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Bring Back The NHL

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Contributor:
Scott Newman
Scott Newman
Sky Television used to play National Hockey League (ice hockey) games from the ESPN feed from North America but ever since the CBA wiped out the 2004-2005 season marking the longest work stoppage in sports history the has been a serious lack of Ice Hockey coverage in New Zealand.
 
I have been a NHL Ice hockey supporter for over 16 years now. My favourite team is the Dallas Stars franchise.  Before the Collective Bargaining Agreement struck there was quite a lot of games played especially the playoffs which are the most exciting games to watch on Sky TV. I think a lot of it is to do with sportscenter running highlights of American sports games is played and has taken over for the coverage in NZ.
 
The first live NHL games that I have been to were in London at the O2 Millennium arena where the Anaheim Ducks played against the Los Angeles Kings which are two pacific division rivals. It was the start of the 2007-2008 Season. I think it is wonderful that Gary Bettman (the NHL commissioner) has taken the hockey league outside of North America and to the world at the start of each season.  I really hope that he can bring hockey to New Zealand & Australia next as there is a big interest in the South Pacific, particularly Australia.
 
Each season also has an All Star weekend where the best players get selected by fans and the NHL organisation officials to play a game and show off in super skills competition and a chance to see the young stars of the game compete.  I would love to see that kind of game live as it is such a great weekend in sport.  Families and friends all get involved in the festivities of the sport.
 
So why Ice Hockey? It is fast, physical, skilful and played with passion.  To win the Stanley Cup (the grand award) is one of the most hardest quests in modern sport as there are 30 teams competing and only 1 team can win it after they have won 16 games through the playoffs in 4 best of 7 games.  The seeding is set by the regular season in hopes of being in the top 4 and gain home ice for the finals. 2 points for a win and 1 point for an overtime loss over an 82 game season.
 
The modern era of the NHL features a shootout at the end of games that can't be decided by over time. This is so there will be a winner every night and no ties. A lot of fans quite like to see this as it showcases the skater’s puck shooting skills and the goalies puck stopping abilities.
 
There are way too many games to play every day/night for TV to show but there can be the game of the week shown perhaps? To find out more about the coolest sport on the planet go to www.nhl.com/ or my favourite resource is sports.yahoo.com/nhl
 
When you get to know the game and follow the players closely, you get to see what it takes and what they go through in their careers to become a Stanley Cup champion.

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