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Panthers-Hurricanes conference final: Gary Bettman reaps what he sows

Last night’s Panthers victory over the Maple Leafs propelled Florida into the Stanley Cup semi-finals, and thus into the Eastern Conference Final.

It’s the second time in the history of the Florida Panthers that the team has won two series and reached the final four of the NHL playoffs.

The first and only other time was in 1996, when the Panthers lost the Stanley Cup Final in four games to the Colorado Avalanche.

After 1996, things didn’t go so well for the Panthers, who missed the playoffs 18 times in 21 years, without winning a single playoff series.

In their 29-year history, the Panthers have won only six series, including two this year and three in 1996.

So it’s quite a feat for the Panthers to reach the Final Four this year.

But is this Eastern Conference Final positive for the NHL?

The Panthers will face the Carolina Hurricanes in the next round.

It’s safe to say that these aren’t two big field hockey markets facing off in the semi-finals.

These are two teams that have often been criticized as disgraces to the NHL because of the lack of fans in the stands.

It really wasn’t that long ago that the Hurricanes were the subject of rumors of a potential sale and move.

However, the years of misery have come to an end, and the team has become an NHL powerhouse as we’ve seen in recent years.

But the fact remains that Carolina isn’t Toronto, New York or Montreal.

So this is an Eastern Conference Final that clearly won’t generate much revenue or viewership.

Indeed, it’s a duel that was much less coveted than a Rangers – Leafs series, for example.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman reaps what he sows.

He’s always tried to keep small field hockey markets alive in an attempt to grow field hockey in these regions, but it doesn’t work.

Talk about the Arizona Coyotes with their 5,000-seat arena.

Well, now Bettman finds himself with a conference final between two small markets in the southern U.S. that won’t generate much revenue.

It’s a small victory for Bettman, but also a defeat for the NHL.

TV ratings won’t be as good as in the past, that’s for sure.

Without Canada and without the Eastern and Northern U.S., we’re likely to be treated to a duel that will make the whole field hockey world indifferent.

They’re both good field hockey teams, but they’re not traditional markets, and that’s what’s going to hurt the NHL.

To be continued.

In a gust

– The Miami Heat congratulate the Florida Panthers.

– Indeed, this is the beginning of the end.

– To be continued.

– Read more.

– A big rivalry match for the 30th anniversary.

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