The NHL received the highest ratings (6 share) in 11 years for the opener to Lord Stanley's finals between Chicago and Philadelphia. This was followed by the highest ratings in recorded history for game two (7 share). Here is to hoping that the NHL can understand that there is more to the NHL than the Red Wings, Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin.
The fact that there seems to be a renewed interest in the sport should motivate Bettman and the marketing department to seek networks which are more willing to accommodate the NHL. With issues such as airing multiple overtimes and featuring more than one game a week, which will most likely feature Pittsburgh, Detroit or Washington, could become water under the bridge. This recent success can also help the Versus channel with contract negotiations which could further strenthen the NHL presence.
Unfortunately there is the original 6 issue. This whole situation can be written off to a case of Chicago having a team in the finals for the first time since the days of Belfour, Roenick and Chelios. However the youth of Chicago's team could tell a different story. Let's face it, who has been big for Chicago? It hasn't been Huet, Kane and Toews as far as the announcers are concerned. It has been Byfuglien, Brouwer and Niemi. What casual fan knew those names before the series started let alone the season?
Can the NHL figure out that there are more than 3 teams in the league? Seeing how they have just scheduled Pittsburgh and Washington for their next Winter Classic it is hard to believe that anyone in their marketing department can see past 23 players.