Saturday, July 5, 2008

How would I fix the NHL?

Like I mentioned in a previous post (at least I think I did) it is getting into the dog days of summer. Therefore, I am going be writing some more opinionated stuff and maybe something completely random every once in a while. I am going to do a full overhaul of the NHL right here on my blog. Going from the top to the bottom. I'm not going to get into the nuances of the CBA but more of who is running the show and how things are setup in terms of the game. 
Lets get the easiest thing out of the way. Gary Bettman is gone. Bye Bye! I would put more of a brain trust in charge. Of course I would be number one on the list (this is my blog) but the make up of this trust would make up every base of the game. 
First, NHL fans would have a very strong opinion in matters. Voting wouldn't necessarily be apart of their powers but representation of each team by a group of fans would be the plan. Fans would have more of a say of what goes on within their team's actions since they are season ticket holders. Fans that aren't season ticket holders would be able to voice their opinions only upon recommendation of a season ticket holder. I won't get into more details than that. But fans will have a say in what goes on and their opinions will be taken into account when discussing matters. 
Like I said, I will be in charge. The people I will surround myself with cover every facet of the game. First, players will be involved. Mark Messier, Igor Larionov, Pavel Bure, Esa Tikkanen, Bob Probert, Tie Domi, Jeff Beukeboom, Brian Leetch, Scott Stevens, Jeremy Roenick (when he retires), Mike Gartner, Dominik Hasek and Ron Hextall would be the players I would surround myself with. If you read those names, they cover ever facet of the game. Messier, Larionov, and Bure were scorers and stars in this league. Tikkanen, Probert, and Domi were enforcers, Beukeboom, Leetch, and Stevens were defensemen while Hextall and Hasek were obviously goalies. I added Gartner because he used to work for the NHLPA and Jeremy Roenick....well he will be media relations. But all of these guys together cover almost every type of player that plays in the NHL. All of their opinions would be used to help me make my decisions when it comes to on the ice and other player matters. Coaches and General Managers would be apart of that as well. The players listed would also be representative of the NHL to the NHLPA along with myself. 
In terms of the business side of the game names from the business world will be in play. Get actual businessmen and have them involved in business and ONLY business. They don't get a sniff of the player personnel decisions. Only thing is fans would have a say in how ticket prices increase and decrease. They are the ones who keep the NHL going and they deserve to have input into how much they will be paying. 
All of the divisions would go back to the old names such as Patrick, Adams, Smythe, and Norris. Other names like Shore and Richard would be used to name the other two divisions to cover the entire NHL. I am not going to discuss team movement since that is a very touchy subject and unless I actually am running the NHL, I don't want to judge which cities lose their teams. 
Rule changes. Goodbye trapezoid behind the net. If people are worried about players getting hurt on icing races, remove the trapezoid and allow the goalie to play the puck if something like that happens. Also, the hooking and obstruction calls would be looked at. Hooks are being called at ridiculous rates in the NHL today that are slowing things down. Going back to the old definition of hooking will me put into effect. Physicality will be something that is not looked down upon. Obviously hits from behind and other illegal actions will be dealt with but physicality will be put back into the game. Fighting will be allowed as always. When 2 players are going to go, linesman will wait until they are done. No more making this into a family event. Hockey is not a sport for the faint of heart. Also, diving will be dealt with harshly. Greg Louganis dives into pools, not into ice. Automatic 2 minute penalty for diving and subject to suspension. Yes Crosby I'm looking at your ugly face. Also, goaltenders crease will go back to the old style semi-circle, giving them a bigger crease. However, outside of the crease they can be reasonably checked. They cannot get absolutely get rocked but physical contact with the goalie will not be a penalty. Diving from goalies will also be dealt with harshly. 
Also shrink the nets above the glass in the offensive zone. You can keep them there but they have to be smaller. There are no uprights and this is not football. 
In a nut shell, that is how I would run the NHL. What else would you do? Anything different? This is a great chance to make your first comment! You know you want to. Also sign the guestbook. Its in the links to the right! 

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