<This guy is clueless --- without fans there would be no professional sports (that includes, MLB, NFL & NBA). >
I agree on your point about Roenick being completely clueless. The NHL's popularity has decreased to the point where its ratings are smaller than that of the PBA, figure skating, and rodeo on ESPN. Not to mention the fact that the only reason NBC even gave them a network deal was because they were partners. In other words, the revenue received by the league from NBC is almost nonexistent.
For Roenick to give his own league more bad PR when they still haven't even gotten a new CBA done is so utterly stupid he's living up to the image that the general public already has about the modern day athlete. Unfortunately, his sport doesn't have near the fan base that MLB, the NBA, and the NFL have.
<And expansion into areas like Phoenix was a terrible idea -- it made the league grow when it didn't have $ to support it.>
This I do disagree with however. With the influx of European players into the league in the last 15 years, the talent level should have been good enough to support warm weather teams in places like Miami, Tampa Bay, Anaheim, and Phoenix. I believe the problem has been weak marketing by weak, free-spending or even no-spending ownership groups in cities with fringe hockey fans. Just like in baseball with the Yankees, the owners of teams like the Rangers have driven up player salaries so high that other franchises have just been hemorraging cash.
Anyway, good post Buzzard.