October 7th, 2011 at 8:46 AM ^

When you live in Michigan, or any of the "original six" markets or in Canada, hockey is one of the four "major" sports.  But it most of the other US cities, and especially ones that don't have teams, there aren't a lot of people who give a shit about hockey.

The NHL has suffered greatly since they played "chicken" with ESPN and lost.  They need their product to be on as many TV sets as they can get it.  If that means giving away games, they should do just that to make their sport popular enough that teams are making money.  

At this point, there are only three "major" sports left in about 80 percent of the US.  Hockey is not one of them.