What if they gave a hockey season and nobody cared? What if the world's most exciting team sport had, over a span of only three or four years, mutated into a dull gray hash that not even the most avid hockey fan could get jazzed up about? Like the sound of a shot thudding against the boards in an empty rink, the problems that plagued the National Hockey League last season continue to echo through the current campaign. Rampant, wrongheaded, talent-diluting
expansion . . . increasingly blatant clutch-and-grab tactics and a universal, stifling emphasis on defense . . . the abandonment of cozy, legendary old arenas for gigantic, sterile mega-
stadiums . . . the jilting of loyal, knowledgeable fans in the game's traditional northern centers for the antic pursuit of theoretical fans in the hockey wasteland of the... More >>>
By Stephen Lipuma
On the Island, a once-proud organization plays before a sea of empty seats.