Vinay Menon, Toronto Star --- That’s right. Hockey has gotten downright boring.Reading this article, I can relate. This year during the 2016 Stanely Cup Playoffs I found myself watching Netflix instead of some of the series. I told a buddy of mine that the matchup between the Lightning and the Penguins was the best series of the 2106 Stanley Cup Playoffs. In my humble opinion, the second best series was between the Capitals and the Penguins.
This season that just ended in triumph for the Pittsburgh Penguins will be remembered by many Canadians as the season they forgot about hockey and didn’t miss it one bit. Yes, our national mediocrity — this was the first season no Canadian team earned a spot in the playoffs since 1970 — did much to torch our enthusiasm.
But the slow melting started years ago.
Forget who hosts on TV. The underlying apathy and malaise of who watches is what stakeholders should be scrutinizing through their corporate visors. Is the problem league overexpansion? Is it NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman’s remarkable capacity to be the most grating executive in any professional league? Is it on-ice changes?
Also, during this year's Stanley Cup Playoffs, there were no villains, no players to despise. There were no real controversies. I found the playoffs to be very vanilla and at times very boring. There were no Kings, no Blackhawks after the first round. No players that you could vilify. For the first time in a very long time, there were no Canadian teams. Not one. There were no players like Alex Burrows or Brad Marchand to hate on. I thought the playoffs were very B-O-R-I-N-G.
To be honest with you, I am glad that the 2015-16 NHL season is over. After watching the hometown seal the deal for the first time in 16 years, I was emotionally drained. Nothing could compare to the UND's title drive. When the Wild took a dive in the first round, I basically lost interest. When the last UND alum was eliminated from the playoffs, I checked out. there was nothing there to keep my attention. So, again, I can relate with the Canadians.