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NHL Walks The Runway

Say what you want about the NHL -- their attendance numbers are low, their players are boring, the scoring isn't enough, the Islanders are a mess (although they are second in the division and, as much as it pains me to say, ahead of the Devils), their broadcast deal with Vs. is a joke -- but the NHL is trying to make the right moves coming back from the lockout. And they're doing pretty well, thus far. Turning an entire league around is a process. And the NHL is making progress.

Now, they're streamlining their look. Uniforms and equipment will be form-fitting to make the players more recognizable and marketable. Commisioner Gary Bettman insists the uniform change was made for safety purposes -- equipment will move with the player, offering him more protection -- but the developments aren't anything the league couldn't have thought of years ago. They fit in with the "new NHL," that's why they're going into effect now.

Also, to subsidize the lack of any relevant television coverage, the NHL is looking into avenues for Internet broadcast. They already have a deal with Google Video to archive viewable games for a small fee. It's a forward-thinking strategy that I'm surprised the NFL hasn't looked into yet. As a matter of fact, I was quoted this past weekend, bed-ridden with a type of illness that we dubbed "the creeping death" in college and unable to watch the Saints game, as saying "Why hasn't the NFL come up with a way to watch NFL games on the Internet?" That's what I said. Verbatim. Trust me.

Way to go, NHL! Now why isn't Stephen Colbert behind a bench, yet?!