In 1989, under the incompetent stewardship of maladroit Commissioner John Ziegler, the NHL shifted its head offices from Montreal to New York City. Prior to the move, the home office had been located in Montreal since the league’s inception in 1917. Certainly, one of the reasons for this move was to promote expansion of the league into American greener pastures.
Once Gary Bettman took over the reins from Ziegler in 1993, he happily continued the assault on Canada’s game by overseeing the exodus of the Quebec Nordiques and the Winnipeg Jets. The two beneficiaries of the move, the Colorado Avalanche and Phoenix Coyotes, were 23rd and 30th (last in the NHL) respectively in average attendance in 2011-12. So much for greener pastures; the teams should have been left in their original whiter pastures.
Ironically, Bettman’s destitute American stepchildren now rely on the profitable Canadian teams such as the Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens and Vancouver Canucks to sign the welfare checks through league revenue sharing. So, how are those teams‘ moves and the ill advised over-expansion working out for Gary? How about we all chip in so we can buy some Christmas gifts for his impoverished stepkids?
Due to his reluctance to use sound judgment and birth control, Bettman has succeeded in becoming the OctoDad of professional sports. Too bad he does not have the option of posing nude to make a few bucks so he can feed some of the starving mouths he has spawned.
After yet another hockey season being shredded to pieces by OctoDad, Canadians are left searching for other options to occupy themselves with during the long and cold winter months. Enter the NFL. Who said that there are no winners during the NHL lockout?
According to this latest Angus-Reid poll, it appears the NFL has stepped into the NHL’s skates and filled the void. As a substitute for the NHL, 14% of Canadian hockey fans are tuning into more NHL games more often and a total of 31% are watching NFL games. The NFL does not mind one bit; they will gladly take as many orphaned NHL fans as they can get.
It appears there is hope for OctoDad after all. If the lockout continues, he can make a few extra bucks to feed those hungry mouths by working as an NFL marketing director – assuming the NFL wants anything to do with him. Since it appears that Hugh Heffner will not be calling anytime soon, OctoDad can certainly use the extra coin from the NFL until the welfare checks from north of the border are reinstated.
And who knows how long that will take?