The NHL has become increasingly irrelevant to me. About 20 years or so ago (was the Gretzky trade the edge of the cliff?) the NHL started its downward spiral. This is not about the popularity of the league; it brings in more money in Canada today than 30 years ago when it had more franchises. It is about losing the appeal of the game, the magic if you will, in attempting to mimic the three other major US sports leagues to increase revenue in the United States.