No, I don’t mean to go sit in the penalty box. What I mean is how did Bush win two elections? Simple. He made his people (though there were less) care so much more that they were a de facto majority. He made his base care about politics more than the other side.
If hockey wants to comeback strong, it needs to mobilize its base. That means it needs to play its strengths as a fast, physical exciting game, not as a substitute for other sports. Get the people who remain interested everything else notwithstanding to open their wallets first. Then we can work on growing.