When Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel went first and second overall respectively in last year’s draft, fans around the League could hardly wait for the the day when the two generational talents would meet for the first time. Unfortunately, McDavid’s broken collar bone had him out of action when his Edmonton Oilers met Eichel’s Buffalo Sabres back in December, so the marquee matchup had to be put on hold. But, McDavid is now back fully healthy and has Eichel on his radar. Edmonton will visit Buffalo on Tuesday, March 1. The table is set and McDavid vs Eichel round 1 is finally going to happen.
However, what’s disappointing is that the NHL dropped the proverbial ball in a big way on this game. One would think that a game that will surely draw immense attention would be worthy of being broadcast nationally on NBC Sports Network. Well, evidently the League itself does not (to no one’s surprise I’m sure). Instead what are we getting? Crosby vs. Ovechkin.
The NHL really should consider the mistake it’s making here. Yes, Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin are the standard-bearers of the League right now and its two most popular players. But, the rivalry between the dynamic duo has been hyped up and sold so many times that some of its magic has worn off. Here the NHL had a chance to give prominent attention to two young phenoms who are undoubtedly the League’s premiere players of the future. But instead they decided to go with the classic route and will show its two golden geese. Don’t me wrong, Sid vs. Ovie is always an entertaining matchup because Crosby and Ovechkin are just so incredible. But, here it seems the move that would have made more sense would be giving fans around the League a first glimpse of the next great player rivalry in hockey, one that will also be seen much less than Sid/Ovie as long as McDavid is in Edmonton and Eichel is in Buffalo.
Should McDavid vs. Eichel be shown nationally on NBCSN? If you have a way to see the game, don’t miss it!