You are all pointing out good things in my opinion.
[*]Length of games, to many out of conference games. I think that they should change to the MLB format, where there is only occasional meetings between out of conference teams. The rest should be intraconference, promoting rivalaries.
[*]Players, I agree there is no standout player anymore. This is more because of the NHL marketing then anything, Gaborik, Heatley, Rick nash and the like are very good, but the NHL still focuses on Mario mario mario, bure mario mario.
[*]Cost, way to damn much. It is not like baseball where there is 50 thousand seats to spread the costs of 10 million dollar players. The sport is pricing itself out of existence, the players have to realize this is a 3rd tier financial organization and stop asking for 10 million a year and so do the GM's.
[*]One thing on the players though, it doesn't matter that some are foreign. I don't see Anna Kournikova having any recognition problems or Yao Ming the basketball giant. If they have something marketable do it!