, mugs, even tuques!
Geez! Even I could become a fan again!
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