I feared, way back in 2011, that the league's castoffs had figured out what they apparently now have: it doesn't matter if you do anything illegal in the NHL. You'll get a refreshing, short suspension and the other team you just crippled will still be suffering from it when you get back. That hit by Byron on Sedin was a perfect showcase of the problems Brendan Shanahan has created and then left for this league going forward.
People much smarter about hockey than me will analyze what your departure means to the game and the Vancouver Canucks. I'm sure somewhere, at some point, some law school will run a clinic for general managers and agents on how not to handle contract negotiations. But you, Bobby Lu, you showed us all how to be stronger in our lives and on the job.
While advertising revenue will probably not increase much, there are additional revenues to be accrued from mobile customers and new subscriptions to existing specialty channels and fee increases for all Rogers sports channels. Cable and satellite TV subscribers and smartphone users will ultimately pay for the NHL deal, which should break even, if not be profitable.
How nice was it to watch an outdoor game in Los Angeles, to not have to care about all those recycled, overdone storylines about "pond hockey" and "childhood memories"? Those teams and their markets may not be perfect and they may not live up to the pretentious ideal us frigid northerners try to hold ourselves to, but they're a part of our game. And they're doing it better than us.
Honestly, I don't know what I'm more tired of, and I don't know what exhausts me more: fighting in the National Hockey League, or the debate that has raged like a wildfire for as long as I can recall on the contentious issue of... fighting in the National Hockey League. Fighting's going nowhere. Don Cherry will stop prefacing every comment he makes with "I gotta tell ya" before fighting is banned. Players will stop wearing protective cups. And arenas around the league will stop overcharging for beer. Why? Because it's fighting that puts the National Hockey League at the top of sportscasts.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have blasted out of the blocks like world-beaters -- currently sporting a sparkling 6-1 record whilst sitting alluringly atop the National Hockey League's Atlantic Division -- and Leaf fans are naturally feeling all the appropriate emotions of supporters of a squad that's really on a roll. That is anxiousness, apprehension, fear, dread and paranoia.