I would like to thank the Detroit Red Wings for disposing with the Blackhawks last night and punching their tickets to the Stanley Cup Finals versus the Pittsburgh Penguins. Had they not won last night the Finals would not have started for over a week. Even to the hard core Canadian fan that is on the verge of being too much time and runs the risk of making it an irrelevant viewing option. I was almost starting to worry that the NHL Draft may come and go before the NHL’s Champion was crowned. July 1st Free Agency may have already started and teams may have lost players that were still playing. Clearly I say this in jest but they may have been cutting it close to draft day had they delayed the beginning of the Cup Finals.
We all know that the NHL is not the USA’s #1 viewing choice. In fact the Scripps Spelling Bee will probable shame the NHL in the ratings department. Had it slipped to next weekend to start it could have been a disaster for the league and the networks. I find that it is sad that despite the poor ratings that the NHL still bends over for NBC and will do just about anything to appease them. When they do show the 1 game a week they do a good job but this isn’t 1988 and the Saturday or Sunday game of the week just doesn’t cut it. If they were actually getting some good revenue from them that would be one thing but I don’t think there is a lot of money pouring in from that deal. If there is any way to get back on ESPN and away from Versus or even share some rights amongst the 3, they may need to seriously look into it. Just take whatever you can get and don’t think that playing hardball is a good strategy