Posted on: March 1, 2010 6:50 pm


EVERYONE is talking hockey today. Unfortunately, the fervor won't last. Local sports radio, ESPN, all the major news outlets, everyone is talking about the overtime gold medal game from yesterday, as they should be. I wish this meant new American puckheads, to further the sport here. I wish I knew that the NHL marketing machine (if there even is one) could use this to prop up some of the game's Stars and put these guys images in people's living rooms across the nation. However, it probably won't. There are plenty of things wrong with all the major sports leagues in America, but none need to gain traction the way hockey does. We just took it to the best team in the world with a bunch of young bucks who have Olympic Games still ahead of them. This is the first home-grown generation that can go skate-to-skate with the best players in the world from every country. So let's capitalize.
The most obvious problem the NHL has, which everyone knows, is the failure of the teams (business-wise) in warm weather American markets where very few people care. America only has a few regions where hockey has traditionally done well. The Northeast and the Minnesota/Wisc./Michigan areas are the hotbeds of American hockey. It does well other places where the teams do well, like Colorado, New Jersey, San Jose, Anaheim, Dallas, etc. Some of these are warm weather places, but have strong teams. The league either needs to cut down to 24 teams period, or move teams back to Canada. How much sense does it make the 50% roughly of all NHL players are from Canada, and yet out of 30 teams only 6 are in the Great White North. Those people are obsessed with the sport and would love to have more teams. 
We already know Winnipeg and Quebec City can handle teams, and would support teams coming back. Much has been made of bringing a team (Phoenix?) to Hamilton, Ontario. The Maple Leafs' owners don't like that idea, but there is enough passion/people/money to support another team. Other cities like Halifax, Quebec City, Victoria, etc. could support teams. Also, other American cities that would seem like more logical fits than Tampa, Miami, Charlotte, Columbus, Nashville, etc. Places like Seattle, Milwaukee, Cleveland, cold-weather cities that could use another winter sport maybe. There has to be better ways to market what is my second-favorite sport.  
Category: NHL
Posted on: November 30, 2009 1:22 pm

Active HOF'ers in every sport

Got to wondering..of the four major sports leagues, which has the most lock, sure-fire HOF'ers playing right now? This was spawned by the announcements of the newest NHL inductees (Yzerman, Hull, Robitaille, Leetch and Lou Lamoriello), which is one of the strongest classes ever to go into the Hall. Also, the list of MLB Hall hopefuls came out the other day as well. Holdovers Andre Dawson, Mark McGwire, Burt Blyleven, Jack Morris, and first timers such as The Crime Dog Fred McGriff, Roberto Alomar, Barry Larkin, Kevin Appier, Ellis Burks, Andres Galaragga, Edgar Martinez, etc. etc.
The criteria is: A guy that, if he retired RIGHT NOW, would get in, without a doubt (which is in my opinion of course). A lot of other guys in every sport are well on their way...they just need to play a few more seasons having good numbers. Some cases are tough. Guys like Jorge Posada, Andy Pettite, Jason Varitek (decent numbers, but were winners, long careers, impact on the game, etc.). Guys like Konerko, Dye, Miguel Tejada (numbers aplenty, but are they really HOF'ers or will they suffer from Dave Kingman syndrome?) What about Omar Visquel? Lance Berkman? Torii Hunter? MLB:Derek JeterAlex RodriguezMariano RiveraIvan RodriguezRandy JohnsonTrevor HoffmanJim ThomePedro MartinezManny RamirezVladimir GuerreroAlbert PujolsRoy HalladayIchiro SuzukiChipper JonesAndruw Jones
NBA:Shaquille O'NealKevin GarnettRay AllenTim DuncanSteve NashPaul PierceJason KiddDirk NowitzkiKobe BryantVince Carter
NHL:Martin BrodeurNicholas LidstromMark RecchiSergei FedorovJarome IginlaMike ModanoTeamu SelannePaul KariyaChris Pronger
NFL:Ed ReedPeyton ManningLaDanian TomlinsonRay LewisTom BradyTerrell OwensTorry HoltRandy MossBrett FavreKurt WarnerEdgerrin JamesChamp BaileyJason TaylorJunior SeauCharles WoodsonBrian UrlacherSteve HutchinsonWalter JonesTony GonzalezBrian Dawkins
Who am I missing? Hockey list feels short. Chip in guys.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com