Originally Posted by SteelKnight
I can't remember the exact Google terms I used but I did do a lot of reading. I think at the time I was focused on checking out TV performance since you were talking about filling the stands. Honestly I don't feel like putting my time into looking it up again.
Set aside the recent winter classic and I'm sure you will find TV performance is poor for the NHL.
And like I said...it depends on the market. The southern cities I mentioned are struggling, but they never should have had teams in the first place. The people there just don't care about hockey.
Atlanta had one of the most exciting players in Ilya Kovalchuk for a good period of time, and nobody there gave a crap. They're in a tight race for first in their division and nobody gives a crap. It's just not the right market for that team. It would be the equivalent of taking the Cowboys and putting them in Nova Scotia and expecting them to have the same kind of fanbase.
It struggled for a long time to gain popularity in the states, but since the lockout and the beginning of the cap limit, it's become much more exciting to the casual viewer. Think of how boring baseball and basketball have become (in terms of knowing who's going to be in the playoffs every year and what team is going to have all the big name players) with no cap limit...think of how things might become in the NFL with no cap limit. If hockey is suddenly the only major sport in the US with any kind of parity, it'll become even more popular.