NHL Hurt itself in Confusion

The Vegas Golden Knights defeated the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday night to advance to the Western Conference Finals by a final score of 5-2. If you wanted to see three of those goals on ESPN well I have some news for you. You couldn’t. Why? Why could you not witness the goals and the celebrations that followed? Was there breaking news that could shift the future of any given sport? A world news alert letting us know that TikTok has officially taken over as the world leader in your minds? No. It was because ESPN saw it more fitting to finish out the broadcast of Major League Baseball game where the score wrapped up 9-1. A true American pasttime nail biter folks.

Now granted, if you switched over to ESPN2 you would have seen it all but, that’s not the point. The point is, ESPN doesn’t give a damn about the NHL and they want you to know that. Let’s not mention the start time. Nothing like having the entire day of Sunday open for this game to be played only to assure that anyone outside of the Western market will fall asleep well before the 2nd period begins.

Tell me ESPN hates hockey without telling me ESPN hates hockey.

Partner that with the fact that rumors state that the NHL tried to move the start time up but were denied by the evil overlords that hate cold sports at ESPN. The NHL was also rumored to have attempted to have the game played on TNT, but ESPN declined. Oh and if you could see the game on ESPN2, there is also an additional rumor that the NHL asked the REGULAR SEASON BASEBALL GAME WITH LIKELY ZERO IMPLICATION ON THE WORLD SERIES OR THE PLAYOFFS be moved to ESPN2 so that the SERIES DECIDING NHL PLAYOFF GAME get it’s proper shine on the flagship ESPN. What happened there? You guessed it. ESPN declined that idea as well.

Partner this debacle of ESPN essentiall tucking the NHL into the basement floor space at the Connecticut headquarters with the absolute joke of signing on Fanatics as their main jersey maker once the deal with Adidas is up, and you have quite the headscratcher on your hands. Not only has Gary Bettman lied and said that fans and players all essentially worship his fly by night decision making, he has basically poisoning his own feeble hobbit sized brain into thinking that he can do no wrong. Regardless of if it’s the owners swaying Bettman’s decisions, it leaves a horrid taste in NHL fans mouths.

For a league that has pumped “Grow the game” down our throats for years, Bettman and company have made it nearly impossible to do so unless you feel like adding an ad blocker or VPN to the mix. Countless mistakes are tucked under the rug on a yearly basis with zero consequences but who pays for it? You guessed it. The fans.

So as Bettman continues to hop on his step stool and act like the shower of boos only further his power, NHL fans are set to suffer for years to come as the Fanatics deal spans over ten years and the ESPN contract will last through the 2027-28 season. Listen, I have no dog in the fight with this. I follow the Stars and my focus is on their game seven which hilariously is starting at 7 PM after a series full of “8:30 PM” start times. (We all know it’s actually 9 PM.) But it doesn’t mean I don’t want to the sport to succeed so the game will actually grow. Gary Bettman and his team of buffoons have made it abundantly clear. They do not care about your opinion. They do not care if you see every game your home team plays. They do not care about your twitter rants. They do not care about this article. The only care that what they say is law, and it will remain that way until Bettman is gone. (Let’s be real, even when he is gone things will likely stay the same as the owners really have the control in the league.)

Oh and Chicago was awarded another generational talent after fumbling one of the largest sex scandals in recent NHL history. Nice job Gary.

Author: Fink

Stood in an elevator with Jere Lehtinen once. Full-time freelancer in all things media. Beer League Black Ace and big-time locker room glue guy.

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