The NHL is officially coming back, and everyone (my dad) wants to hear my opinions on the 24-team format. Do I understand it? No, I do not. Would it suck to be the Devils, Sabres, Red Wings, etc. who had an awful year and now have to sit through a 7-9 month offseason? Absolutely. But am I excited that the greatest playoffs in all of sports now has an extra 8 teams? Obviously.
My promise to you, dear reader, is that I am going to spend my entire Tuesday evening researching what exactly the NHL’s plans are for this 24-team Stanley Cup Playoffs and how it’s going to work. And tomorrow I will write out an explanation blog. But for right now can we just all be collectively excited that sports are coming back and we’re getting playoff hockey and it’s going to be an even crazier ride than it normally is?
This new format is great for the league and great for its fans. The NHL has never built the following in the United States that they would have hoped when they started this great league. Yes, there are pockets of crazy and amazing NHL fans all around the country, and they have the single best announcer (Mike Emrick) in sports history, but the TV ratings are always lower than they should be. I think this new format, whatever it is, has the potential to change that.
People are sports-deprived right now, and the first big league coming back is the league with the fastest action and most intense playoff action out of any of the four major sports. New fans, desperate for sports and anything to bet on, are going to head to their TVs to watch, and I think they’re going to get hooked.
And if not – even if this doesn’t end up bringing in new fans – I’m going to love every second of these playoffs. I can’t wait to do some more research on this so I can fully understand what I’m getting excited about. But either way, the point is, I’m excited, and this is going to be awesome.
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