Proteau’s Blog: Feet dragging

• A study in contrasts: when the NBA’s new basketball was met with near-universal derision, the league backtracked less than halfway through the season and reverted to the old ball.

The NHL, meanwhile, is still mulling over changing its much-loathed schedule, ostensibly because a handful of hard-line owners want to save money on travel expenses. Shows you why one league can command multi-million dollar national TV contracts, while the other fights over the scraps that remain.

• The ongoing Penguins ownership saga took an ominous turn yesterday in Dallas, where Mario Lemieux looked and sounded like a man utterly fed up with the brinkmanship.

After throwing out three “no comments” in response to questions about the Kansas City bid, Lemieux said he was “very disappointed” with the latest round of negotiations between his group of investors and Pennsylvania officials.

“We’re going to go out and explore our options,” he said.
“When we get a deal that we like, we’ll sign it.”

More financial head games? Maybe. But Pens fans should have their fingers crossed that the city and state’s posturing doesn’t result in them holding the (hockey) bag.

• As I’ve noted in the past, I’m all for expanding the NHL playoffs to include 20 teams and a play-down round between the bottom four teams in each conference. But all this talk about expanding the number of teams in the league is making me nauseous. Perhaps the league should fix the fortunes of their many weak lamb teams before they set sights on adding more franchises.

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I understand that the game is also a business but they wil not have a business with out their fans. This schedule is becoming a joke! I was in Boston to see the Leafs and the building was about 75%. I know he Bs are not very good and teh Leafs well my boys are inconsistent but this is an ORIGINAL match up, in a town that loves it’s hockey. This should speak volumes to the league but it doens’t. When will the “buisinessmen” listen ???
– Rich Evans

Wow…a biting remark about the NHL governance, but an accurate one. I wish the NHL brass would take that to heart. I agree with your comment on expanding the league. With so many franchises that are struggling, why should we expand to more cities that will inevitably struggle?
– Jordon