Guest Author - Kevin Thorburn
Something needs to be done to save professional hockey. The National Hockey League has been pandering to new fans and has messed things up badly enough that it likely isn’t fixable. Here’s an idea that would definitely save the sport – political correctness aside.
The Canadian Professional Hockey League – yes, that’s right. Only Canadian players allowed and, at least to start, only Canadian cities. Why would these extremes work?
First, the cities will be addressed. Unwavering support and the most knowledgeable and appreciative fans on the planet will assure stability for the league as it grows. It time, as the NHL is deemed worthless, expansion to certain elite American cities could be permitted, as there are some worthy and plentiful fans in some locales.
Now the players need to be mentioned. Why would they leave the friendly and lucrative confines of the NHL for a new league? Many have done so for the Russian Kontinental Hockey League and that only supports why a Canadian version is needed.
When players such as Sidney Crosby have to put up with classless individuals such as Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin and Ilya Kovalchuk who don’t care about the league itself and are only here for their lofty salary, what would be the down side for a player such as Crosby? The antics that Ovechkin pulls on a regular basis would not have been tolerated in a pre-Bettman NHL. Now, with the rules that have been put in place by the grand poobah, these clowns can do whatever they like and remain untouched, then choke in the post season so they can return to their home country as soon as possible since a desire to win a championship is nonexistent.
The new league would change that. Canadian boys live, breath and eat hockey with no other dreams than someday having their name engraved on the Stanley Cup. There would be no shortage of desire and intensity with these new teams.
Now is a good time to discuss hockey’s holy grail – the Stanley Cup. Our good friend Lord Walter Stanley donated the cup for the purposes of having a “challenge cup which should be held from year to year by the champion hockey team in the Dominion (of Canada).” Wow. Would that mean the bastardized version of the Stanley Cup championship we have now could be returned to its original concept?
This is all in its infancy, but the idea would work and the sport of hockey would be all the better for it. Hey, it would be worth it just to see poor Gary Bettman squirm.