Hockey is a beautiful game, but a horribly broken business. For many reasons, the NHL will never even come close to the big 3 (NFL, MBL, NBA) or big 4 if you want to count Nascar. So it is a niche sport. The players seem unable to grasp this however, and insist on demanding MLB/NFL/NBA-sized salaries. Sorry guys - you have to put butts in the seats first, and hockey has proven woefully unable to do just that.
Don't get me wrong, I love hockey. It's the only sport I still watch (or will watch, if they ever play again). But you gotta be realistic-it IS a niche sport.
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi