Over the last few weeks the Stanley Cup Playoffs have taken a back seat in the sports world to the NBA Playoffs. I am fine with it because it means more playoff hockey for me. As the playoffs have continued, I keep hearing about the Edmonton Oilers and Connor McDavid. Connor McDavid may be the breakout star of this year and he is only 20 years old. Yet, no one has heard of him.
No one has heard of McDavid because hockey is not popular in the US and this is a shame. In only his second year and his first full year in the league, McDavid has already led the NHL in points and assists for a season. This season, he had 100 points, which is 11 more than anyone else in the league; and he had 70 assists, which was 7 more than any other player. He accomplished this feat at only 20 years old.
Since being drafted number one overall in 2015, McDavid has averaged more than one point a game, has helped get the Oilers into the playoffs this year, and, has won the Art Ross Trophy in only one and a half seasons in the league. At 20 years old, McDavid is already established as a superstar in the hockey world. Yet if you went on the streets to ask people about McDavid, few would know who he is and this is the NHL’s fault.
For years, the NBA has kicked the NHL’s butt in TV ratings. The NBA and its commissioners, David Stern and Adam Silver, have done a great job in marketing their stars to the public. Everywhere I go, I see Lebron James, Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, and many other jerseys of NBA stars but never any jerseys of NHL stars. This is because Gary Bettman and the NHL never support their stars in the public eye. The NHL is slowly dying in popularity and Connor McDavid is the perfect star for them to use to gain back their popularity. He is young, exciting, and is only going to improve as he gets older.
The NHL should quickly turn Connor McDavid into a household name to try and gain more popularity with the public. McDavid could help bring even more excitement back to the game. Will McDavid make the NHL more popular than the NBA? Probably not, but he could get the NHL back on the right track to regaining back its lost popularity.
Photo Credits: Google images labeled for reuse