(post started last night, then I was too tired to finish so I passed out-continued today)........So I'm at Jacksons, comiserating with my best bud about the most depressing reality.
We watched perhaps one of the best hockey games I have ever seen, Tampa Bay losing to Calgary 3-2 in a series tied 2-2 game five.
Calgary won in overtime. Incredible game. St. Louis vs Iginla. Khabibulin vs. Kiprusoff. Unbelievable saves, shots, hits, speed, power, endurance, etc.etc.....You rarely get to see this kind of intensity in any sport.
All this may go the way of the dinosaur for the NHL.
For those who weren't aware, the NHL is in dire straits financially. The league as a whole lost somewhere around $300 million last year. The New Jersey Devils, last years Stanley Cup winner, lost $30 million as a team. When your championship team can't turn a profit, your league is in trouble.
NBC has "bought" the rights to televise next years NHL broadcast network games. I put quotation marks around "bought" because they didn't pay anything for it. They simply signed the contract to carry it. No fee was required. ABC paid about $120 million to broadcast this years games. Apparently the last few years the price tag for the games has dropped considerably. Now it's at zero.
As it stands now, there is a very distinct possibility that there will be no NHL next year. No Lord Stanleys Cup games. No Steve Yzerman with the Wings. No Thomas Vokoun in my beloved Predator blue. No Martin St. Louis skating like a magician on speed.
In the case of the league being suspended for one year, there is the possibility that the World leagues will cherry pick the stars and take them overseas. Perhaps Canada will start a full-pro league.
Either way, things are not looking good for next years NHL season.
Make sure you watch these games, because not only are they two incredible teams who are as well matched as one could hope for in a Stanley Cup series, but this may be the last time you see NHL hockey for a while at all.......
Last nights drinks of choice- Stout and Stone.....