Rules of the Game
I think the rules of a game matter greatly, as was mentioned earlier. Did anyone here watch the last Olympic hockey games? With only 30 seconds delay at any point, a very wide rink, and, umm, some other great rules that I've forgotten? I remember being enthralled, even watching such thrillers as Latvia-Germany (or something) because it was so much fun. In the NHL, the skill and the speed are some of the best WOW! factors in the game, but they're diminished by the rules. Adopt the Olympic style, and I'd be glued in every night. As is, I mainly watch the Predators. With a game a gritty and tough as hockey, you start to feel a connection to the players, and not even bad rules can get in the way of that.