Did you notice that hockey is the only North American professional sport that is not a tremendous success in the USA?
Did you notice that a sport without enough Americans is not successful in the United States? Just look at Soccer, or at Formula 1, or at Hockey.
I believe fans are patriotic. I believe we show support to our own before supporting others. I believe the NHL problem is simple: There's not enough Americans playing on American teams.
And that analysis is coming from a french Canadian, in Montreal, Québec, Canada.
I believe there should be a minimum of national players in NHL teams. I believe there should be at least 50% of Americans on American teams, and 50% of Canadians on Canadian teams.
It shouldn't be too difficult to find enough players to play on 3rd and 4th lines, to play on the 3rd defensive pair, to act as spare players.
Before disagreeing with me, try to prove me wrong. Find me one sport that does not have many Americans that is a better success in the United States than hockey. You won't find one.
Even college football is a better success than hockey.
I believe that most sports have a big success in their country only and only if their own players play at the highest levels. There might be exception, but I'm sure that 80-90% of the time, this analysis holds true.
Can someone bring this to the attention of Gary Bettman?