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savenhl

What hockey needs

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For devil's advocate sake:

international ice: I'm not sure how your argument of bigger ice = more clogging works. You have the same number of players, you just move the boards out. Yes, players will be further way when they are on the boards... yet they don't typically try to score goals from this area; they try to set up plays in the lane or at the net. With more room on the boards, they will now have more time to find scoring opportunities. Also, it will be easier to enter the offensive zone with a wider blue line to cross. Instead of looking at stats which take a number of variables into play, look at olympic hockey which features a prominent portion of NHL players. It was much faster; more wide open; less of the clutching and grabbing and neutral zone trapping.

reducing size of league: the quality of offense increases; so does the quality of defense.

3 reasons why scoring is reduced:

1. goalie equipment is large

2. players are larger, faster, stronger and as a result this makes the ice seem "smaller" comparatively

3. emerging strategy (i.e. neutral zone trap); hockey has always been evolving, take a look at the rule book as far as 50 years ago. It isn't some blessed pure sport that shouldn't be messed with. Take a read of Ken Dryden's "The Game" and then ask yourself "is dump and chase" really what hockey should be?

International ice isnt the solution i think, you make bigger ice, you make it harder to score from the outside because the ice is so big teams will just clog the middle and make teams work from the outside and with more space, it means your further away and on worse angles to score. Look at european stats, its not like they have guys doing any better in terms of goals and points on a per game basis.

What needs to be down is to get rid of 4-6 teams, you take away jobs from guys who shouldnt be in the league because they are marginal, you create more scoring lines, better balance, and more excitement because you see guys on 3rd and 4th lines who can score instead of block shots and jam the puck along the boards and clutch and grab people who actually have skill.

Its the draft league theory we have, have 20 teams instead of 24, better teams, better balance, better everything. 30 teams in the nhl? there were just 21 teams 16 years ago, youre telling me that there are 200 NHL caliber players that were out there before who werent in the NHL? im not buying it because the product is watered down, some teams cant even fill two scoring lines, thats a shame.

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For devil's advocate sake:

international ice: I'm not sure how your argument of bigger ice = more clogging works. You have the same number of players, you just move the boards out. Yes, players will be further way when they are on the boards... yet they don't typically try to score goals from this area; they try to set up plays in the lane or at the net. With more room on the boards, they will now have more time to find scoring opportunities. Also, it will be easier to enter the offensive zone with a wider blue line to cross. Instead of looking at stats which take a number of variables into play, look at olympic hockey which features a prominent portion of NHL players. It was much faster; more wide open; less of the clutching and grabbing and neutral zone trapping.

reducing size of league: the quality of offense increases; so does the quality of defense.

3 reasons why scoring is reduced:

1. goalie equipment is large

2. players are larger, faster, stronger and as a result this makes the ice seem "smaller" comparatively

3. emerging strategy (i.e. neutral zone trap); hockey has always been evolving, take a look at the rule book as far as 50 years ago. It isn't some blessed pure sport that shouldn't be messed with. Take a read of Ken Dryden's "The Game" and then ask yourself "is dump and chase" really what hockey should be?

Ok, lets say we move the boards out, then hockey turns into soccer effectively. you got guys standing around trying to make passing plays in a lane, the game turns into puck possession, it slows the game down and it allows defenses to set up and more time for goalies to recover since the ice is bigger, passes have to be longer and thus take more time to complete. So instead of north-south action, we have east-west action, up and down games are refferred to as exciting, not side to side.

As for the point about olympics, there is no denying that scoring is up in those games, but in all fairness, those coaches cant instill defensive systems for those teams, its basically drop the puck in the middle of the ice and improvise with some basic fundamentals as strategy. you give teams and coaches a chance to fine tune their game plans and defensive strategies, youll have the same result as the current nhl is getting, the defense is a step ahead of the offense. Look at teams like Germany, a lot of their players aside from a handful of nhlers play in germany, so they have a chance to build some sort of team choiesiveness before big tournaments and they play certain defenses to try and slow down the bigger teams, sometimes they succeed, sometimes they dont, you give teams of greater talent a chance to work out the kinks, they will play more like a germany on defense and thus shut things down more often than not.

Now in all fairness, to the last few points you did make, ive been watching hockey since the early 90s and i dont recollect it very well and i never really saw any hockey befor that time outside of highlights. So its hard for me to speak with full confidence, but ill still voice my opinion.

As for point 1 about goalies being bigger, i cant deny that, but what i can say about goalies is this, they are far more athletic and versatile than goalies of the past. I dont care how big some of these guys pads are, the sheer flexibility and reactions of these goalies are pristine. They make saves that are incredible big pads or not. I see the goalies in the highlights from the past and i recalll those from even the early 90s, some of them were goalies because they were smaller and werent great skaters and thus they were less effective in net. Now you got guys like marty turco and marty broduer who are like 3rd defenseman out there because they are big, athletic, and cordinated. So not only have the pads changed, so have the goalies and that has played a part in making them tougher to beat.

Again, on point 2, i cant deny it, players are using their bodies to block shots and passing lanes at what seems to be a more frequent rate every year, players block numerous shots a game and make life on goalies easier as they do not have to face these shots coming to the net and stopping them directly or off deflections.

Point 3, cant deny that either, the game is evolving, something will change sooner or later.

So, if all 30 teams stay in the league, how about this for a suggestion, outlaw composite sticks, go back to wood, that will shut goalies up, put them back in pads the size their predecessors wore because they are now facing the same tools that players used. Nothing was wrong with scoring when players had wood sticks, so go back to them and make goalies go back too, that will open stuff up a bit more, goalies will still be bigger because they are phyiscally, but they wont have a chest protector the size of eurasia to aid them.

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As for point 1 about goalies being bigger, i cant deny that, but what i can say about goalies is this, they are far more athletic and versatile than goalies of the past. I dont care how big some of these guys pads are, the sheer flexibility and reactions of these goalies are pristine. They make saves that are incredible big pads or not. I see the goalies in the highlights from the past and i recalll those from even the early 90s, some of them were goalies because they were smaller and werent great skaters and thus they were less effective in net. Now you got guys like marty turco and marty broduer who are like 3rd defenseman out there because they are big, athletic, and cordinated. So not only have the pads changed, so have the goalies and that has played a part in making them tougher to beat.

Don't forget with the advent of newer equipment any fear that was involved in making a save has dissipated. There are so few apertures in these human air bags that you seldom if ever hear about a injury being inflicted from a shot..Not to diminish the accomplishments of modern backstops but todays goalies are impervious to just about anything that hits them, with the older equipment many shots really hurt, I don't think todays goalies would be half as tall in net with equipment from the old school.

And yes, there are entirely too many teams in the league, agreed. I've taken my lumps in the past for saying this, mostly from small market faithful. It may be a sharp pill to swallow hearing that your team is going out to pasture but revenue could help the NHL become a *major sport in the US once again.

Not sure how bigger ice would remedy the real problem, the NHL is losing fans every year in the US..Here's a novel idea, get a contract with a REAL network (maybe that four letter one) that people actually watch - voluntarily.

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Guest cr0ssbar94
You know what the NHL needs to make it better? More scoring like in '94.

-Keep the nets the same size (way too drastic to change net size)

-Reduce size of goalie equipment

-Go back to old style crease (1990 version)

-Eliminate all marketing ploys (shootouts must go)

-No more confusing categories like "Overtime wins/losses" or "shooutout losses"...just WINS and LOSSES

-Overtime, until someone scores (1 winner, 1 loser. No more "We lost but we got 1 point" bullsh1t)

-Downsize the league to 24 teams, TOPS. Get rid of teams in useless cities that don't care about hockey

-Re-locate more teams to CANADA where the game thrives

-Instruct refs to STOP CALLING SO MANY GODAMM PENALTIES (games are almost unwatchable now)

-(This one is obvious) FIRE GARY BUTTMAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The league is so diluted now with all these teams, that's the biggest problem imo. The 1980's up to 1994 was the golden age of hockey. The lockout (and Buttman) killed the sport after it was at it's peak in 1994 when the Rangers won the Cup. What a shame. The Devils introduced that godamm trap sh1t.

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Still looking for comments on the "bring back the two-line pass/get rid of offsides" idea...see my earlier post, as well as Scribe's...

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I would say shot clock, but though it works in lacrosse, lacrosse has many differences that hockey does not. However, the NBA has a ten-second rule (only allowed ten seconds on your side of the court), so maybe it could be made into a neutral-zone-clock or something? Make it so that you take a delay of game penalty if you're not in the offensive zone and the clock runs out? Of course, this would likely necessitate removing offside. but I think that offside makes games too long. If you put in the "neutral zone clock" so to say, then you have to remove offside and two-line passing.

I liked the removal of the two line pass, IMO it speeds up the game and puts emphasis on the end of the powerplay. Teams on the powerplay have to keep the puck near the end otherwise the killing team can simply throw a pass to the guy coming out of the box for what is usually a sure breakaway.

Stop cracking down on fighting. Fighting is a part of the game and most people like fights, even in the US (wonder why the UFC is so popular?). The players have their own unwritten rules for fighting and abide by them, so leave them be.

Contract the league as follows.

Get rid of: Florida, Nashville, Tampa Bay, Phoenix. No support in any of those places, except for MAYBE Tampa. Nashville is the only team of those that can actually do well anyway, but that's not a hockey city. If you don't want to get rid of Nashville, put them in either Winnipeg or Kansas City. The other three teams are pretty redundant.

Move or change the ownership of Chicago. Ownership change might be better as the owner does NOTHING to promote the Blackhawks, and Chicago used to be pretty big on hockey. Madhouse on Madison anyone?

There's some other teams that might need to be moved or folded, but they escape me. None of them are Canadian though, the Canadian teams all have good fanbases and are well-supported.

Get rid of the division leader rule, or at the very least re-align the Eastern Conference. While the parity is all well and good in the West, the division leader rule gives the Southeast winner third, while you see the fourth and fifth-place team usually doing better. Or it could be like the NBA, where the division winners get home-team advantage but if there is a team that does better than a division winner, they obviously will be placed accordingly. Either way, the Southeast Division is too weak and the teams in the East should be re-aligned to give better interdivisional parity.

Give the Stanley Cup finalists the last two draft picks, like the Super Bowl finalists get in the NFL. The winner goes last, the loser goes second to last. This at least gives a bit of consolation if one (or both) number one seeds were knocked out before the finals, then they at least don't have to pick last even though a team that's picking before them in reality did better than them in the playoffs.

Do not expand to Las Vegas, ever. The CFL tried it and failed. The XFL tried it and failed. Las Vegas is a tourist town, most people that can afford hockey there are tourists that will likely just go in, watch the first period, then leave. The only two sports that will be able to survive there IMO are basketball and baseball. Hockey won't. Hell, there shouldn't be expansion at all because the league is too big already.

Lastly: fire Bettman. He's done nothing good for the league and has made idiot decisions. All he tries to do is keep obviously failing US teams in the US because he thinks they'll do better - really, Nashville likely would have done better if they were moved to Ontario like the original buyer had planned.

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I would say shot clock, but though it works in lacrosse, lacrosse has many differences that hockey does not. However, the NBA has a ten-second rule (only allowed ten seconds on your side of the court), so maybe it could be made into a neutral-zone-clock or something? Make it so that you take a delay of game penalty if you're not in the offensive zone and the clock runs out? Of course, this would likely necessitate removing offside. but I think that offside makes games too long. If you put in the "neutral zone clock" so to say, then you have to remove offside and two-line passing.

I liked the removal of the two line pass, IMO it speeds up the game and puts emphasis on the end of the powerplay. Teams on the powerplay have to keep the puck near the end otherwise the killing team can simply throw a pass to the guy coming out of the box for what is usually a sure breakaway.

Stop cracking down on fighting. Fighting is a part of the game and most people like fights, even in the US (wonder why the UFC is so popular?). The players have their own unwritten rules for fighting and abide by them, so leave them be.

Contract the league as follows.

Get rid of: Florida, Nashville, Tampa Bay, Phoenix. No support in any of those places, except for MAYBE Tampa. Nashville is the only team of those that can actually do well anyway, but that's not a hockey city. If you don't want to get rid of Nashville, put them in either Winnipeg or Kansas City. The other three teams are pretty redundant.

Move or change the ownership of Chicago. Ownership change might be better as the owner does NOTHING to promote the Blackhawks, and Chicago used to be pretty big on hockey. Madhouse on Madison anyone?

There's some other teams that might need to be moved or folded, but they escape me. None of them are Canadian though, the Canadian teams all have good fanbases and are well-supported.

Get rid of the division leader rule, or at the very least re-align the Eastern Conference. While the parity is all well and good in the West, the division leader rule gives the Southeast winner third, while you see the fourth and fifth-place team usually doing better. Or it could be like the NBA, where the division winners get home-team advantage but if there is a team that does better than a division winner, they obviously will be placed accordingly. Either way, the Southeast Division is too weak and the teams in the East should be re-aligned to give better interdivisional parity.

Give the Stanley Cup finalists the last two draft picks, like the Super Bowl finalists get in the NFL. The winner goes last, the loser goes second to last. This at least gives a bit of consolation if one (or both) number one seeds were knocked out before the finals, then they at least don't have to pick last even though a team that's picking before them in reality did better than them in the playoffs.

Do not expand to Las Vegas, ever. The CFL tried it and failed. The XFL tried it and failed. Las Vegas is a tourist town, most people that can afford hockey there are tourists that will likely just go in, watch the first period, then leave. The only two sports that will be able to survive there IMO are basketball and baseball. Hockey won't. Hell, there shouldn't be expansion at all because the league is too big already.

Lastly: fire Bettman. He's done nothing good for the league and has made idiot decisions. All he tries to do is keep obviously failing US teams in the US because he thinks they'll do better - really, Nashville likely would have done better if they were moved to Ontario like the original buyer had planned.

Okay, first of all about half of this is stuff that is either already done (like the draft picks, the Blackhawks), not done yet or won't happen, (like retraction and Las Vegas) or not a change (two-line pass).

Clock: This isn't basketball, and teams have no problem moving the puck up the ice. Hanging in your own zone is dangerous, and time-wasting is NOT employed by any NHL team. I think you may have made this problem up in your head and you really don't watch enough hockey.

Blackhawks: The owner died this offseason - necessitating an ownership change. Done.

NBA playoff rules: The NBA playoffs are a hard bracket, meaning that they needed to change the way that they did things because 1st and 2nd in a division were always playing each other in Round 2. The NHL doesn't need to do this, as they have a soft bracket that re-seeds everyone after Round 1. Therefore, unnecessary.

Realigning the Eastern Conference: How about just doing away with the conferences entirely, going to 2-3-2 playoffs (2-2-1-1-1 in cases like NYR-NYI-PHI-NJD-WSH-BOS, SJ-LA-ANA-PHX, CAL-EDM, FLA-TB-ATL, PIT-CBJ-DET, NSH-STL, OTT-MTL, or BUF-TOR). The Stanley Cup Finals might end up truly between the two best teams that way, instead of having all the strength (and all the travelling) in one conference.

Fighting: I don't care one way or another...I'd prefer to see fights because I like to see cleaner hockey (in college the game gets too dull because of all the scraps), but I don't think they're cracking down, honestly. Some refs are different than others, and there's a difference between a wrongly-worded "scrum" and a true fight. I think you're making up a problem with this argument as well.

I think that the young players really need to learn how and when and where to fight...I don't see a big problem, just mentioning that a lot of the up-to-code fights tend to be done by older players. I was at Sharks-Coyotes and saw JR pound a guy, but when it was clear that the other guy was hurt, Roenick was the first and most visible to call for the trainer. That's aggressive and classy, and what I prefer to see when I see a hockey fight.

Of course if you're going to hockey games to see a fight break out, you're a dumbass who should just stay home and watch the UFC, where the level of skill in fighting is far superior than in the NHL...it's like NASCAR - rednecks don't watch to see a crash, so I don't watch to become a redneck.

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