Friday, August 22, 2008

5 Ways I'd Change The NHL

Since I'm seemingly using Puck Daddy as the springboard for a good bit of my content these days, I figured I'd play along at home with his "5 Ways I'd Change the NHL" and see what suggestions you all would make to better the League. It's like watching a mediocre game show and then actually buying and playing the crappy home version. Anyway, here we go - 5 ways I'd change the NHL:

1. Realignment
. I wouldn't even have my jacket off or feet up on Gary Bettman's desk before this was a done deal. Here's how the new divisions would look:
  • Wales Conference, Adams Division: BOS, BUF, MTL, NJD, NYI, NYR, OTT, TOR
  • Wales Conference, Patrick Division: ATL, CAR, FLA, PHI, PIT, TBL, WSH
  • Campbell Conference, Norris Division: CHI, CLM, COL, DET, MIN, NSH, STL
  • Campbell Conference, Smythe Division: ANA, CGY, DAL, EDM, LAK, PHX, SJS, VAN
We can quibble about which teams go where, but the most important things here are getting the Caps back in a division with at least a couple of their old Patrick Division rivals (while keeping the rest of the divisions realistic), and, even more importantly, we'd reintroduce divisional matchups in the playoff - the top four teams in each division make the playoffs and then battle it out within the division until the division winners matched up in the Conference Finals, and then, of course, on to the Finals. That's how rivalries are built and sustained - not by forcing eight regular season meetings on everyone.

2. All games are created equal. We talked about this a couple of years ago, but it has never made any sense to me (and in a playoff race, it can be damn near rage-inducing) why some games are worth two points and others are worth three. I've never been a fan of the "loser point," and I never really liked four-on-four overtime (unless you mandate that each team play with one lanky guy, two average guys and one fat guy), but the real problem is that different games yield different point allotments in the standings. Here's the fix - extend OT to ten minutes (preferably five-on-five) and then have your shootout if you must. A team that wins in regulation or OT gets three points in the standings, a team that loses in regulation or OT gets nothing and likes it, and a team that wins in a shootout gets two points while the shootout loser gets one. The rationale behind this scheme, as I wrote back then, is 1) all games should yield the same number of points in the standings, 2) teams should not be rewarded for losing the hockey portion of a hockey game (hence three points even for an overtime win and no points for an overtime loss), and 3) if a less-talented team can play a superior squad even for 70 minutes, they should be rewarded (minimally) for that, even if they can't hang once the game turns into a skills competition.

3. Unreleasable minors. This is the most radical of my proposals (and I don't claim it to be an original idea, I'm just not sure where I heard it first to give credit) - every two minute penalty is served for a full two minutes, even if the offending team is scored upon. This accomplishes the dual goals of increasing scoring and increasing the deterrent effect of minor penalties, which should make for better play five-on-five. Unfortunately, it could lead to refs swallowing their whistles even more often late in tight games, but since Change #3b is to can and replace any official demonstrably calling games differently based upon score and game time, I'm confident this problem can be avoided.

4. Video game roster czars. Before licensing its teams, logos, players, etc. to EA Sports and 2K Sports, the NHL should stipulate that each company has resources dedicated to providing online updates for its NHL video games every single day. Hire one $25,000 geek per company who will pore over the previous days transactions and game data and update rosters, line combinations, and, when necessary, skill ratings (Alex Ovechkin started last season with a 91 rating in NHL 08... on the 100-point scale, by February he should have been at least 217). When I want to download the latest rosters, I want them to be so fresh you've got to smack 'em. Oh, and while we're at it, delete the Gary Thorne "What a mustard shot!" soundbite - it sounds like something you'd hear in one of those food fetish movies Wyshynski is so fond of.

5. Ban "The Hockey Song." I despise "The Hockey Song," but know that some folks really enjoy it, and I don't want to deprive them of joy, so I'll make a compromise - ban playing "The Hockey Song" when the home team is losing. Or tied. Or up just one goal. Look, with a few minutes left in a close game, I want to hear something that'll pump me and the rest of the crowd up - quite simply, I want to unleash the fury. I don't want to hear some Canadian hayseed's ode to the game. And if my team's losing? It ain't such a good ol' hockey game.

Those are my five, let's hear some of yours. Winner gets an OFB mug.

53 comments:

Tyler said...

It must be contagious: OFB uses you as the springboard for their content. At least you give PuckDaddy credit, eh? ;-)

JP said...

I don't think that's accurate - I sure don't own any of the external links I post. Hell, I don't know if they even read me regularly.

It is possible that people happen upon the same info at different times, totally independently, you know. Let's focus on the substance here, shall we?

FAUX RUMORS said...

1) Like the realignment 'idea'. e also like bringing back the traditional names to the conferences/divisions. This used to set hockey as unique in pro sports. Bettman NBA-ized the NHL with the geographical division names.
2) Our blog also has been against the 'loser point'. We hate rewarding failure. We quibble with one notion that the loser in a SO get a point. The result is that coaches would play super conservative late in tie gamers and in OT, not wanting to lose a chance at a point in a SO. Else we like the idea of changing the current scheme
3) Serving the full 2 minutes for minors isn't al that 'radical'. It used to be league policy until the Habs of the 1950's got too good on the PP. Its one of the easy ways to increase scoring without increasing the net size.
4) As for our ideas:
a) We'd stop rewarding losing by eliminating the 'lottery' for the draft. Allow each team the same chance like the Crosby draft
b)Reduce goalie equipment to pre 1990 sizes.
c) Eliminate the instigator penalty as it currently exists. Give the 'instigator' an extra 2 minutes, but without the auto ejection
d) Reduce the season length.
e) STOP the insane practice of an automatic 4 or 5 min penalty if blood is drawn! If the stick foul deserves to be penalized more than 2 mins the fact that the skin of some players is more easily lacerated than others shouldn't be the determining factor. Its not even a written rule that they should do that!

JP said...

Faux, you can reasonably make the argument that the draft lottery should be canned. You are incorrect, however, in saying that every team had the same chance in the 2005 Entry Draft.

Chris said...

No Hockey Song??? You are evil!

Paul said...

5 Ways:

1. Realignment - See JP's post. Pretty much how I feel.
2. No more "Delay of Game" penalty for shooting the puck over the ice when the team is already on a PK. - Enough said.
3. Go with wood. - Ban the composite sticks and go with wood. Who cares if you can slap a puck 101 mph with a composite and only 98 mph with wood?
4. No more Instigator rule. - Let the players police the dirty hits/plays etc.
5. No double minors for blood. - We all agree that high sticks are a penalty, but why punish the offender more if someone has thin skin. Unless the offense is a Game Misconduct due to the viciousness of the high stick, keep it as a minor. These guys are hockey players, not pussies, I'm sure they can live with a little booboo on their lip.

FAUX RUMORS said...

1) Let us add one other thing we'd change: The NHL should have on their web site what each team's cap number is at all times!
2) If as the league professed after the lockout that they were going to be more 'transparent' as to league workings, we find it would be very fan-friendly to publish a daily updated cap liability for every team based upon trades,contract extensions call-ups/demotions/long term injury,etc.
2) We've written to Ted and the NHL on a few locations with respect to this matter and thus far have not received an answer back.

Andi said...

Maybe someone ought to do a "Top Ten Best Lists of the offseason" or something. </snark>

tg said...

Get rid of the hard cap and institute an NBA-like "Larry Bird rule". This would allow a team to exceed the salary cap for the purpose of signing their own player(s) (number to be determined based on how you write the rule). This would let fans know that, provided they produce, a team can hold on to their player(s) long-term without having someone else swoop in and sign them to a great offer just after you've spent three years developing them and building fan loyalty to the player. You can call this the Buffalo rule or the Kevin Lowe rule.

Institute a minimum TOI per player per game, excluding the backup goalie. Preferably at least five minutes. I'm tired of watching "energy guys" -- i.e. dirty players -- come out for 2-3 shifts a game, stir things up, try to hurt other players, and then sit the rest of the game. Or come out to fight on their one shift and never make it back out on the ice. If you're going to have players like that on the bench, make them actually play.

If a player is suspended by the league, the team cannot fill their spot on the roster. (Think that would rein in the Flyers a bit?) If too many players are suspended, leaving a team with less than 15 skaters, the spots can be filled so that a team has a maximum of 15 skaters, but the suspensions for at least one of the players continues. (I'm wording that terribly, but think of it like when three players on a team get a minor penalty. The minor penalty on the third player doesn't start ticking down until one of the other minor penalties expires. Same thing. The suspended player still can't play, but the actual time served doesn't start counting until one (or more) of the other suspensions are completed.)


Totally agree on the "Hockey Song" and the three point games.

Gustafsson said...

"Winner gets an OFB mug."

Nice one, JP. :-)

@Tyler,
We have credited JP numerous times. We try to always give credit to where we've seen particular info. I'm sure if JP felt slighted by anything we've done, he would let us know. Any slight on our part was unintentional.

I think you will find there is a healthy relationship between Japers', OFB, Off Wing, and Puck Daddy. We all want each other to do well and JP is correct, the substance is the focus.

Going Five Hole said...

Re: the video game rosters update

EA's NBA Live 09 will be the first game where player ratings will be updated EVERY SINGLE DAY.

So there, it's possible something like that can happen and I agree, it should happen now.

JP said...

@ Gustafsson: Tyler's just bored with August and trying to stir the pot. There was no slight, and you're right - the lines of communication amongst us bloggers is crystal clear and always open.

@ GFH: Really? Kick ass. And here I thought I had a novel idea.

@ Everyone else: Great ideas, and I agree with a lot of 'em - keep 'em coming!

~Mark said...

JP -
Love the divisional realignment idea. To have back the classic division names, and Pitt/Philly back in our division would be sooooo sweet.
Think of the Pens/Flyers games if they were in our division. I'm having flashbacks of Kelly Miller wailing on Kjell Samuelson, knocking him to the ice. Those were the days.

I like the "all games produce the same number of points" idea, but haven't thought through the "how" of it to agree or disagree on the specifics.

The reason I do not like the "unreleasable" minors idea, is mainly because of how bad officiating has been. If your team gets called on a phantom or reputation call in the last 5 minutes of regulation, a lot more games are going to look like the famous Boston game last year.

JWJr said...

Assuming we can't somehow get back to 60-minute games that occasionally end in a tie, my thought on standings points is: 5 per game.

WIN IN REGULATION: winner gets 5, loser gets 0

WIN IN OVERTIME: winner gets 4, loser gets 1

WIN IN SHOOTOUT: winner gets 3, loser gets 2

A team gets a loser point ("survivor point"?) for passing each "milestone". Every game yields the same number of total standings points. And, most importantly, the additive value of winning The Gimmick is reduced to 1/5th of the value of winning a _hockey game_.

(Yes, I know this throws all standings-point comparisons to past seasons into the cocked hat. But, hasn't the "loser point" done that already?) -JW

bradley said...

Hmm, interesting stuff.


1.) Add two games to the schedule; small change, I know, but the current makeup of the league makes two more games almost a must. Have 20 interconference games (home and home with one division, home with another, away with another and rotate them as usual). Have 40 intraconference/interdivision (2 home, 2 away). Have 24 intradivision (3 home, 3 away). It's a small change, but it rights a wrong in that every team plays every team, AND the schedules are consistent among division rivals (it's not fair if one team gets to play LA twice and another might have to face Detroit twice, for example, if the two are in a race for the same division title). A home-and-home for all would be nice, but it's not very feasible with the current number of teams unless you add/subtract a decent number of games. If you're worried about the season being too long (even though it's only 2 games), shorten the preseason to compensate, and start earlier if you must.

2.) Get rid of the shootout. Do a 10 minute 4-on-4 OT, 2 points for a winner and 0 for a loser. 1 apiece for a tie after OT. The shootout is fun to watch, but a silly way to have any effect on the standings. Maybe have it used only as a potential standings tiebreaker, but not have any other weight (so no points, it only works in the event that two teams are tied in wins and points and faced each other in a shootout). The scenario is unlikely enough that the shootout would have no real meaning, but might give fickle fans a sense of [false] closure.

3.) Get rid of the instigator rule.

4.) Make visors mandatory. Crack down more on stick infractions, make it an extra penalty to fight with a helmet on (so that the purists don't get their panties in a bunch over guys fighting with visors or visors making them lazy with their sticks), but make the visors mandatory for regular play. If you're still doing shootouts, make helmets/visors optional for that event only. Visors are seen by some as a competitive disadvantage, so this would level the playing field and is a pretty logical safety measure. It works in the AHL.

5.) Get rid of the trapezoid (or, at the very least, invert it so that the corners are legal play). Let the goalie take risks and make mistakes outside of his crease. The good ones deserve the ability to use their skills to the benefit of their team. The less than good ones deserve the (highly entertaining) task of scrambling back into position to cover for any mistakes. Maybe make it delay of game if the goalie freezes the puck when he's way outside the crease (which it already can be, right?), but normal play is legal.

5b.) Make the crease an absolute haven for the goaltender (mainly just start actually calling stuff as the rules already stand). Make outside the crease [almost] fair game. Obviously the goalie's range of motion and equipment isn't the same as a skaters, so the standards for roughing and whatnot would probably have to be different, but body-contact outside the crease that's within reason could be fair game. Give the goalie complete control over his area, make him have to think about what he's going to do when he leaves his domain.

GrayCalx said...

If they take away my hockey song because of you, I will make a nasty post about you on my blog in retaliation. Ooooh, I don't have a blog. Well... I'll write something nasty about you on a piece of paper and throw it into the street. Probably get a lot of hits as blogs go. ;)

nuftjedi said...

#1 must happen.
#2 I pretty much agree, I am ok with 1 point for an OT loss though.
#3 sounds good to me
#4 nice, but we could put this change to better use
#5 YES! especially since people don't get that the first team to score isn't the home team so you're cheering for the wrong team by cheering for Bobby (or whatever name gets substituted)

bil said...

yeah, yeah, yeah--make the game better, realign the divisions--whatever--

More importantly--

What do you have against poor old Conn Smythe?

Ogre said...

This isn't a bad idea~
My five would be something like this:

1) Play the hockey song during an intermission while the zambonis are going around. It's better than 90% of the music they play, and JP (And I, for that matter) can go get an all-beef hot dog from the concessions.

2) Realign the divisions, yes, but I'd argue to put the original six either in one division, or split them into two groups of 3. I don't think there's much merit in the geographical rivalry except to bring down travel time, and we see how well the league is doing in that regard.

3) More mullet nights. Specifically, every time the Lightning play. Not just in the Phone Booth, but in every arena and for every game. Just because Jagr left doesn't mean we can't make fun of Melrose.

4) No more trapezoid. Make the trapezoid go away. All it does in the long run is destroy any chance that a goalie would ever have to score a goal. On the short term, I've seen situations where the goalie had all day to play it, but it rested in the trapezoid, and some guy on the other team skated, picked it up, and scored cause everyone else on the ice was dead or something.

5) Delay of game penalty needs to be reduced to really being a delay of game. If the puck goes over the boards, don't let the team make a line change. For that matter, icing needs to let you change lines, or you just shouldn't have it in the game. It's flat out ridiculous, because that's why they added it, to let you make a line change when some teams were too fast to allow it on a dump in.

I would substitute ANY of these with a firing of Gary Bettman, but I assumed I took his job when he got fired and the Board of Governors said I could change five things.

JP said...

@ bil: Oops! That was a typo left in from when I was messing around with the divisions. I corrected it.

@ bradley: Love 5 and 5b.

DCSportsChick said...

Couldn't agree more about getting rid of The Hockey Song!

nuftjedi said...

my quick 5 changes would be.

1. realignment. JP's plan is fine with the current amount of teams.

2. schedule change, I agree with the PA to go to 84 games and have a home-and-home with every other team.

3. make officials work as a team. no more random pairings in an attempt to get some consistency.

4. make the crease about 10% smaller, but make the goalie off limits in that space.

5. make it possible to call a dive without another penalty being called and/or make diving a 4 minute penalty since it is a much worse infraction.

bradley said...

ogre, icing wasn't created to allow a line change, it was created to prevent teams with the lead from just dumping the puck down the ice to kill time. The line change aspect is a recent addition, yeah, but it's not hard to justify it as a consequence of using a tactic that the game is built against.

JJ said...

Bringing back the Patrick Division... YES!

This has been my dream for some time, but I'm not holding my breath.

Hockey's traditions are it's strength, there is no reason to adopt conventional east/west geographical divisions if we've had system much cooler than any other sport in the past.

Lisa said...

I'm thinking addition by subtraction. No instigator rule, loser point, trapezoid and goalies that look like michelin men. I despise that crummy hockey song but what can you do. I'd banish it if I owned the team.

Not sure about the double minors for blood. It's sickening when a stick gets stuck up under a visor and saws away at someone's face. Maybe there's another way to judge the severity of stick infractions although it will almost certainly be more subjective. I agree the microscopic face investigations aren't really in keeping with hockey though.

Goon said...

I really like your plan and we should lobby Betteman about changing the league.

PPP said...

Smythe gets the crappy division?!?! Give Norris the sunbelt, the Leafs get Smythe, and Adams can go take an effin' hike.

Otherwise, perfect.

luke said...

1)Keep track of penalty minutes DRAWN that result in power plays. Forgetting the occasional "crosby", this is an excellent stat for grinders and agitators

2)STOP TRYING TO MAKE HOCKEY INTO OTHER SPORTS. no cheerleaders, no all-star game. No screaming "Os". No players posing for beefcake photos without your shirts. Stop trying to make everyone happy, as per all things in life it only makes everyone unhappy.

3)NO INSTIGATOR PENALTY. all checks are cashed on the ice!!!

4)Lock in all Jerseys and Logos for five years! no changes no matter what!

5)and finally...thank f#$&$#& god someone else finally said that about the good old hockey game.

JR said...

MF JP for Prez-i-dent!

Brian said...

Talk of the Hockey Song makes me think of the Chicken Dance, and now I can't get the @#$% song out of my head. I hope you all are happy ...

I like the suggestions about the divisions, the full 2 minutes for a penalty, salary cap info, and delay of game. Skipping those, here are my 5.

1) Keep the trapezoid, change the meaning. In the trap, you can't bump a goalie. If Brodeur wants to pretend he's a defenseman outside the trap, then he should get hit like a defenseman.

2) If you win, you get two points. If you don't, you get zero. Washington played OT like it was game 7 last year, but most teams start to coast with 5 minutes left in regulation. If you're paying big bucks to watch a game, you don't want to watch both teams collectively Pull A Manny at the end of a game.

3) Level ESPN. I'm tired of reading blog post about how the NHL should go back to ESPN. Remember, it was ESPN that took the out clause. Telling the NHL to give hockey back to ESPN is like telling someone to give a second helping to an anorexic.

4) The NHL should follow Ted's lead and give more access to credible bloggers. Most cities only have one newspaper and if they don't have a sports talk radio station, that one reporter gets all the donuts at a team's press conference. Spread the press credentials, spread the love for the team.

5) Write a transfer agreement that is a winner for the players, the NHL, and all the European leagues not run on oil money.

bigonetimer said...

love a lot of these ideas...but the one I'd really love to see implemented immediately is an ice quality rule: Home team of the offending ice gets docked a standings point if the ice sucks, irrespective of the winner. No fricking basketball games or concerts the same day or day before a game. You want to protect the players, right, so give'em a clean sheet to work on. I'm talking to you, Abe, you cheap bastard.

I know the southern teams would have to work extra hard to get the ice in shape in the Fall/Spring months (that is, every month in TBL, ATL, DAL, FLA, PHX...) but the standard should be set so that every sheet of ice is as perfect as Edmonton's, every game. I am so sick of the skips, bips, odd bounces, caroms and puck sticks that are so common in those critical April games

I also think STH's should get access to those unsightly unused club-level seats for upgrades the night of the game. And, for good measure, make available a suite for use by STH's, assigned by lottery, for every game. Sure, there might be some friction among the group that gets access to one on a given night, but I'm sure it'd work itself out, just like it does on the ice. Ain't hockey the best?

Rob said...

1. Make the refs work as teams like baseball and football (maybe basketball). There has to be 2 refs because of the speed of the game today but I am sick of seeing the backside ref call a hook from center ice when the ref in the corner doesn't make the call. That is the kind of silent communication that needs to be developed between refs and can only happen by working as a team all year long.

2. Increase revenue sharing. Obviously there are some teams that are making a killing and some teams that are not. Contraction is not an option from the perspective of the owners or the players so now we have to find a way to make the struggling teams survive. The owners got major financial concessions from the players in the form of a salary cap but it wasn't enough to make them control themselves. Now they should be on the hook for the rest of the relief it is going to take to keep the struggling franchises afloat.

3.Change the CBA so that it makes it easier for teams that build from within to stay together. There is no fun for a fan to watch young players come together and then get broken up as they hit their prime. I suggest that only 85-90% of salaries for "home grown" players should count against the cap. That would give GM's more flexibility and a bit of a reward for drafting well and developing players from a young age. The Penguins just lost some young players they developed and in the next 2 years GMGM is going to be faced with the same problem. Down the line Chicago, LA, St. Louis, Montreal, and Edmonton are all going to have a hard time keeping their young talent. I think that if a team drafts and develops a player they shouldn't be forced to let them go because of salary concerns. This discount against the cap would make it much more likely that teams could identify the key young players for the organization and keep them under contract. Small market teams that build from within should be rewarded by being able to keep their young talent. They shouldn't be turned into farm teams for NYR/PHI/DET etc. It will be a shame if Caps fans only get a couple years of Ovechkin/Backstrom/Semin/Green on the same team because GMGM can't afford to keep them and build around them at the same time. I'm also interested to know if this problem has been discussed by any other GM's around the league and what their suggestions are.

4. Define the rules regarding goalies in the crease!! I say pull the crease out 2-4 inches and give the goalie absolute protection in the crease; contact in the crease is a 2 minute PIM unless it was absolutely 100% caused by a defenseman forcing a forward into the goalie. But, outside the crease the goalie is fair game for any incidental contact. Unless Scott Hartnell purposely runs a goalie that has already established himself outside the crease then there is no penalty. Goalies are big enough, skilled enough, with big enough pads and great ability on the angles that they shouldn't need to be a foot outside the crease, but they still deserve protection. This is a difficult one to resolve but the NHL needs to do something. There are definitely forwards that take advantage of the current rules when they drive the net and there are also goalies that see guys skating by the top of the crease and slide out a few inches to draw contact and a penalty outside the crease. I'm sure this rule has got to be one of the most annoying rules for coaches to deal with (ask Mike Babcock).

5. Put a team in Las Vegas and Hamilton, Ontario. Realign to 8 divisions of 4 (or 4 divisions of 8). Hamilton will clearly support a team and help keep league revenues up. Las Vegas is poised to become a mainstream city and a pro franchise would be the final piece in that transition. Vegas supports their ECHL team extremely well and is always looking for more family attractions for tourists. If we could just get people to see a game in Vegas on a whim we would turn a lot of casual fans into hockey fans. I suggest the "Las Vegas Guillotine" or "Las Vegas Executioners" but those are probably a little too edgy for the league.

tg said...

Sorry. Forgot. One more.

The intent of the new icing rule was to prevent a team from icing the puck and making player changes, thereby keeping tired players on the ice, giving the icing team a bigger punishment, etc. So why do you see icing called followed by a TV timeout? How about no TV timeouts following an icing call, meaning that the team doing the icing truly gets no rest/benefit from doing so?

tg said...

Sorry. Two more. (Whattaya want? It's August. During the season my brother and I discuss this type of stuff all the time during game. But in the offseason I'm out of practice.)

Get rid of the icing allowed during penalty kills. If a team is shorthanded for an infraction, let them earn the kill. If they want to dump it down the ice, make them really work for it. I'd much prefer seeing that then having a team get a lucky break, shooting it all the way down and forcing the team on the power play to start all over. Or, if that's too harsh, if a team on the penalty kill ices the puck, the faceoff comes all the way back into the defensive zone, but the team on the penalty kill gets to change personnel.

Instead of a shootout, have a power play/penalty kill competition. Put up 2 minutes on the clock with the home team having the choice of being on the power play or penalty kill. After two minutes, switch. A short-handed goal automatically wins the game. True, it's still a bit gimicky, but it's a lot more reliant on the entire team than three shooters in a shootout.

JP said...

Damn, you guys are good. Extra kudos to TG for those last few.

JR said...

TG - your last suggestion re/PP-PK competition epitomizes why the shootout or anything comparable is just lame. Not that your idea is any better or worse. I'm a huge believer in OT until there is a winner. If you are going 4 on 4 I can't imagine many games going beyond 10 minutes.

JP said...

I kinda dig TG's idea. It has a college football OT feel to it.

JR said...

But in the time that would normally take you could easily play five, and possibly many more, minutes of OT.

tg said...

I was thinking doing it after OT. If you're going to insist on a winner, at least make it a team event.

Of course, NBC would veto it because it could go on forever before being decided.

Sombrero Guy said...

While I would love to see that realignment, Imagine how much Pens and Flyers fans would complain about getting lumped in with the southeast.

I too want to see the instigator rule gone immediately.

JP said...

While I would love to see that realignment, Imagine how much Pens and Flyers fans would complain about getting lumped in with the southeast.

You mean they'd feel like we have for the past decade (with the exception, of course, that they were moving with their biggest rival and into a division that had another team with which they have a significant history)?

DrinkingPartner said...

1) Realignment (Good one, I hadn't thought of that, initially).

2) Either 3-point games (3W, 3OTW, 2SoW and 1L) or no points whatsoever (W and L only).

3) No-Instigator, No 4-min, Auto-Icing, No-Icing during penalty.

4) Goal Crease "re-powered" and no trapezoid, however, Goalie is now fair game outside of the crease.

5) All-Star Game is the first game of the season, instead of middle of season or after Stanley Cup -- players are in town and itching to go, and it would be a good way to promote the stars as a "Look what you'll get to see this year!" type of deal.

And yeah, i stole most of those :-). I don't deserve the mug.

Brian said...

I like the All Star Game idea, kind of like the Daytona 500.

Jimmy Jazz said...

Wow, you're way off on no. 5. I wanted to slit my wrists every time I heard that Tom Greene "unleash the fury" crapola. The hockey song isn't nearly as provocative when it comes to suicidal ideation.

Ben said...

You mean they'd feel like we have for the past decade (with the exception, of course, that they were moving with their biggest rival and into a division that had another team with which they have a significant history)?

Nah, you gotta leave the Flyers with the Devils and the Rangers, and you gotta leave the Rangers with the Islanders.

So here's what I suggest. Move Pittsburgh into either the Central or the Northeast. If you put them in the Northeast, put Buffalo in the Central.

Then move Nashville into the Southeast.

Then move the Caps into the Atlantic.

I'm still pissed the Penguins didn't move to Vegas or whatever because that would've made it much simpler.

Thoughts?

Gwitch Rules said...

I was half-heartedly agreeing with your suggestions, until you said "Ban the Hockey Song". Now I am behind you 110%. I hate that song with the white hot passion of a thousand suns.

Ogre said...

Toronto, if any team, belongs in the central division. Also, Nashville and Washington (and not pittsburgh, move the Isles or something) need to be moved to more accurate divisions.

No line changes after icing is silly. It's a stupid stupid rule. Second worst rule in hockey (Behind the Trapezoid bullcrap with goalies). Third worst is automatic penalty for putting the puck over the boards.

Matthew said...

We're getting close to the real problem with the hockey song. It's not the song itself. It's the best hockey song out there (next to Hockey Monkey and I wanna Drive the Zamboni - Alas, we have Olympias so we can't play that).

The problem with the song is the misuse, much like the "O!" during the national anthem at any place other than Camden Yards. You do NOT play the song when your team is losing. Educated sound-men go a long way to making song selection matter.

My 5:
1. Realignment. In any form. Would be a good thing. As much as I hate Philly fans coming to DC for games, Ted would make more money in a better division.
2. Find some way to ensure that money generated AT NHL GAMES goes to the NHL TEAM THAT GENERATED IT. I am not sure if the Caps are alone in the league, but the loss of consession and luxary-box money is a brutal hit to Ted's bottom line.
3. Crease-heaven for Goalie/Goalie fair game outside = win in my book.. How about a modification though. Keep the trapezoid as a semi-haven, but allow the goalie to play in the corners as fair game.
4. "Loser point" is OK in my book, but should only be rewarded for tied games AFTER the 4-on-4. Extend 4-on-4 by 5 more minutes. Make regulation wins 3 points. Done. Forever.
5. Ban Olympias from all arenas. Is it coincidence that the Caps have the worst ice in the league and use a chevy product to clean the ice? Zamboni's in all arenas to support playing the "I Wanna drive the Zamboni" song more often.

Matthew said...

tg-

Love the no-tv-timeout after icing. I would extend this further though and mandate TV Timeouts ONLY after penalties or goals. regular stoppage of play via icing/puck over glass is not a reason to break the agme.

further. The NHL has to do something about the quality of their "American" television presence. We need a "___-night Hockey!" Pick a day of the week. Make it standard. Find the best game of the night and put it on TV. Treat it as an excuse to educate more people about the game, provide rules explanation and MAKE SURE THE DAMN THING'S IN HD. Hockey was made for HD. or is that the other way around.

Nick said...

Anaheim and Edmonton in the same division? Have you seen a map lately? That's about 3,000 kilometres away... Dallas is even further.

JP said...

@ Nick: Edmonton and L.A. were in the same division from 1981-82 through 1997-98.

Nick said...

@ JP:

Which is why they moved to the six division format in the first place. Why are we going backwards?

JP said...

@ Nick: To get back to divisonal playoffs, mostly. I'm not sure how else you do it, but I do think that the benefits of an intra-divisional playoff structure crushes the difficulties of a little more travel (which, coincidentally, I'd also probably end up with more of because the weighted divisional schedule would be lessened).

Admittedly, my suggestion is myopic and probably exposes an East Coast bias, but hey - it's my 5 ways, right? ;)