As the lockout drags on in the National Hockey Association, it is looking like there will be no season for fans to enjoy, and televisions will continue to go dark without hockey or networks replays of classic games. The options for fans are very limited in a lot of cities, but I have an idea to help out a lot of people. Why not make the American Hockey Association’s Calder Cup the main cup for professional hockey this year? How would fans respond to minor league hockey being on television all the time?
Every professional team has a minor league affiliate, and as the AHL season rolls on, more coverage should be devoted to that. I’m shocked that the NBC Sports Network hasn’t jumped on getting more AHL hockey onto their network. I know that minor league hockey isn’t the same thing as the professional game, but isn’t any hockey better than no hockey? We could see all the games of the Calder Cup shown live on the NBC Sports Network or whatever network the AHL could sign with. I’m not saying that the winner gets the Stanley Cup, or anything like that.
I understand this is way outside the box and would never happen, but it would at least bring hockey back to the masses before it is long-forgotten. It looks like hockey is going the way of professional bowling where very few fans are watching on television, and there are very devoted fans that wouldn’t miss a broadcast for anything. I really hope the NHL thinks about that long and hard and gets back to the bargaining table to figure out what to do next, or fans will be watching AHL hockey for the rest of this season.
Andy Schmidt is a columnist/writer for RantSports. Follow him on Twitter @ASchmidtSports or like his Facebook page.