NHL ratings take a small hit and the sky is falling, the NHL is dying, the NHL needs ESPN, nobody cares about hockey, the sport and the league are a joke, having teams in the US is a mistake, etc. Anybody type "NHL" into Google news during the finals? At THE VERY LEAST, 50% of the news articles concerned themselves with nothing but low television ratings. This from a sport that has had terrible ratings for the past 50 years. If something hasn't changed in 50 years, is it still "news"? Type NBA into Google news today. Maybe one or two articles about lower than expected ratings... BUT those articles are full of nothing but excuses. The Sopranos cost the NBA big ratings, Spurs are just too good and that's why ratings are lower than expected, etc. Can you imagine the NHL sending two american markets to the finals, not to mention having arguably the leagues biggest star (James), and seeing ratings sink to ALL-TIME LOWS? The American media would anal **** the NHL worse than it usually does during the finals. Hockey has a lot of problems now, but the biggest is the American media and it's treatment of hockey. I LOVE how almost every article mentions ESPN as the cure for hockeys woes... if you do a little digging, you'll see the exact same journalist anal ****** the NHL while it was on ESPN 3 years ago for having low ratings, etc. ESPN didn't do jack squat for the NHL. I'm sorry, but showing one highlight before the end of the show on Spotscenter didn't grow the game any.