Every year we hear of ideas to help improve the NHL in competition, on ice play, and drawing in more fans. So I have a few ideas of my own. A couple may not be so hard to see, while others, yeah they are out there!
Every NHL game should always award the same amount of points, TWO. Winning in regulation is simple, winner gets 2 points, loser you suck, you get none!
But what about overtime? The losing team, played well enough to be tied after 60 minutes of battle, should that not count for something? I think so, I'm not a fan of going back to ties (though I think that is better then the Skills Competition as we see later on). So what do we do? I have heard some say go to three points per game. Pretty simple, Regulation win gets 3 points, OT win get 2 points, OT loss gets 1 point, Regulation Loss sucks the goose egg.
But the problem I have with the 3-2-1-0 point system is, it will skew the Seasonal Stats to not easily reflect and compare against historical stats. A 100 point season with the 3-2-1-0 is much easier than a 100 point season today. A 100 point Season is a huge bench mark of how good a team is through 82 games. I would like to beable to keep this comparison. Here is the 3-2-1-0 point system compared to the current point system for the 2009-10 NHL Season.
Using the 3-2-1-0 format the red for the NYR indicates they would have been a playoff a team, and Yellow for MTL indicates they would have failed to make the playoffs, while lighter green indicates a different seed for a playoff team.
So what to do?
I propose a 2-1.5-0.5-0 point system. Win in regulation, 2 points, win in OT 1.5 points, lose in OT 0.5 points, you suck you get none. All NHL games will award only 2 points, not some 2 others 3. This will also allow an easier comparison to historical records. Granted even today, with the current point system more points are awarded today, than in the past, but given that a 100 point season is still an accomplishment!
This is how the 2009-10 NHL season would have ended point wise.
- 2. THE FIGURE SKATING COMPETITION, YEAH DITCH IT! Yeah, complaining about this one will never get old, that is unless we ditch seeing on selected nights, who can best impersonate Brian Boitano. So how do you do this? Let the Game end in a tie? Extend or open end the extra frame(s). Nay says I, shift to a new method of determining the winner.
- 3. REALIGNMENT Move away from the Eastern and Western Conference idea, and go to what the MBL and NFL do. Two Leagues/Conferences that are not based on geographic locations that contain divisions that are.
- 4. REAL HOME ICE ADVANTAGE Home Ice Advantage. Other than the crowd, and a few arenas with differing Ice Conditions, and how the boards act in certain place, an NHL rink is an NHL rink regardless if in San Jose, Calgary, Chicago, or Toronto.
One of the biggest complaints of the Shoot out is, it is not a team effort to win the game. In some manner most complaints come to just that, one on one to determine the outcome, where for the previous 65 minutes, it was a true team game. If the game was defensive, the defense has not say in the final outcome. They may have shutdown the scorers, now they have free reign. If it was an offensive game, the Defense men once again are not given the ability to make that key stop, all while a team point is still at stake! 1 Point may be huge! 1 more point gives the Hawks the Number 1 seed in the West. One point sent Philly into the Playoffs and eventual beat down by the Hawks in the Stanley Cup Finals, while the team they beat out in the Shoot out on the last day, the Rangers just sat at home left to wonder "what if" we sucked just a little less for 1-2 shots, we could have made sure Boston would not choke so bad!
My proposal is to introduce(rather keep) the Defensive AND team aspect in the final outcome. No more one on one with the Goalie, but use another exciting play, you tend to see more often in the game any ways. The Odd Man Rush, 2-1, 3-1, or 3-2. Here it is now team play again. The D-man or men need to know where the other is, and how they are helping the Goalie. The Forwards need to position to keep passing and shooting lanes open, and try to draw an opening. The Rules would be simple.
1. The Defensman(men) Start on their Blue Line.
2. The Puck will be placed on the Forwards Blue Line, where on the Blue Line chosen by the Attacking Team.
3. The Forwards must start skating from inside their zone, between the Blue Line and End Line and pick up the puck on the way up ice.
4. The Forwards must always move toward the opposing end line, they can not stop or reverse direction.
5. The play stops when on of the Following occur
I. Goalie Covers Puck
II. Defense gains possesion of the puck
III. The puck crosses the End Line
IV. A Goal is scored
V. An attacking player moves the wrong direction.
VI. A penalty occurs
6. Rebound shots are allowed, but at no time may the attacking player carry the puck or pass it after a rebound, but must immediately shoot. (I.e, If Luongo kicks a fat juicy rebound to the other forward, that forward can immediately shoot the puck in, he may not pass or carry the puck to a better scoring position)
7. If a Penalty occurs the follwing will apply.
I. If committed by the Offensive team, the play is dead
II. If committed by the Defensive team, regardless of the nature of the Penalty, will result in a Penalty Shot, counting as the offensive chance for that team.
III. If the Defense commits a penalty that would normally result in a penalty shot, a goal shall be automatically awarded to the attacking team.
8. The Odd Man Rush format will be best of 3, followed by Sudden Death.
9. No player may skate more than 1 out of every 3 attempts on Offense or Defense, with the exception of the Goalie.
Pulling out some Hockey History, here are the Conferences and Divisions I propose.
New York Islanders
Columbus Blue Jackets
New York Rangers
New Jersey Devils
St. Louis Blues
Tampa Bay Lightning
Toronto Maple Leafs
Los Angeles Kings
San Jose Sharks
I tried to keep as many rivalries as possible in the same division or conference at least, and also tried to bring back a couple older ones. The same scheduling as today would be used.
The idea for this is, the big market teams, or high profile players (Yes Cindy and the Dirty One as examples) would have more exposure across the Nations. Expose the best teams and players to as many as possible. As is now teams will play most games in a smaller region in the division, but will also regularly play in the other regions. This can only expose more of these players and teams to a larger audience, and help Hockey. Right not the Hawks make it to the Beltway only about 3 times a year, and Cindy makes it to the Midwest 2-3 times. With this these teams and players will play in more areas more often.
My idea is too introduce a little more variance in one rink to another. Currently this is the requirement for an NHL rink as seen in the
So here is what I propose. Allow for a little variance in rink dimensions to make each rink unique, giving a little more advantage to the home team.
Rink length may be 190-210 feet, The Neutral zone is expanded contracted as needed only.
Rink width may be 80-90 feet, face off dot locations are always referenced to Center Line of the Rink.
Rink Corner radius may be from 25-31 feet.
Keep Board height range of 40-48 inches, eliminate clause of "ideal" height of 42".
Keep Ice temp 15-23 Degrees (F).
By allowing these small variances, it will somewhat change some of the dynamics of play, with the Home team being more familiar with them, they should have a slightly better advantage then currently seen. This is along the same ideas of how each Baseball Stadium has its own differences, that the home team is more familiar with, and can anticipate.
I actually had 6 ideas, the other two being expansion and the playoffs, but this post is already too long, and I know the ideas for those would have been nuts, but who knows perhaps I'll add them.
So what say you on this little time filler? What are your ideas