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Bloomberg Businessweek claims NHL has “identity crisis”

Jan 26, 2012, 12:02 AM EDT

Florida Panthers v Chicago Blackhawks Getty Images

With a measly three NHL players listed in its “Power 100” rankings, Bloomberg Businessweek’s Brian Finkel claims that the league is going through “an identity crisis.”

The NHL’s representation in the Power 100 is so low that it trails every other sport except action sports and boxing. By comparison, the National Football League has 26 players on the list, followed by the National Basketball Association, with 20, and Major League Baseball, with 16.

The cold reality is that hockey has an identity crisis. Unlike its Big Four counterparts, the NHL lacks a core group of marketable superstars. Of the 39 athletes who made a repeat appearance on each of the last three Power 100s, not one plays hockey.

In case you’re wondering which three made it, here they are: Jonathan Toews (No. 69), Daniel Sedin (76) and Tim Thomas (86).

Finkel explains that should-be stars slipped off the list for a variety of reasons. Sidney Crosby‘s concussion issues, Patrick Kane‘s occasionally scandalous moments and Alex Ovechkin‘s on-ice struggles justify their omissions, as far as Finkel & Co. are concerned.

Of course, despite that doom and gloom, Finkel cannot deny the growth of the sport as a whole.

Having marquee talent is great, but the NHL might boast something even better: a product that simply sells itself.

  1. geo91 - Jan 26, 2012 at 12:49 AM

    That’s such an ugly list to begin with, and lets be real here, Crosby’s unfortunate face is still on everything, that is at least north of the boarder.

  2. Tapeleg - Jan 26, 2012 at 12:57 AM

    And yet, they are completely correct. Look at the ASG. It should be a who’s who in hockey, and this year, it’s a who’s that. Identity crisis? The NHL couldn’t find their identity with both hands in broad daylight.

  3. tommytd - Jan 26, 2012 at 1:21 AM

    Their commissioner is an idiot and that doesn’t help either!

    • trbowman - Jan 26, 2012 at 1:41 AM


      He’s a great commish

  4. hanktheking - Jan 26, 2012 at 1:48 AM

    Maybe it has something to do with the fact the NHL is full of criminals and juicers. Or maybe it’s because the majority of the league is Canadian and European which pisses off the American media.

    • hanktheking - Jan 26, 2012 at 1:49 AM

      SORRY..ISNT* was the word I was looking for

      • vshehane - Jan 26, 2012 at 1:53 PM

        You have been hit in the head with a puck too many times, hank.

    • vshehane - Jan 26, 2012 at 1:38 PM

      I don’t see it has anything to do with pissing off the American media. Where does that stupid, random statement come from?

      • hanktheking - Jan 26, 2012 at 1:42 PM

        Americans have a strong “desire” to be the best and when they are not they usually just discredit whatever it is their not the best at. They pout in other words.

  5. nhlbruins90 - Jan 26, 2012 at 1:54 AM

    I know the names of lots of players in the NBA, yet I couldn’t be bothered watching the sport. The NHL is relatively healthy, and it’s not built on the cult of a few personalities and endless hype. It’s built on solid entertainment that will survive whatever players come and go, generation after generation.

  6. clarenceoveur - Jan 26, 2012 at 9:21 AM

    Its silly to correlate that list with overall league health. The NBA markets like a movie or the WWE, so of course on an individual level they’ll have disproportionately high name recognition. Also the nature of the sport is that one superstar makes a team good, two makes them great. Not to mention they have the ball the entire game. A hockey star’s on like 1/3 to 1/2 a game, wearing a helmet, and getting 3-5 shots on the net. Yet somehow its about a million times beter to watch.

  7. lsxphotog - Jan 26, 2012 at 10:07 AM

    Spoken like someone who doesn’t bother watching hockey. The “I can’t find the puck” type or the “I can’t watch it on TV, but I’ll go to a game” kinda guy. It’s a stupid thing to say because, for hockey fans, there are a strong core of consistently dominant players…there may even be too many. Every team and every city has their poster boy(s) who are notorious throughout the league. What this is a measurement of is players who get attention and will make headlines in the author’s face. Hockey athletes aren’t like any other, save for Ovi and Crosby, and just play the game they love and then go home with their families. They won’t try to make headlines or say/do things to gain a spot on the laughable ESPN coverage. Some people are all about that. Athletes that are shoved in their face because they want to be seen. Hockey never gets any love, and I’m fine with that.

    • nhlbruins90 - Jan 26, 2012 at 12:48 PM

      Or like someone who refers to it as ‘ice hockey’. As opposed to … field hockey, I guess. Lots of credibility there.

  8. jpelle82 - Jan 26, 2012 at 10:38 AM

    i dont think a lot of nhl players care if they are on bloomberg’s power 100 list. of the big 4, hockey is probably the most team oriented sport of them all (except for arguments sake maybe football). do we really want guys to be like tiger woods, kobe bryant, or even a ryan braun? do we want to look at nhl superstars as big ballin’ money grubbers with extravagant lifestyles and scandalous personal lives? thats gonna sell tabloids and stir talk show banter but i think the hockey purists would rather our guys be humble and win championships. do we want superstars like ovechkin pursuing clothing lines, rap careers, or dating models? i dont want that guy on my team and i dont care if he sells jerseys or tickets by acting that way either. just win and keep your nose clean…be a team mate and a man we can respect.

  9. wingsdjy - Jan 26, 2012 at 11:28 AM

    Part of the problem is the language barrier. NHL is much more diverse, so many of the stars have accents that are a little too thick for American advertising.

    Random thought: Why’s Daniel on the list but not Henrik?

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Kessel (1793)
  2. P. Kane (1324)
  3. P. Datsyuk (1174)
  4. S. Matthias (1132)
  5. M. Giordano (1033)