Good morning Chicago Blackhawks fans! The World Cup of Hockey starts this Saturday, and an old friend will be broadcasting all of the tournament. In the end the growth of the NHL and hockey is probably because this old friend is missing on a nightly basis.
If you ask me what is missing from the NHL and what makes it the 4th or 5th major sport in America the answer is pretty simple answer for me to give, NHL hockey is not broadcasted on ESPN.
Yep, to me it’s that simple, on a nightly basis throughout the winter if you turn on the World Wide Leader in Sports you get nothing but NFL and NBA, and if it’s in February it’s all NBA because ESPN has the rights to it.
Back growing up when ESPN had the rights to the NHL, you could find an NHL game on almost every night, but when they didn’t renew the contract the NHL was lost to glowing pucks on Fox and now even though NBC and NBCSN has the rights to the NHL, not all Stanley Cup Final games find it’s way to NBC.
I know some people will say it’s 2016 and it really doesn’t matter what channel the game is on because there are so many options, and if you really want to watch the NHL you will find it on NBCSN.
That’s not the problem, it’s all of the hype that goes along with the games being televised on ESPN. There should be more experts than Barry Melrose on the network, and if you pick any other sport it has 10 to 20 experts that can interchange on a daily basis, but for hockey all you get is host Steve Levy and color guy Melrose.
So this coming week ESPN will be covering the World Cup of Hockey and there will be commercials and hype, but in the end this is the network the sport needs to grow it to new levels not NBC and NBCSN.
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Here are some Chicago Blackhawks morning links to kick off your Thursday morning!
Where does the NHL rank the Chicago Blackhawks prospects currently in their system (Blackhawks)
Team USA is ready to avenge the 2010 Olympic loss to Team Canada at the World Cup (ESPN)
A look at Ville Pokka and will he make it to Chicago this season (Second City)
Here is a preview for Team Finland at the World Cup of hockey this season (Puck Daddy)