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.