As we kick off the New Year, would it shock you to learn that hockey has overtaken the other three major North American pro sports?

And is just this wishful thinking from a lifelong hockey fan (that would be me) who really doesn’t care much about what happens in football, basketball, or baseball?

Far from it. In this case, I’m relying upon the collective wisdom of the world’s most popular search engine: Google. sums it up simply: “Google assigns a PageRank rating of 0 to 10 for every site it indexes. The ranking reflects the significance of a site as determined by Google — the higher the rank, the more popular the site.”

There’s been lots of talk about the shakeup that occurred in Google’s PageRank ratings in recent weeks, but who knew the NHL would come out looking so good as of January 1, 2008?

The PageRank for is: 8 The PageRank for is: 7 The PageRank for is: 7 The PageRank for is: 7

On the surface, it seems like a new-millennium version of the June 20, 1994 Sports Illustrated cover that accompanies this posting. actually has the same PageRank as Google’s own home page.

Boy, with Sidney Crosby scoring the shootout winner for Pittsburgh versus the Buffalo Sabres today in front of 71,212 fans at Ralph Wilson Stadium and a US-wide audience on NBC, should be rocking a 9 soon.

Skeptics and curmudgeons may highlight the Alexa ratings as a counterpoint: has a traffic rank of 182 has a traffic rank of 450 has a traffic rank of 571 has a traffic rank of 908

Well, boo to that.

But regardless, any tech-savvy readers who would like to offer a feasible explanation for’s superior PageRank are welcome to chip in. Has the league’s move to embrace and promote new media, from fan forums to blogs, really paid off in such a big way?

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