Says Ray Ratto on Deadspin.com:
The NBA has figured out that nothing amuses the audience quite like the drama of player movement, not even the games.
The games are just the vegetables; the new contracts and the trades and the drama and the roasting of cash in pursuit of same are what people are in for.
Only one team, after all, gets a parade; everyone else is playing for July.
The Lakers trading for Anthony Davis, and the New Orleans Pelicans’ future … the Houston Rockets in turmoil … the Kawhi-ness of it all … the rubble of the Golden State Warriors … the New York Knicks doing all their Knickish things even though they’ve done nothing and will never do anything … it’s all beer for the party.
And the NHL gives us quiet negotiations and a great player staying with the team he was already on for the term and money everyone thought he would get. I mean, if you’re not even going to try…
There aren’t a lot of ways in which the NHL can compete with the NBA in a crowded entertainment field during the year.
The game is perfectly good as entertainment and it has a TV contract that allows ready access to most of the teams (as long as they’re the Capitals or Penguins or Rangers; NBC is going to struggle to fake enthusiasm for “your defending champion St. Louis Blues”), but it can’t do the offseason.
Not even Drunken Brett Hull or the next Russian the Florida Panthers sign and miss the playoffs with can save it.