Brad Burud, Minot, N.D.
I continue to hear NHL executives, TV analysts and numerous fans say professional hockey is a business.
Sports used to be a game and now it is an entertainment business.
If that is true, I do not understand the business mindset of the NHL.
I have a hard time counting the amount of teams that would be considered a failure in the business world. I have also found one thing in common with these struggling franchises: they are in non-hockey markets.
I love the game and want to grow the game, but I sometimes feel the NHL cannot force this game onto people who did not grow up playing it.
Instead, we should cherish the diehard hockey fans there are and use them to build the game. I understand what Gary Bettman was thinking when he wanted to move into some large-population southern markets.
The problem is he forgot one key part of the equation: physical population is much different that hockey population.
It makes good business sense to be in a smaller market that draws 12,000 nightly than a big market that draws 6,000 nightly.
It is time to right some wrongs. How long can struggling franchises keep going? It’s been 10 years of financial loses, poor attendance and losing teams.
Move back to Winnipeg. It worked in Minnesota; learn from history.
Take your pick. There are plenty of teams that would do better in the heart of hockey.
NHL, please make a smart business decision and put a team back in Manitoba.
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