Crosby and Ovechkin have extra hype behind them because the came in after the missed season so they had the how will they save the league as a business story behind them. If there is an 05 season neither one would have that hype that the got, because the attention before would be one the games and season prior.
Anyways the whole the league should market players thing is overblown. Players in the grand scheme of things are temporary. Thier careers aren't that long to begin with and there is always the injury factor that could cut it shorter. When the players are gone you are back to square one. For long term success you have to sell the game itself.