The past few years has seen a decline in the NHL as the "official" fourth major professional sports league. In fact, some people would now put the PGA and NASCAR ahead of it.
I usually hear someone blame the strike (or lockout or whatever it was) a few years ago. Or the fact that, outside of a select few times, you can't find games broadcast on major networks. Or that it is hard to follow on TV. All true.
But it seems to me the major problem is with the game's name- hockey. What is that? What does it mean? Does anyone know?
There is a simple solution. We have football as the #1 sport. Baseball is #2. Basketball #3. So shouldn't it follow that #4 should be another "ball" sport?
I propose changing the name of the sport to "hockeyball". Before you protest that hockey is played with a puck and not a ball, I would disagree. The puck is nothing more than a ball in disc form.
Does anyone really believe that a football is technically a ball in the strictest sense of the word? It, like the puck, is not a perfect sphere, either. So if that oddly shaped thing they play football with can be called a ball, then so can a puck be called a ball.
Easy fix. It's a good game. So change the name, and in a few years hockeyball will overtake basketball as sport #3.