will the NHL ever become a top 3 sport?
my answer: NO
simple reason, the United States citizens in part think of it as a foreign sport, if Sidney Crosby was a US citizen the game would gain more from the marketing of him.
Americans for the majority have never ice skated or played pick up games of hockey on ice, its totally foreign to them...whereas most have played baseball, football and basketball albeit perhaps in a playground
to successfully market the NHL there needs to be an emphasis on developing American talent
20 years ago indycar racing was the dominate auto racing sport in the US, then more and more foreign drivers started entering and winning. The US audience dropped off and/or went to NASCAR
time will tell what NASCAR will be with the influx of the open wheel drivers from foreign countries that has been occurring.
if Bettmans plan was the bring the NHL to all sorts of warm weather spots in the United States, where is the plan to produce more US talent?