Thursday, February 17, 2005

Hockey is hockey?

I must be getting established as a blog. I got my first comment today. Somebody reads me!

On Monday, I wrote about the AHL all star game. Rob writes in reponse
I say bring in the scrubs. $20 seats vs. $100 seats. hockey is hockey.

That got me thinking. Is hockey hockey?

I love my hockey. I have been known to stop and watch when I am going down the street and notice a group of eight year olds playing a pickup street hockey game. Its hockey and hockey is exciting.

However, that hockey does not fill the same need as NHL hockey does. The beauty of NHL hockey is that it has been the best hockey players in the world competing against one another. Thats what makes it special. Thats why I will pay more to see it then I would to see other hockey. Thats why AHL hockey (or any other league) cannot adequately fill the hole that the NHL lockout has left.

One of my biggest concerns regarding the NHL lockout is that when it is all over, the NHL will no longer have all the best players in the world. It is very possible that many of the Europeans will stay in Europe when its all done. If (for example) Peter Forsberg, Nicklas Lidstrom and Markus Naslund are playing in Sweden and Ilya Kovlachuk and Jaromir Jagr are playing in Russia, then how special is the NHL? It loses a lot of its shine without its stars. From the point of view of a fan, I want to see regular competition between the best hockey players in the world. Whether it occurs under the NHL banner or not is immaterial. However, if it doesn't happen at all because the post-lockout NHL only contains some of the best players in the world and many of the best players are still in Europe then we all lose out.


Very helpful advice within this post

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