IMPROVING THE NHL
ANALYSIS ON THE STATE OF THE GAME
Last Updated: May 20, 2010
by Stats Hockey
Four Important Issues

1Length of Season
2Team Uniforms (Jerseys)
33 Point Game
4No-Touch Icing


Length of Season

Problem
Why can’t the NHL have its season end in May? I know they have Television commitments (NBC $1/Year Contract) but stretching their season till mid June when it starts in October is still unacceptable. It makes for a nine month season and ten if you count training camp in September.

Solution
Have teams playing every other day during the first three months of the regular season then spread them out more during the last half of the season in order to get all 82 games played. Better yet reduce the regular season to 70 or 74 games would be ever better.

Training camp in September is fine and a regular season that’s runs from October to March is perfect, than have the NHL Playoffs in April and May including draft and award shows would be great.


Team Uniforms (Jerseys)

Problem
Why does this league have so many unattractive looking uniforms, aren’t aesthetics important to the NHL? Somebody needs to upgrade the Ducks, Lightning and Thrashers jerseys but there is no excuse for the Canucks, Flames, Oilers and Sabres uniforms when they have perfectly good third jerseys (Vintage /Alternate) that they could be wearing as their main uniform. I don’t know who ever started this third jersey freak show but it has to stop, choose one uniform (your best) and stick with it and just make minor changes going forward.

Do you ever see the New York Yankees play around with their uniforms or the Montreal Canadiens, Chicago Blackhawk’s or Dallas Cowboys? Why, because they know if you have a good looking uniform and logo why change it except for some minor tinkering which includes possibly wearing old vintage uniforms when appropriate. Boston Bruins have finally changed back to their traditional uniforms and guess what happened? They look like they have their entire fan base back after a fifteen year hiatus; I know it also includes a pretty good team.

Solution
Why wear a terrible looking Jersey when you have a perfectly good one hanging on the Rack. What are you saving them for?

  • Canucks new jersey has a terrible (disco infused acid trip) logo so why do they use it, so they can use their good jersey (hockey stick logo) as a third jersey, try using your good jersey as your main jersey.
  • A similar situation is the Buffalo Sabres which uses some Yellow Buffalo as their logo, Come on now! Go back to your traditional uniform from the seventies.
  • Thirdly, would be the Calgary Flames which had a great 1980’s uniform which was Orange and White. There was nothing like the Flames coming to play the Oilers in that dark Orange Uniform, but now I don’t have any dislike or respect for them and that’s not right.
  • My biggest beef is what has happened to the Edmonton Oilers uniform. This is probably the strangest getup I have ever seen. When I first saw this thing I was left speechless and felt dizzy. The Oilers had a beautiful Orange (Not Red), White and Blue Jersey they use to wear when they won Stanley Cups and now they wear Pajamas and their dead last, go figure.

Another issue pertaining to Team Uniforms is the home and away colors. Up to a few years ago teams use to wear their light colored uniforms at home and dark uniforms on the road but for some bizarre reason that has changed, I guess the NHL dislikes its own history. I still believe the old way which was used for decades is a better way because it easier to sell the visiting team as the "Bad Guys" because their wearing dark uniforms and your home team as the "Good Guys" because their wearing white uniforms.


3 Point Game

The NHL used to let regular season games end in ties going back to the early years of their league. They decided a few years back to change games so they don’t end in ties because it was becoming to outdated. But what they are left with today is a more convoluted and less credible system then before.

Problem
The three point game only comes into affect when the game is tied after 60 minutes (regulation time), and then each team is awarded one point and play 5 minutes of Overtime (4 on 4). If no team’s scores then they proceed to the Shootout where each team picks three players and whichever team has the most goals after these six players have shot gets the extra point (if tied, they do it over again) hence the three point game has been created.

Take a look at the standings and see what a mess this has created. By giving a team a point for an overtime loss or shootout loss just ends up fattening their point totals and giving the elusion their better then what they are, talk about Socialism. Why break a sweat and go for the win when you can sit back, trap and go for the tie.

Solution
You could go back to the old 2 point game where you would either get 2 points for a win (0 points for loss) or each team would get 1 point for the tie after 5 minutes of overtime. Why this league can’t just let teams play 20 minute overtime periods (5 on 5) until someone scores like they do in the Playoffs is beyond me. What’s the Deal? Games will end too late, can’t get a flight out of town at 2 o’clock in the morning (they all charter), Donut Shop closes at 12 o’clock. Don’t get me wrong I do enjoy the shootout to help end overtime but it’s starting to look too pretentious.


No-Touch Icing

Problem
The amount of injures over the years that have incurred in the NHL because of their Icing Rule has been enormous. The NHL seems to be the only league in the world that enjoys watching grown (multi million dollar) men racing after a black biscuit at high speeds after it’s dumped down the ice, I guess they like the broken femurs and hip bones popping out of socket when the player looses balance and hits the boards at 30 MPH. Europeans Leagues, College and junior league all have incorporated the “No-Touch Icing” in order to protect their players but the NHL which has the highest player salaries (paid by the fans) has decided it’s not for them.

Solution
Institute the “No-Touch Icing” rule, if the puck is shot hard enough down the ice and over the Center and opposing team’s Goal line it is automatically called icing and is brought back for a face off in the offending team’s zone. If the puck is shot down the ice but it is not hard enough to cross over the opposing team’s goal line then play just continues, no harm no foul.

The logic: “Don’t let 200 pound player’s (soft fleshy creatures with their skeletons on the inside) crash into a hard upright object at high speeds wearing skates because it might end up with a parade to the infirmary”.


Thanks
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