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Dear NHL...

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On Monday, DirecTV's contract with Versus comes to an end and the satellite provider is threatening to pull the channel if a deal is not reached. This kind of thing isn't really all that new - remember threats that Time Warner would be dropping Noggin? - and they usually get resolved. That's not making me feel any better.

Personally, I could live without the channel...except for the 3 times this year that Avalanche games will be exclusively broadcast by the channel formerly known as the OLN. One of those games is Joe Sakic night - the home opener. Yikes. The NHL doesn't appear to be worried:

When asked Tuesday if the league was concerned enough to involve itself in the process, NHL spokesman Frank Brown simply pointed to the calender.

"Today is August 25. The next NHL telecast scheduled for VERSUS is Oct. 1," he said.

The cavalier attitude is totally awesome and I'm now feeling completely reassured. If the league has shown one thing over the last decade or so, it's that they know what they are doing, from cancelling an entire season in order to guarantee "cost certainty" to the exclusive deal with Reebok to make all the league's jerseys uniformly uglier. Really, I don't know why I'd even think to question it.

But, just so we're clear, if I am not able to see Joe Sakic's number retired there will be holy hell to pay.