It’s a Weak West Coast Presence That Hurts Hockey, Not a Weak Southern One

NHL games on NBC this season will feature teams from the following states:

  • Michigan
  • Illinois
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • Massachusets
  • Minnesota
  • New Jersey
  • Washington D.C

A real cross-section of America, eh folks?  Now I know it’s apples/oranges, but here are the states that will be featured in ABC’s NBA coverage this season:

  • Texas
  • Massachusets
  • California
  • Ohio
  • Michigan
  • Arizona
  • Louisiana

Okay, so maybe that didn’t prove our point as well as we thought it would upon the initial conception of the idea.  The point is, the NBA is able to draw upon a broad base of viewers from coast-to-coast.  Whereas, the NHL can only draw from pockets of the northeast.  The NHL needs a tentpole team out west.  

Obviously, the Kings becoming a perennial powerhouse would help the NHL enormously.  It’s always been a tough sell, hockey in L.A., but that’s mostly been because the Kings have been lousy for a good chunk of their time in SoCal.  Look how fans flocked (pardon the pun) to the Ducks after they won the Cup, selling out a season’s worth of games, and continuing to draw good crowds (Standing room only for a Sunday night against Atlanta?  Yowser).  

The point is, we all know hockey can work in California, and the NHL needs a new “Non-Detroit Western Conference go-to team” now that the Avs are starting to suck.  So who are the prime candidates to take over?

1. Los Angeles
2. San Jose
3. Anaheim
4. Phoenix 

An all Pacific Division Western Final at some point would do wonders for the league in spreading the wealth a little bit.  Does anyone think we’re gonna grow if we keep selling ourselves from New York to Minnesota?


2 Responses to It’s a Weak West Coast Presence That Hurts Hockey, Not a Weak Southern One

  1. PuckMoney says:

    If NBC’s slot for the Game of the week was at 3 or 4 EST I don’t think this would be as big a problem.

  2. John says:

    NBC could show two games but not air both of them. I think ABC did it in years past, having an east coast game of the week and a west coast game of the week. Or they could air both giving hockey fans what we want. A DOUBLE HEADER!

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