ESPN HATES hockey. I mean, hates it, with a white-hot glowing passion. I think they'd talk about tiddly-winks before spending substantial time on the NHL.
ESPN hates anything that they don't broadcast - especially if they used to have rights but lost them.
Conversely, on local sports stations here in Pittsburgh there is a lot of hockey talk (particularly now that the Pens have done a first-round el foldo). I think that's a function of the fact that we are in a northern market, the team has done well in recent years, and Pittsburgh really does not care for the NBA much.
The NBA hasn't been in Pittsburgh since it was called the BAA (Pittsburgh Ironmen, 1947). The Condors/Pipers were an ABA team that didn't make it to the merger (1968-72, with part of the 1969 season in Minneapolis).
Can you sell hockey talk in Macon, Georgia? I kinda doubt it.
You didn't like the Macon Whoopee
? Neither did folks in Macon since that team only lasted a few years.