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Panthers vs. Golden Knights: ratings will be catastrophic
We talked about the fact that, in the case of the two Stanley Cup semi-final series, it involved clubs from the South. The Stars and Golden Knights met in the West. On the other side, the Hurricanes and Panthetrs faced off.

The Maple Leafs, Oilers, Kraken and Devils, teams from the North, lost in the second round.

Obviously, for Gary Bettman, who wants to develop field hockey in non-traditional markets, this was good news. But for the TV networks? Well…

You’ll tell me that no matter which teams made it to the finals, the TV networks would see the same result, which is true. But with the Panthers and Knights, this is surely the worst-case scenario for TV.

While traditional markets won’t notice the difference (it won’t be more or less watched in Canada because Dallas and Raleigh lost), it’s safe to say that the two cities aren’t optimal. Why not? Because of what’s happening in the cities.

If Dallas had beaten Vegas, it would have been the big sporting event in the city. It would have given visibility to Texas, a state that’s potentially looking to lure the Coyotes to Houston – and a state that’s quite a bit bigger than Nevada.

The Hurricanes? There’s nothing big going on sports-wise there right now.

After all, consider the Panthers. With the Miami Heat making their way to the NBA Finals, it’s easy to see why field hockey will take second place there.

Even if the Heat had lost in seven after leading 3-0, the focus would have been on the club’s meltdown rather than the field hockey. At the very least, that would have been the case at the start of the final.

But now, with Miami having beaten Boston again (as they did in field hockey a few weeks ago), the focus will be on basketball.

And Vegas? It’s a good market, we agree, and the arena will be full. But will the city vibrate to the rhythm of field hockey? Probably a little, but how much more than usual?

I think the difference would have been more pronounced in Dallas.

Right now, Vegas is vibrating to the rhythm of several elements. Tom Brady has become a Raiders shareholder, and the city is working hard to welcome the Oakland A’s to the MLB.

How much more interest will there be in field hockey? I’m not sure.

I’m not criticizing the fact that it’s going to be flat in Vegas, but I think the fact that the club is disliked in the NHL (due to salary cap issues, in particular) will mean that some fans won’t listen.

Does the club, which is advancing to the finals for the second time in its history, polarize enough to encourage people to listen after a third round that was duller than the first two? That’s what I’m wondering.

Because yes, even though the Stars have created a bit of suspense recently (they’ve won both of their Jamie Benn games, which included all four of his team’s losses), the Association Finals have been a bit more… er…

Predictable. Let’s put it this way.


For Gary Bettman and the TV networks, the Miami Heat and Denver Nuggets would have to finish their series quickly, and the NHL series would have to be a long one.

That way, there’d be suspense and the way would be clear for Americans to tune in to field hockey.

Because on the ice, I’m expecting a great duel. The Knights have talent, playoff experience (except for Jack Eichel) and a nice club.

The Panthers, despite their lack of experience, are as dominant as they come and will be rested. Stay tuned…

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