Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Me, I'd have no problem with a shortened season. No, it wouldn't be the most cherished Cup champ ever. But give 'em 10 games to get the kinks out and what you'd be left with is a really intense 18 game round-robin tournament, where every loss counts almost as much as it does in football.

To me the only real problem is it would highlight what a waste of time the NHL regular season really is. And there might actually be a relationship between how a team does during the regular season and how it does during the playoffs, which isn't always true under normal conditions. Often a team that has the consistency and health and discipline to be the best over 82 games runs into a hot goalie or a club that just added three players at the trade deadline or a coach who's especially good at motivating for eight weeks. We deify those teams for winning when it matters most; why wouldn't this time matter just as much?

And I don't blame the players, so I have no problem giving them support. I'd like to say I wouldn't give my money to the owners, but that would also mean boycotting a zillion radio stations and concert venues ('cause of Tom Hicks' shares in Clear Channel), the movie "Ray" (Kings owner Philip Anschutz financed it), the high speed Internet and TV at my friend's house in Portland (Flyers owners Comcast), Wal-Mart (Blues, Avs), any pro or college venue where Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs has a concession contract, "NYPD Blue" and "Sportscenter" (Disney/Ducks), Tim McGraw's new single (the Arena football team he co-owns puts money in Predators' owner Craig Leopold's pocket) various prescription drugs (Sens owner Eugene Melnyk) and ski hills (Canadiens owner George Gillette), just about every car dealer (parts provided by Guardian Automotive, Tampa owner Bill Davidson's company) and of course, Little Caesar's (Red Wings Red Wings).

But no, really, all those guys are broke, and all of them love the game of hockey more than anything else.
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