We're in the final days of May, and in a perfect world it would also be the final days of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
But the end of the hockey season isn't in sight.
The Conference Finals schedule could stretch into next weekend.
Which means the Stanley Cup Final will be played in June, as it has every year since 1992.
Last year's final series continued until June 9. This year's will probably go at least that long.
And plenty of folks won't bother too watch, because early summer is too late for the NHL's crowning showcase.
As the sun warms and the days lengthen, casual fans (and potential new fans) find it all too easy to ignore hockey in June.
A more sensible schedule would see the Stanley Cup handed out by the last day of May, at the latest.
It could be done. Easily. But the obvious fix likely won't appeal to NHL owners.
- 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs: Game schedule and network TV listings, with results updated daily.
- The Stanley Cup Playoff Guide: The playoff format explained, the photo gallery, keys to success, fantasy tips, and more.
- Stanley Cup History: Origins of the Cup, most wins by teams and players, the longest overtime games, every winner since 1892, and much more.
Photo: Tailgating fans enjoy the sun in Philadelphia during the 2010 Stanley Cup Final (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images).