It's now been over 3 years since EA dropped the PC versions of it's NHL franchise, which, sadly, was no great loss, as they continued to get worse and worse while the console versions got better and better, culminating in the disaster that was NHL 2009 for PC, a hockey game that barely equaled NHL '95 for SNES in terms of gameplay.
I think an indie developer should create a hockey game and fund it by selling access to alpha builds and beyond, like Minecraft. This would of course result in a great hockey game, what with the community involvement, and even without an NHL license it could be successful, so long as it's a great game. NHL games were actually pretty popular on PC back in the day, there was (and still is, actually) a pretty healthy modding community for older NHL games like NHL 2004, etc..
Would you buy into a new hockey game for PC?