At this point, the international soccer Super League might go down as one of the biggest public relations fiascos in the history of sports. When fans, politicians, the media and FIFA all find themselves on the same side of an issue, something has gone terribly wrong.
For the uninitiated: 12 of Europe's elite clubs conspired to replace the UEFA Champions League with a league of their own, one in which they would qualify permanently for the tournament. These clubs would still play in their domestic leagues -- Manchester United in the Premier League, Barcelona in La Liga and so on -- but also compete in the Super League. The motivation: money, of course, and the certainty that these clubs wouldn't miss the tournament cut or ever be relegated from the league. But the backlash was so harsh that teams have already backed out of the venture.
Despite its failure to launch, the Super League concept was an intriguing one that got global attention. Could the template apply to other sports? More specifically, could it apply to the NHL, or the hockey world in general?
For argument's sake, could the Original Six -- the Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, New York Rangers, Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs -- just decide to take their pucks and create their own breakaway tournament, outside of the NHL?