Start The Season!

Archived from 2000-01 season.

NHL teams

The new season starts today in Dallas, where the Stars host the Colorado Avalanche in the only game on the NHL schedule.

Ten more teams begin play on Thursday and all 30 teams, including expansion Minnesota and Columbus, will play by Saturday.

The NHL is now bigger and better than ever before. Attendance is up, TV ratings are up, scoring is up and with the subtle changes in rules an officiating in recent years, the game is more entertaining.

"The league is the strongest it's ever been," said NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. "Our footprint is the biggest it's ever been. All our vital signs are good."

There are problems, too. There is still too much violence, TV ratings lag way behind other major sports and escalating salaries are threatening the financial health of several franchises, especially in Canada, and forcing teams into mediocrity.

If you compare us to football, you've got us." Bettman admitted. "But we think we're off to a great start with ABC and ESPN. The fact is our sport is growing. It's a great sport with great players. We're in great shape.

All said and done it comes down to what all hockey fans know: there just isn't anything better than a good hockey game! Drop the puck!

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