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What Do You Want From An All-Star Game Anyway? - Selling Hockey Stateside Part 2

Americans, for the most part, in most parts, do not have the benefit of a grass roots hockey growing of the game. Why compare apples to oranges when speaking of Canada and the U.S.?

One of the most telling statistics to come out of All-Star week was that the Dallas area has prospered hockey wise since the franchise moved there from Minnesota in 1994. The amount of ice surfaces has gone from 4 to 26. High school hockey has likewise increased in numbers. The kids involved in the sport have quadrupled annually. Hockey is on the upswing in Texas. It's great news.

The San Jose area is even better in that regard.

As this translates from each U.S. city, over time, numbers will compound and grow the game at all levels eventually reaching the NHL.

This is the solution, and it's not an overnight one. It will take decades.

The NHL should not be seeking to hit a home run in it's attempt to sell hockey south of the border. Curveballs are being thrown, not fastballs.

When the U.S. college hockey scene involves the fanaticism that erupts around football and basketball, success will be at hand.

It's all about growing the game at root levels.

It's about kids, parents, and the hometown teams.

I sense the NHL is starting to get this notion.

The troubles is, bottom lines will never be satisfied with such long term payoffs. Money invested in teams now, are for payoff in shorter terms.

TV contrats will be up for discussion, but nothing less than a major network will ever assist in the game's growth and popularity.

Expansion is just a spin on success without victory. It's a crapshoot and nothing more. The NHL will be bringing it to a new agenda soon, if it hasn't already.

Moving teams to Canada will always get talked up, hardly solving the American problem.

The NHL's solution in reality, isn't much of a condolence to its shortest term issues of money invested and profits gained.

Hockey's success may very well be dependent upon grass roots fervor, that will parlay its effort into dollars well beyond the lifetimes of those who presently sit in hockeys positions of power.

Can they do something for the love of the game to benefit future generations, or is it all lost on the greenbacks of the here and now.

Our children will tell us when we are balding and grey, that at long last, it has worked.

It's a safer gamble than Fox's purple glowing puck!