Hey TSM readers.
Did anyone catch Bob Mccown on Primetime Sports today? He went on his usual rant about how the NHL is nothing in the US. He went on to say to say it is “folly” to think a good game or a year of good games would do anything for NHL ratings in the US.
Bob stated that minus a couple of years, the NHL has had national coverage since 1960. He said Americans just don’t like the NHL and never will. Of course he is correct with all of his comments…..at the moment. I say, at the moment, because it wasn’t always that way.
My question to Bob would be: Do you remember June 20, 1994? He probably wouldn’t nor would most of us. On that date, on the cover of Sports Illustrated was, “Why the NHL’s hot and the NBA’s not.”
How times have changed. It’s inconceivable to imagine the NHL being more popular than the NBA today. But Flash back to 1994 and things were different. The great one had just led his LA Kings to the Stanley Cup finals. Gary Betman was only a year into his reign as NHL commissioner so he hadn’t had enough time to ruin things. The game was about to expand into the West. Overall, hockey was booming in the US.
Call it short lived, but it happened. I’m not claiming to know how to fix things. I don’t know if things can be fixed. What I do know is there was a time when the NHL was a hot ticket in the US. SI doesn’t put something like that on the cover for nothing.
Just food for thought………