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.