the admiral

Rite of Spring '15: exhume our idols! bury our friends!

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Gary Bettman said it right,"This is a dynasty."

What another amazing NHL playoffs,next year can be as crazy as this :censored:.

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Should I have said "better"? Hockey is being played at a higher athletic level now than it was then. Or are guys still smoking on the bench during games?

No, they do lines of crack off of it instead.

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Bigger ≠ Deeper

I'd argue that the talent pool is much bigger and much deeper than before.

Back in the 70's when the NHL had 18 teams (and the similarly-talented WHA had 14 teams), you had 32 top-tier hockey teams that were made up of rosters that were what....90% Canadian? Now there's 30 teams in a league where it's closer to 50% Canadian now. That 35-40% is now being filled by the best players from the US, Sweden, Russia, Finland, Czechs, etc. That 35-40% of Canadians that used to have spots in the NHL/WHA now simply aren't good enough.

And, with the way today's game is heading, those players whose lone skill was fighting are being replaced with guys that can actually skate and score.

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I'm happy for Kimmo Timonen. He's a great guy and deserves his ring.

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Bigger ≠ Deeper

I'd argue that the talent pool is much bigger and much deeper than before.

Back in the 70's when the NHL had 18 teams (and the similarly-talented WHA had 14 teams), you had 32 top-tier hockey teams that were made up of rosters that were what....90% Canadian? Now there's 30 teams in a league where it's closer to 50% Canadian now. That 35-40% is now being filled by the best players from the US, Sweden, Russia, Finland, Czechs, etc. That 35-40% of Canadians that used to have spots in the NHL/WHA now simply aren't good enough.

And, with the way today's game is heading, those players whose lone skill was fighting are being replaced with guys that can actually skate and score.

Right on the money. It's amazing how much the United States talent pool has grown, and no, I'm not referring to California and Texas producing a player or two, I mean the longtime hotbeds of Minnesota, Michigan, Massachusetts, and New York producing more NHLers than ever, the way you thought they always did but actually didn't.

It's just too bad that with bigger, stronger, faster, smarter players in hockey, they're all being overcoached into oblivion with short shifts and shot-blocking.

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I'm happy for Kimmo Timonen. He's a great guy and deserves his ring.

I wish, for his sake, that he coulda had one shining SCF moment (other than hoisting the Cup).

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I've ranted along these lines following the Hawks' two previous Cup wins, and now I will do so again.

TL/DR: How is it that Patrick Kane has not already toppled Sid Crosby and Alex Ovechkin as the NHL's biggest anointed superstar (and does Kane's third Cup with the Hawks finally change that)?

Long version: It's no big secret that in the Gary Bettman era, the NHL's marketing strategy has been decidedly USA-centric - and yet, for almost a decade now, the league and its US TV partner, NBC Universal, have anointed a Canadian (Crosby) and a Russian (Ovechkin) as its two biggest stars, even though both play for teams in middling media markets and have only one Stanley Cup between them (Crosby, way back in '09; Ovi hasn't even been to the Cup Finals).

On the other hand, Kane's Blackhawks have won three Cups in the six seasons since Crosby's sole Cup-winning season. Not only are the Hawks a marquee franchise in their own right, and representing one of the USA's biggest media markets, but Kane himself is a US-born and trained player. More importantly he's a US citizen, meaning that, unlike Crosby or Ovechkin, Kane plays for Team USA when the Winter Olympics roll around - and the Winter Olympics are also carried by NBC Universal. You'd think this would give NBC and NBCSN a vested interest in anointing Kane, and not Crosby or Ovechkin, as the face of the NHL, at least as far as US TV audiences are concerned.

So why is the NHL still being presented as the Sid and Alex Show, when it has a much more ideal "face of the league" in Chicago? Or might that finally change, now that Kane's team has reached dynasty status?

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I believe Kane's already passed Ovechkin on NBC's popularity chart. And while Crosby will always get the love because of his status as The Next Great One, NBC shows the Blackhawks just as much as any team.

I can't speak about the NHL's own advertising, but NBC certainly hasn't slighted Kane.

A bigger talking point should be Toews vs. Crosby.....one gets the fellating while the other just racks up the jewelry....

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Kane doesn't really get gaudy numbers in the regular season. It's a three-part dilemma: Kane is more of a playmaker than a finisher, the Blackhawks' depth tends to distribute scoring across the team, and no one's really putting up awesome numbers in the Western Conference anyway (yes, I know Jamie Benn grunted his way to a scoring title on the last day of the season, but his team also wasn't built for success in its division).

EDIT: also, maturation notwithstanding, Kane is still regarded as a sloppy drunk who beat up a cab driver and gets thrown out of bars in Madison, whereas Crosby has never been seen doing anything wrong because he's never been seen doing anything.

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Yeah, I was gonna say the last part. Most people still see Kane as a dick.

I really enjoy Patrick Kane. He's so dynamic with the puck. I find him to be just a fun player, and really, the best American player in the game right now. He should be THE face of hockey in America, but his past still chases him around.

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EDIT: also, maturation notwithstanding, Kane is still regarded as a sloppy drunk who beat up a cab driver and gets thrown out of bars in Madison, whereas Crosby has never been seen doing anything wrong because he's never been seen doing anything.

Which means if he was a Bruin, he would have been traded to Colorado long ago for Cody McLeod, Jan Hejda, and a disappointing prospect. You know. "Character guys."

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Joe Haggerty just got half a chub reading that post.

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Joe Haggerty just got half a chub reading that post.

There's no way Peter Chiarelli didn't at least explore the possibility of trading Dougie Hamilton to Anaheim for Clayton Stoner and a few water bottles.

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bears.jpg

They beat the Tampa Bay Devil Lightening by a score of 4 homeruns to 2 three pointers.

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Crossover Thread Promotional Event:

CM Punk is providing color commentary for the Blackhawks Stanley Cup parade and rally.

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What's the score?

Nuthin' nuthin'

Who's winning?

The Bears.

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:censored: in' right, Chicago.

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Should I have said "better"? Hockey is being played at a higher athletic level now than it was then. Or are guys still smoking on the bench during games?

Completely irrelevant. The argument at hand relates to the relative distribution of talent in a six-, ten-, or thirty-team league, not the relative calibre of that talent. If you really wanna go by the latter, then no Cup win -- hell, any sports championship -- from longer than twenty years ago is worth anything.

Back in the 70's when the NHL had 18 teams (and the similarly-talented WHA had 14 teams), you had 32 top-tier hockey teams that were made up of rosters that were what....90% Canadian? Now there's 30 teams in a league where it's closer to 50% Canadian now. That 35-40% is now being filled by the best players from the US, Sweden, Russia, Finland, Czechs, etc. That 35-40% of Canadians that used to have spots in the NHL/WHA now simply aren't good enough.

Fair.

And, with the way today's game is heading, those players whose lone skill was fighting are being replaced with guys that can actually skate and score.

More like "career AHLers who can chip in twelve points a year".

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You're still on this? It's not even a hard argument. 1 in 6 is easier to break through and win than 1 in 30. There's less variance to account for. I don't know why this is difficult.

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