5 ways I'd change the NHL

If anyone's been reading the Puck Daddy over on Yahoo sports you know Wyshynski has been doing a nice little feature called 5 ways I'd change the NHL. So in a shameless attempt at pandering to a more popular hockey blog, having something to write about on a Friday in mid august and getting links I'm going to top it by having 5 ways I'd change the NHL.

1) Change Regular Season OT
Scrap the shootout. 4 vs 4 for 10 minutes. Each game is worth 3 points. Winner gets three. Tie gets 1 point. Loser gets nothing. No more A for Effort points for making it to OT.

2) Full 2 minute powerplays
Get scored on? tough. 5 vs 3? tough. If a team gets scored on on a delayed penalty the penalty would still go through.

3) Use Olympic Sized Ice The much maligned and boring trap is effective because it allows a team to rotate their defenders quickly to the puck carrier denying him the zone. A larger ice surface would reduce the effectiveness by making that task more difficult. Bigger ice would also make players more tired, which causes mistakes.

Addendum: In the comments Walt brought up an interesting point that needs to be debunked a little. One of the arguments against bigger ice is the "Owners are giving up their most expensive seats". No they are not, this is a fallicy. The owners will eb giving up a few $60 seats, but making room for more expensive seats.

Let's say a current glass ticket is $120, a 4th row ticket is $90, $75 for 8th row and a last row of the bottom level is $60. Let's say you take out the first 4 rows to make room for a larger ice surface. Well guess what those 4th row tickets that are now on the glass aren't going to be priced for $90 they will now be priced for $120. And 8th row tickets will be going for $90 instead of $75, and so on.

Not only that but by expanding the rink 4 rows you create a bigger surface area of seats, meaning there are now more $120 seats than there were before, and more $90 seats etc. The loss in total number of seats can be offest by this, and really you'll be losing 4 small rows worth of $60 seats, but gaining seats in all the more expensive sections.

4) Hire an independent internal affairs watchdog
The sole purpose of this organization would be to privately investigate anything that may look suspicious in the NHL. This would cover stuff like the illegal loan used by Boots Del Baggio, to tampering charges, doping/PED's, possible referee or player point shaving, to anything else that can be thought of that's dastardly.

5) A Club Tenure salary cap rule
The salary of players who are with an organization for 2+ years count at 90% against the cap.
3 years count for 85% against the cap.
4 years count for 80% against the cap.
5+ years count for 75% against the cap.

I've talked about this in detail before, so If you're curious I'd go back and re-read that post, but I'll hit the highlights of a system like this. A tiered team-veteran's salary structure would keep players in markets for longer periods of time. This helps everyone:
• Players: Get the benefit of having more local recognition. This gives them more local endorsement opportunities (think Rod Smith of the Broncos and Blackjack Pizza in the Denver area). Also can be paid more by an organization they enjoy working for, but still have the opportunity to leave if they don't.
• Teams: Less roster turnover means players form better relationships and work better as a team.
• Organization: Also benefit from being able to market locally better. (Example: A Darcy Tucker billboard around town won't be as effective a marketing tool as, say, an Andrew Brunette billboard would have been this season.) Orgs. Also have the opportunity to reap the benefits of putting money into a players development and can then see them play well here instead of, say Phoenix.
• League: Better teamwork, league wide, means higher quality of play. Players staying in one place tend to market better nationally. More rivalries develop as teams stay together longer tend to hate other teams that stay together for a long time.


  1. Excellent list. The international ice surface is a bit big for my liking but the NHL surface is too small. If they could meet in the middle, I think it would be the perfect blend.

    And I can't understand why they haven't gone to 10 minute OT by now. It just seems so bloody logical. It's 5 more friggin minutes.

    I loved Chen's #1 suggestion on Puck Daddy today. Uncensored PPV where the refs, coach and a few players are wired. If you want to really draw viewers into a game, that's how you do it. Not by forcing them to listen to McGuire salivate over Crosby or Babcock.

  2. Hey I like the way your thinking although full 2 minutes power plays may be a bit harsh lol. Also the large ice would be great all you would have to do is convince the owners to take out about 800 of their prime seats.
    "No Guts No Glory"
    Walt Webb

  3. @Shane:
    5 minutes OT's are dumb. that's 1/12 of a game. Let's give teams enough time to score a goal.

    @Walt: I'm glad you brought up the whole prime seat argument... I forgot to address that. Which I will answer with an update in the post itself.

  4. I LOVE the tiered salary cap idea... Here is one I saw over on Puck Daddy's comments:

    "refs should be reviewed each game. if they are making bad or questionable calls too often they should be demoted to the ahl or another minor league. that would make a rotation of refs just like players and give them some motivation to actually make correct calls according to the rulebook instead of making up rules"

    I don't know about every game, but I do like the idea of Ref's being reviewed more often....

  5. 1) love the 10 min OT idea -- it's definitely needs to happen. 5 min is not long enough to resolve games.

    I do like the shootout still -- ties suck, plain and simple. Going to a game or even invest 2 hours on TV and having a result with no winner is terrible! I hate the charity point though too. So why not:

    2 points for W/OT W
    1 point for SO win
    none for any loss.

    man i love this. still the shootout and no ties, more games decided without the shootout, and acknowledgment that a SO win means less than a "real" win.

    2) no. PPs are fine as is, and giving more control and power to the refs is almost never a good idea.

    3) i like Euro ice in the bits we get, but it alters the game a little too much for my liking. plus it's just not happening because of the arena modification cost.

    4) yep.

    5) i like it, but it might need to be toned down a little or you'll have too many dynastic teams. While they take it a little TOO far, one of the best things about the NFL is that things change rapidly. fans are engaged every offseason because they KNOW their team could improve dramatically. so maybe 90% at 3 years, 80% at 6? maybe some sort of system where you have a limited number of players you can declare as "vets?"

    - doc

  6. @lanytaz:

    Refs are evaluated each game (well in theory)

    @matt: Going to a game or even invest 2 hours on TV and having a result with no winner is terrible! Is it any worse than going to a game and investing 2 hours to watch the game decided by something that is only hockey-like? They should just have a face-off and the winner of the face-off wins the game.

    Having a 10-minute OT. plus incentive to actually win the game (3 pts for a win) would significantly minimize ties.

    2) I think this would create more excitement and scoring without damaging the games, but I'd be willing to compromise and say that scoring on a delayed penalty still warrants the PP. But if scored on the PP the man can come out.

    3) yeah the Arena modification cost is the big obstacle here. Of course Betteman could have seen this when all the new arenas were being built and had them plan for it, but you know he's Betteman.

    Still Maybe go to an in between. Maybe go 1/2 way from the current size to the Olympic size

    5) Well the numbers may not be exactly right, but it was more the idea that I was going for. The numbers were starting points.

  7. sorry jibble, i think the SO is still reasonably hockey related (there ARE penalty shots in the course of games), and it's really exciting to boot. the SO needs to stay, and I think it will.

  8. I don't think the SO is exciting at all, in fact if a game other than the Avs goes to So I usually flip the channel. The only ones that are exciting go more than about 6 rounds.

    If they are going to have a shootout, they should just go 1 vs 1 (plus goalies) and first team to score wins. That would be way more exciting.

  9. @matt. I am assuming matt = the doctor.. send me an e-mail...

  10. Only thing I disagree with is the scrapping of the shootout.

    I'm all for getting 0 points for a loss, but I think a 4-on-4 OT for 10 minutes followed by a quick three-person shootout would be better than an unfulfilling tie.

  11. you've been emailed, jibble.