You can count on one hand the number of teams who have won more regular-season games than the Columbus Blue Jackets in the last four-plus seasons.
But on-ice success doesn't translate (in this case) to being exposed to a larger, national TV audience.
NBC and NBC Sports released their 2020-21 broadcast schedule on Tuesday, and it includes one (1) appearance by the Blue Jackets. It will be a Sunday Night Hockey game on April 25 in Tampa Bay, and who knows? By that time, NBC may have officially shuttered NBC Sports Network and the game will air on the Peacock streaming service.
The Blue Jackets, however, are not alone: the Dallas Stars, who went to the Stanley Cup Final a few months ago, will also be featured once on NBC's schedule.
This would be all well and good if NBC's schedule matrix made any sense. Who on earth wants to watch the Detroit Red Wings, a miserable rebuilding team that won 17 games (not a typo) last season, five times on national TV? Woof.
The Chicago Blackhawks, who might give the Red Wings a run for their money in being 2021's most dreadful team, are playing seven times under the bright lights of NBC. At this point, it's less about teams like the Blue Jackets "earning respect" and the league/NBC realizing which teams are actually worth watching.