Tuesday, August 5, 2008

5 things that could make the NHL better

Over on Yahoo Sports, the Puck Daddy blog wants to know what five things the NHL can do to make the sport better. So I figured, why not? Here are my five things, in no particular order and off the top of my head….

1. Make the nets bigger. And not by feet, just by a few inches. How about making the nets just four to six inches wider? That’s not so much, is it? No one but the shooters and the goalies would see the difference. But two or three more inches on either side of the goaltender could really help the scorers – and fans.

2. Let the goalies roam free! Get rid of the trapezoid behind the net. If the goalies can puck handle anywhere, they’re more likely to help out their teams. But they’re also more likely to mishandle the puck and help out the other team, too. You just never know what might happen if the goaltender handles the puck.

3. Enforce all of the rules. And be consistent! The worst thing is having the officiating be great in October, then be bad in February, and then even worse during playoffs. The rules are there for a reason, you know?

4. Shorten the season. I live and breathe hockey, but even I get burned out around the All-Star break – as do many other NHL fans that I’ve talked to. I can’t imagine how the players keep it up. Somewhere around 60-65 games a season – and keeping the playoffs exactly the way they are – sounds about right to me.

5. Broadcast on a major network – all season long. ABC, NBC, CBS, whatever. Share the hockey love with everyone, from the beginning to the bitter end. One game a week, make it perhaps regional or divisional across the US, and let everyone have a chance to discover hockey on their own one quiet Sunday night.

Would anyone like to add anything?

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Anonymous said...

Amen to #'s 2 and 5. Actually that would be double amens because those suggestions are gggrrrreeeaaattttt!. But, a big thumbs down to #4. I know I hear that suggestion all the time but surely I'm not the only one that never gets tired of hockey. I wish that after the season is over some station would broadcast or rebroadcast certain really important games and even, maybe, just some random ones and then on one night some historic (older) games. I am not totally crazy about enlarging the nets and as for #3, that is NEVER going to happen. It would be nice if it would but don't think it will.

Cassie said...

Oh, I realize that the rules will never be fully enforced all season long. That's just too much to hope for. And you're right - probably the nets will never be made bigger. Which is both a good thing and a bad thing, I think. But a girl can hope, can't she?

The NHL network does re-broadcast games during the off-season, tho. And you can watch those online, I think, at NHL.com. And ESPN Classic will also show the occasional older hockey game as well. Oh, and Hulu (www.hulu.com) also offers NHL games online. So there are games to watch during the off-season, if you need to get your fix.

You're not the only one who never tires of hockey. Trust me, getting burned out like I do sometimes, I'm definitely in the minority on this one.

Found Vinyl said...

Making the nets bigger would probably be the worst thing for die-hard fans of the NHL since the lockout. I can't stand basketball for the soul reason that there is just WAY too much scoring. There is absolutely zero tension until the 4th and that's if the game is close.

But I digress.

Low scoring games is what hockey is all about. The reason we all stand up and go nuts during a goal is because they are rare and thus more fun. The feeling of a goal would really get cheated if they happened more often. And a few inches really does matter if you think about how many times you hear that TING of the goal post.

#2 and #5 would be great but unfortunately I think the goalies are going to be confined to the trapezoid and the NHL to the backwoods of cable for awhile. No wonder Melrose left, eh?

Jay said...

#2- Let the goalies roam free!

Are you kidding? The reason they put the trapazoid in there is to help with scoring.

When a team dumps the puck in the offensive zone the goalie will just come out and throw is back up the ice without the 'zoid