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Old 01-12-2005, 10:24 PM   #1
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Default How would fix the NHL?

ESPN has a good thing on their website called EspnHL. I checked it out and I thought I would get our ideas about this.

How would you fix the NHL? I'm talking everything not just money. Rules? Teams? Divisions?

I would change the overtime rule. It was the change they said in EspnHL. A four-on four overtime period. If it is still tied, have a shootout. It makes the game more exciting since you won't a tie. The best play in hockey is the penalty shot...it's at least the most exciting.
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Old 01-13-2005, 01:38 AM   #2
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4 on 4, 8 minute OT, if you tie, you get no points, if you lose you get no points, so go out and bust your ass to get your 2 points. I dont' believe in doing a shoot out in the regular season, then not in the playoffs. There should be consistency, if a shoot out is not practical for playoffs, then it shouldn't be practical in the regular season either.

Divisions are fine to me.

No instigator, boarding needs to be re-evaluated. To me, hockey is about who wants it more. It's the players responsibility to protect himself, not the refs. In a perfect world, I would want the league to review all games, and suspend players 1 game for either purposely turning ones back to draw a boarding penalty and for blatantly boarding someone who is unable to defend himself. There is a huge difference between someone who is unable to protect himself, and someone who puts himself in that position hoping to draw a penalty or force the other guy to let up on the hit.

No automatic icing, if you want the offensive zone draw, show me you want it more than the forward, defensemen want a free out, they shouldn't get it.

Goalie equipment is fine, if the refs would enforce holding/interference scoring would not be a problem. To me, this is the players not the league at the root of the problem. The same forwards who complain they are being held, do the exact same thing when they are defending their net.

For the CBA, I personally see no reason not to try a luxuray tax/revenue sharing system. From what I've read, the owners were willing to consider the NHLPA's proposal, if they would GUARANTEE the results. The NHLPA would not take responsibility, which the NHL viewed as a lack of confidence in the NHLPA's plan to actually work. I agree, with the owners on this, if the NHLPA won't guarantee results, then they must not think it works, or they must not feel they are responsible for the health of the very league that employs them, either way, players who are millioniares get no pity from me. Donald Brasher drives a 300,000$ lambo, he's not even that great a player, sorry, a salary cap looks like a good way to relate $'s spent to $'s earned. The actual cap limit per team is up for negotiation, but there is nothing wrong with a cap.

Theres too many teams, but it's too late. I would kill 2-4 teams, but Bettman wants a 30 team league, and the NHLPA doesn't want to make 90+ players unemployed, so that isn't going to happen. The talent pool is too thin in the NHL, theres no doubt about that.
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Old 01-14-2005, 04:54 AM   #3
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Change both the regular-season schedule and the playoff format to make division rivalries more meaningful.

Specifically, teams in the same division should play each other eight times (that's 32 games), with teams in different divisions of the same conference meeting three times (another 30 games) and then each team plays all five teams from one of the three divisions in the other conference twice each and all five teams from both of the other two divisions once each (20 games), with who plays who twice rotating every three years.

Then expand the playoffs to the traditional two-thirds ratio observed prior to 1968 (when four out of the six NHL teams made the playoffs) by going to a 20-team playoff - ten teams in each conference, with the top three teams in each division qualifying, plus one wild-card team. The three first-place teams are then seeded 1 through 3 based on their records, the three second-place teams 4 through 6, the three third-place teams 7 through 9 and the wild card team is the 10 seed. In the first round of the playoffs - which would be a best-of-three "mini-series" - the 7 seed plays the 10 seed and the 8 seed plays the 9 seed, the lower-seeded of the two mini-series winners playing the 1 seed in the second round and the higher mini-series winner playing the 2 seed, with 3 playing 6 and 4 playing 5. Then re-seed for the conference semifinals (as they already do) and everything then proceeds the same way it does now.
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Old 01-16-2005, 05:02 PM   #4
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Default Re: How would fix the NHL?

Quote:
Originally posted by G-MenNMetsfan
I would change the overtime rule. It was the change they said in EspnHL. A four-on four overtime period. If it is still tied, have a shootout. It makes the game more exciting since you won't a tie.
Now would they mess up the way teams finish in divisions (I think there have been teams that have one divisions by only a mater of one or two points - but I may be mistaken).

I don't know much about past standings and, on average, how many overtime games teams play. But I think the overtime rule is good the way they have it.
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Old 01-16-2005, 11:53 PM   #5
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It's so sad, you just have to laugh. Looks like if the NHL does miraculously make a comeback, they will not have any pucks to play with: http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=1968433 :lol:
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Old 01-17-2005, 12:29 AM   #6
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Ummmm.... well, that's pretty much just like the NHL and its teams laying off its front office staff beacuse there is no hockey being plaid. There's about 1400 games in an NHL season including exhibition and playoffs so there's at least twenty-thousand pucks (okay now that I read the article, it says the NHL uses three hundred thousand pucks) not being made this year. If the NHL and its teams were to begin a season, I'm sure they would re-hire its staff; and InGlasCo would re-hire theirs.
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Old 01-17-2005, 02:08 PM   #7
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The EspNHL was dumb and unrealistic IMO... For starters, what was a team doing in Las Vegas!???

These are the rules I would change, or the "controversial" rules that I would keep the same:

-delayed offside
-TOUCH icing
-NO instigator rule
-Goalie pads and gloves should be limited
-there should be regulations as to the kinds of sticks players can use: go back to pre-1998 technology for sticks
-Goalies should be allowed to play the puck anywhere on the entire ice surface, but can be hit like any other player if they go outside of a circle that includes the pre-1998 goalie crease (bigger than the post-1998 crease) and that same radius extending to behind the nets
-Nets/goalline stays where it is now (whever it was before they experimented moving it up two feet in 1999 or 2000 or whenever it was)
-blue lines and center red line should be anywhere from .5 to 2 feet wider.
-Two-line passes are NOT allowed.
-100'x85' ice surface (current NHL/North American size)
-one 10-minute 4-on-4 overtime in regular season; unlimited 20-minute over times periods until goal is scored in playoffs

As for NHL rules, I would do the following:
-70 game schedule: (7 games/division rival=30 games), (2 games/conference rival=20 games), (2 games/10 teams in opposite conference (each year, each team does not play a division from the opposite conference; this divsion rotates in a 3-year cycle)=2x10=20 games).
-Top 8 teams in each conference make playoffs; division champions seeded 1-2-3. Re-seed teams after each round (no changes)
-No salary cap. Individual player cap of $6.5 million per season. 50% luxury tax on EVERY DOLLAR spent if total team payroll over $40 million. (ie, a team with a $41 million payroll pays $20.5 million, NOT $0.5 million; a team with a $50 million payroll pays $25 million in luxury tax, NOT $5 million). Cap numbers adjusted every 3 seasons based on previously agreed upon areas that define league revenues.

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Old 01-17-2005, 08:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
-Goalies should be allowed to play the puck anywhere on the entire ice surface, but can be hit like any other player if they go outside of a circle that includes the pre-1998 goalie crease (bigger than the post-1998 crease) and that same radius extending to behind the nets
You hit that one right on the head. Restricting goalie movement is a no go, but they should be fair game if they leave. The thing I fear is that goalies will always get the benefit of the doubt on if they are actually outside the circle.

Quote:
No salary cap. Individual player cap of $6.5 million per season.
Unreasonable, lets say Sidney Crosby is drafted and scores 195 goals and has 99 assists. The next closest player behind him has 60 goals and 45 assists. I PROMISE you, the #2 scorer will demand the max 6.5 mil and get it. So that means Crosby makes the same money as a guy who is without a doubt inferior to him?



Quote:
50% luxury tax on EVERY DOLLAR spent if total team payroll over $40 million. (ie, a team with a $41 million payroll pays $20.5 million, NOT $0.5 million; a team with a $50 million payroll pays $25 million in luxury tax, NOT $5 million). Cap numbers adjusted every 3 seasons based on previously agreed upon areas that define league revenues.
Look at this

The one problem with a luxuray tax is what Bettman has said all along, it is not realiable. Add up all 30 MLB payrolls. Then take the top 10 teams payroll. The top 10 highest MLB payrolls make up 51% of the TOTAL. So out of 30 teams, the top 10 make up the majority of money spend. The highest payroll is almost SEVEN times higher than the lowest. Tell me how the luxury tax is maintaining competative balance. It's an absolute joke, the luxury tax has done nothing, the Yankees have money, and are willing to spend it, so the luxury tax is a smack in the face, sounds good on paper, but baseball players continue to get ridiculous salaries.

My point is simply that if the NHLPA will GUARANTEE that a luxury tax will work, then the owners should accept the offer. If it fails to work ($s spend exceeds $s earned) then the CBA is nulled and voided in exchange for a cap system. A cap system is fool proof, you set a certain amount so that you are making more then you are spending. When the profits go up, the cap limit goes up accordingly. This is a symbiotic relationship, not a parasitic relationship where the players bleed the owners to death.

I find it funny that some people blame "greedy" owners. I mean, most sports team owners are HARDCORE FANS of the team they own. They are ALREADY RICH and buy their favorite team in hopes of building it towards a championship. Nobody buys a sports team to get rich off the profits. The players without a doubt get the best part of the deal, yet they have shown they don't love the game, they don't care about the fans, they are being selfish, and it really ticks me off.

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Old 01-17-2005, 10:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by StealthElephant
Look at this

The one problem with a luxuray tax is what Bettman has said all along, it is not realiable. Add up all 30 MLB payrolls. Then take the top 10 teams payroll. The top 10 highest MLB payrolls make up 51% of the TOTAL. So out of 30 teams, the top 10 make up the majority of money spend. The highest payroll is almost SEVEN times higher than the lowest. Tell me how the luxury tax is maintaining competative balance. It's an absolute joke, the luxury tax has done nothing, the Yankees have money, and are willing to spend it, so the luxury tax is a smack in the face, sounds good on paper, but baseball players continue to get ridiculous salaries.
My luxury task is ridiculously high though. It's on EVERY DOLLAR spent. Under my system the Yankees would have paid $92 million in luxury tax rather than $25 million they actually paid this year under MLB rules. Teams like the Rangers would have to pay $30 million if they kept the payroll they had at the start of last season. Spending money like that doesn't work in the NHL the majority of times and that $30 million would be an incredible help to the lower third of the team who are budgeting wisely.
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Old 01-18-2005, 12:34 AM   #10
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I agree with most of your changes Lee, but the one I'm very against is having the goalie fair game when he leaves the net.

You HAVE to protect the goalie. It'd be totally unfair if he came out of the net, played the puck and got drilled in the process. The goalie can't do anything about it personally, if he does it either costs his team a goal or he get's a penalty. He must be protected.

I like the 10 minute 4-on-4 OT rule, but I've said this before and will say it again - i hate ties, so, i want to see a shootout. If OT doesn't settle it then go to the shootout and let's get a winner. I don't mind the continious OT in the playoffs, it's fun to watch and there's no need for a shootout there, but in the regular season it's a must.

I honestly thought I was the only one who wanted to see the NHL keep TOUCH icing. I know Don Cherry talks about it and has a whole bunch of footage showing guys getting injured racing for the puck, but I enjoy that part of the game. Dumping it down the ice always for a whistle get's annoying and annoying fast. It stops flow and stops the clock. The game needs to keep moving, not slow down.

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Old 01-18-2005, 09:27 AM   #11
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Well, I'm basically saying extending making the crease bigger to what it was in the 90s, then extending that same radius behind the net too, so he has a full circle crease. The rules for hitting the goalie anywhere in the new crease is the same as now: you can't hit the goalie. He can't hit you. But if he goes outside of it, he's just like anyone else.

I know you hate Belfour, Brian, so let me ask: does it make sense last few years in the playoffs for Belfour to get upset when he goes out waaaaaaay to the corner to play a puck then gets even the slightest nudge!?... NO IT DOESNT!!!... There needs to be a finite rule about this because otherwise he could go for a breakaway on the other goalie without being obstructed.
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Old 01-18-2005, 09:05 PM   #12
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My stance is if you don't want to see the goalie play the puck from anywhere outside of the crease, then disallow him from leaving the crease period.

I just don't see how it's fair for the goalie to become a open target if he comes out to the corner to play the puck on a powerplay. He's completely defenseless out there and in no way shape or form can protect or try to retaliate personally. This rule would only punish goaltenders around the league and limit they're game, and for guys like Belfour, Brodeur, it takes away a skill they've worked on and mastered they're entire careers.

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Old 01-18-2005, 11:13 PM   #13
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Gents, I'll weigh in here, as one who never actually played the game, but learned it while living in the Twin Cities. I think that if the players association can ensure that the luxury tax would work, it should be implemented. Baseball's works, to a point, and this would allow those teams that are willing to overpay to fund those who cannot.
If the agreement is not reached in Wednesday's meetings, I'd say send the entire situation to an arbitrator for an independent decision. Neither side would win, completely. Neither side would lose, either. Both would have to accept the deal or the league would be disbanded.
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Old 01-19-2005, 10:02 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by lmanchur.
My luxury task is ridiculously high though. It's on EVERY DOLLAR spent. Under my system the Yankees would have paid $92 million in luxury tax rather than $25 million they actually paid this year under MLB rules. Teams like the Rangers would have to pay $30 million if they kept the payroll they had at the start of last season. Spending money like that doesn't work in the NHL the majority of times and that $30 million would be an incredible help to the lower third of the team who are budgeting wisely.
I understand where you're coming from, my only point is that no matter how you approach it, unless there is a hard cap, it only takes 1 team owner with a fat checkbook to unbalance the system. Then you have 4-5 other richer teams frantically moving around spending more money to stay in competative balance. The poor teams still can't spend more, the rich teams keep trying to outspend eachother, luxury tax or not.

The whole thing with moving the goalies is either the goalies get favored in all the penalty calls or players purposely take shots at the goalies. I don't want to see a good goalie take a cheap shot, but I don't want goalies who leave the net and head back to the net always getting the "benefit of the doubt" as to if they were back in the crease or not when they were hit.
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Old 01-19-2005, 02:43 PM   #15
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Seeing as it's the basis, I'm going to go through the ESPNHL pretty much point-by-point and then add as necessary. Sorry if it gets long.

The first thing ESPNHL offers is a 20-team league. As a reader of John Buccigross's weekly columns on ESPN.com, I tend to agree with John that the league will eventually be stable in 30 markets. They may not be the current ones, but it will work. In fact, as the talent pool is expanding, I would be surprised if the NHL does not expand to 32 teams within 10 years to Las Vegas and Winnipeg. Vegas is the fastest-growing community in the United States and Winnipeg is just a great hockey town with a beautiful new building. With a proper fanacial model in place, and coupled with the currently strong Canadian dollar, Winnipeg would thrive in the new NHL.

ESPN's feature also calls for a 60-game season. With the current 30-team league, 66 would probably be ideal. Teams would play their divisional opponents four times each and every other team in the league twice. The feature also calls for the schedule to include two weekly double-headers to create a must-see buzz. We already have this in Canada; it's called Hockey Night In Canada and it works. As ESPN and Canada's TSN already work together, a partnership is conceivable for these two channels to broadcast a mid-week double-header. Additionally, the league should look at promoting its traditional rivalries, and budding ones. Who doesn't love "rivalry weekend" in NCAA football? A similar initiative would be easy to accomplish in the NHL and could run four or five consecutive Saturdays leading up to the playoffs.

As for playoffs, the current NHL format mostly works. There are quirks, but for the most part the format works. Many people are in favour of expanding to a 20-team playoff, and one example above was used in past seasons by the American League. They had 10 teams from each conference with the seventh, eighth, ninth and 10th seeds playing for the final two spots. The AHL scrapped that format beginning with this season as it created confusion and scheduling conflicts. Also, fans were not particularly receptive to it. The AHL reverted to a divisional playoff system similar to the one the NHL used throughout the 80s and much of the 90s.

As for rule changes, there are not many that are needed. The ESPNHL calls for a limit of one head coach and two assistants per team and I agree with this. At the top level, players require less coaching. At the minor league level, have all the coaches you like, as this is where players are supposed to learn and develop their skills.

For now, and only because nearly every team is playing in a building less than 10 years old, the current size of the ice surface will suffice. With strict enforcement of stick infractions, space will be more available.

With that in mind, the two-line pass must be allowed. At a game last Friday night, the away team had a great scoring chance taken away because of a two-line pass. Let me tell you the resulting face-off was in no way more exciting than the scoring chance that was nulified.

Four other items I've seen several times now in person are the wider blue and red lines, the limiting of goalies handling the puck, the return of "tag-up" offsides and the shootout.

The wider blue and red lines have had a very minimal impact on the game. They also do not present particularly well on television. Goalies have a resticted area behind the net in which they may play the puck. I am of mixed opinions on this rule, but I see it as a generally good rule. It does nothing to hurt the game and it allows for opposing forecheckers to create forced plays and turnovers. The current offside rule is awful. The league instituted it with a good idea, but it flopped and players will be allowed to tag-up on offside plays whenever NHL play resumes.

The first shootout I ever saw was the one to determine the winner of the 1994 Olympic tournament. As Tommy Salo stoned Paul kariya and broke my heart, I swore I would loathe the shootout until the day I die. Well, Friday's game went to a shootout, and though the away team won, I loved it. One Bob Gainey seated 12 rows behind me also seemed to enoy it. Purists say it takes away from the team element; therefore, it has no place in the game. I say it creates excitement and has every right in a regular season game. Playoff overtime generates its own excitement (take any of the OT games in Detroit's first-round loss to Anaheim in 2003) and as a result, should not be changed. Admittedly, someone will back in to the playoffs by losing in a shootout and getting that extra point, but St. Louis clinched with an overtime loss last season and no one outside of Edmonton was particularly angered.

The ESPN feature also calls for mandatory helmets and visors for all players, which I agree with (sorry, dad). The most basic argument I can make is this: anything Ilya Kovalchuk, Jarome Iginla, Joe Sakic, Peter Forsberg, Scott Neidermayer, Marian Hossa and Brian Leetch are doing can't be wrong. The ESPNHL also says players may remove their helmets during a shootout, I would take it a step further and make removal mandatory for the shootout to improve marketability.

This one is not a popular opinion, but I agree with the article's call for a ban on fighting. Taking fighting out of the game does not increase stick-work or cheap shots. Poor officiating and bad coaching decisions are more to blame for out-of-control games than a fighting ban would be. While I enjoy watching fights, they add nothing to the game. And frankly, I don't miss them when a game has none.

Reducing the size of goalie equipment will help a little, as will moving the nets back toward to the end boards. The goal line should be six or eight feet from the boards, creating more space in front of the net.

Money stuff. This is easy. Every professional league in North America should have a floor to ceiling salary system. There is a floor; the minimum a team must spend in salary, and a ceiling: the maximum a teacm may spend. This system also calls for not only minimum player salaries, but maximums as well. Bob Costas wrote a book called Fair Ball that outlines this system within Major League Baseball, though it could easily be applied to the NHL (it's a 100-page book, take an afternoon to read it).

Other things...

The NHL and Canadian Hockey League need to re-examine their player transfer rules. Currently, a player drafted from a CHL team must play out his major junior eligibility before he can be assigned to an American League team. Otherwise, he stays in junior or goes to the NHL. This system is hurting players' development. NHL teams need to have the option of assigning 19-year olds to the AHL. Three examples:

Ales Hemsky, Edmonton: Collected 197 points in 121 games in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League at 17 and 18. As a 19-year old, the Oilers felt he had peaked in junior, but that he was not quite NHL ready. Still, he stayed in Edmonton and has struggled in two seasons with the Oilers.

Dion Phaneuf, Calgary Flames: Was expected to join the Flames in 2004-05 as a 19-year old before the lockout changed his plans. Is still learning and playing very well in the Western Hockey League, but would have been better served to play in Lowell with the Flames' AHL affiliate.

Sidney Crosby, Rimouski Oceanic: If there is an NHL Draft later this year, Crosby will be the first player selected, and it is inevitable that the team that selects him will try to rush him to the NHL (provided there is a 2005-06 season). Instead, Crosby should be returned to the QMJHL as an 18-year old and then assigned to the AHL the year after before making the jump. I believe the kid has all the talent in the world, but he's not going to save the NHL at 18. Probably not at 19 either. And don't even get me started on the whole Crosby-gate that has arisen from his withdrawing from Wednesday night's CHL Top Prospects game.
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