The Washington Times - January 26, 2012, 11:08AM

If you read Bloomberg/Businessweek’s “Power 100” rankings of the most powerful professional athletes in the U.S. for 2012, you’d think the NHL definitely had an “identity crisis.” Only three players make the top 100 – and they’re not who you think: Jonathan Toews (No. 69), Daniel Sedin (No. 76) and Tim Thomas (No. 86).

“The cold reality is that hockey has an identity crisis. Unlike its Big Four counterparts, the NHL lacks a core group of marketable superstars. Of the 39 athletes who made a repeat appearance on each of the last three Power 100s, not one plays hockey.”

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Apparently Alex Ovechkin’s struggles for the past couple seasons plays a role. The magazine writes:

“Pittsburgh’s “Golden Child” Sidney Crosby has missed the better part of two years due to concussions; Washington’s Alex Ovechkin is in the midst of back-to-back mediocre seasons, by his standards; and Chicago’s Patrick Kane still is shedding perceptions that he’s volatile off the ice. Even if both Crosby and Ovechkin were playing at their highest levels, it wouldn’t resonate much with marketers or consumers.”

Ovechkin is on pace for 35 goals, which would be just three more than his disappointing but injury-affected 2010-11 season. Crosby might not play the rest of this season.

Still, the NHL is doing well financially despite a lack of “celebrities.” Among possible new most marketable players, Bloomberg suggests Steven Stamkos, Brad Richards and Corey Perry.

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