The NHL Needs Mark Cuban

Who will buy the Dallas Stars?

I guess no one knows, but Mike Heika says he keeps hearing the name Doug Miller.

Miller has experience with minor league hockey in addition to running a non-hockey Dallas-based business.

The interesting name, though, is Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, who was recently brought in by Mike Modano to look into a possible Stars’ ownership role.

Cuban’s an outspoken NBA owner, occasionally a distraction, but always candid and more importantly, always keeping his team’s best interests in mind.

In other words, the kind of owner the NHL lacks.

Can you imagine Cuban sitting by if the NBA shut down its season for the Olympics and NBC decided to move a key game to cable?

The NHL seemed blase about the snub when the league and the owners should have been outraged. I get that ice dancing is a huge ratings draw, but if the NHL wants to grow the game, they need to expose the game to new people. The Olympics is a huge opportunity to do that, but it’s a more challenging prospect when a huge game, like U.S./Canada, is relegated to cable.

And you would think that since NBC has an NHL game package, they would want to do everything they can to get new people watching hockey.

NBC is taking the quick ratings grab rather than taking a risk on a more long-term ratings prospect. Obviously, it’s NBC’s right to do so, but it would be nice if someone in the league stood up for the game and called NBC on its short-sightedness.

It’s the role Cuban was born to play.