You Can Say This Is The Last Time, But The NHL Knows It Almost Certainly Is Not

You Can Say This Is The Last Time, But The NHL Knows It Almost Certainly Is Not

That was the gist of an article by Tim Panaccio on Thursday. Nobody can quite wrap their head around the fact that after losing the entire 2004-05 season, the NHL is already heading for another lockout less than a decade later, especially given the strides the league has made with fans since that debacle. Yet here we are, and Panotch tells us it's because they know you'll be back -- or in the words of Commissioner Gary Bettman:

“We recovered last time because we have the world's greatest fans.”

Allow Pinaccio to translate:

That, in a nutshell, is why the owners are willing to do it again. They know the sport will recover. They have past history to prove it.
 
Hockey fans are like addicts. They can’t resist the ice. They come back. Again and again.

It's insulting, but it also happens to be true. We came back the last time. We come back every time.

No games were missed as a result, but most fans who were bitter over an NFL lockout that extended into last summer were quick to forgive and forget, at least based on television ratings. The NBA didn't even miss a beat last season, granted their lockout was resolved in time to save the season. Those are relatively minor examples, but MLB is doing just fine 20 years after a strike cancelled the World Series. And as for the NHL, it has often clashed with the words "record popularity" in recent years, so yeah, they more than recovered the last time.

That doesn't mean -- assuming there is a lockout -- the NHL would suffer no ill-effects in the short term, but even if it takes some time, the overwhelming majority of us will eventually come back. We always do. Time heals all wounds and such.

>> Here is why the NHL is headed for a lockout [CSN]

Report: Eagles expected to hire Mike Groh as receivers coach

Report: Eagles expected to hire Mike Groh as receivers coach

It look like the Eagles have found their replacement for Greg Lewis.

According to ESPN's Adam Caplan, the Eagles are expected to hire Rams receivers/passing game coordinator Mike Groh.

The news that the Eagles fired Lewis came out on Jan. 9 and the team has been looking for a replacement. They reportedly interviewed Groh and Bills receivers coach Sanjay Lal.

Groh, 45, spent the 2016 season with the Rams after three years as the Bears' receivers coach. Groh is available because the Rams switched head coaches, bringing in Sean McVay.

Before coming to the NFL, Groh was a longtime coach at the college level. He is the son of former Virginia head coach Al Groh and eventually became an offensive coordinator under his father before bouncing from Alabama to Louisville and then back to Alabama before heading to the NFL. 

Groh was actually the quarterback at Virginia in the 90s before his father ever coached there. Groh's first coaching job was under his father as assistant coach with the Jets in 2000, when Al Groh was named their head coach for the season. 

If the Eagles are looking to sign a big-name free agent at wide receiver, there could be a reunion of sorts in Philly. During his four seasons as an NFL receivers coach, Groh has worked with Alshon Jeffery and Kenny Britt, who are two of the top receivers who will be available.

The Eagles started their season with a first-round pick, two second-round picks and a third-round pick at wide receiver, but their unit was one of the worst in the NFL. Jordan Matthews was consistent, but tight end Zach Ertz was the team's leading receiver.

It's unlikely Groh will have the same unit to work with as Lewis did in 2016, but it is likely Groh will be expected to get more out of his group in 2017.