How to fix the NHL?

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How to fix the NHL?

Postby Pavel Bure on Thu Aug 08, 2013 3:55 pm

http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/953 ... w-fix-nhl/

First, though, a word about realism. On the one hand, in order for this to work, we have to pretend this whole exercise is taking place in a fantasyland where the people who run the NHL are actually open to fixing anything, as opposed to being an old boys' club too paralyzed by tradition and turf protection to make common-sense changes.

But on the other, we have to be at least somewhat realistic here. So before we get to the fixes, let's lay out a few key ground rules:

• We can't fire Gary Bettman. Two reasons for this one. First, nobody wants to read a "How to Fix the NHL" post that's three words long. And more importantly, Bettman is under contract through at least 2015, and the owners seem to love him. He's not going anywhere until he decides he wants to, and we may as well just accept that.

• No contracting teams. Proposals for improving the league always seem to end up involving contraction, based on the assumption that there are too many teams in bad markets watering down the talent level. But again, we have to defer to reality here. There is no chance that a league as focused on growth as the NHL is suddenly going to reverse course and start dropping teams. If anything, we should expect another round of expansion soon...


These articles are usually pretty good I'm in the middle of reading it and it is interesting.
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Re: How to fix the NHL?

Postby Crankshaft on Thu Aug 08, 2013 4:02 pm

I think expansion would be a good thing, as long as it's done logically. Moving to Phoenix/Atlanta/Miami was a long shot. Now, cities like Portland/Seattle/Toronto do make sense.
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Re: How to fix the NHL?

Postby brwi on Thu Aug 08, 2013 8:11 pm

It's a very good read. Well-written, logical and with a touch of humor. I also happen to agree with a good portion of his suggestions :D
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Re: How to fix the NHL?

Postby Rylan on Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:14 am

brwi wrote:It's a very good read. Well-written, logical and with a touch of humor. I also happen to agree with a good portion of his suggestions :D


I disagreed with a lot of his suggestions from part 2 onwards.
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Re: How to fix the NHL?

Postby Beveridge on Fri Aug 09, 2013 11:40 am

I've probably lost a few of you already, because you hate offense and excitement and fun. (Hello, Jacques Martin!)



I'm a fan of that draft idea. I'm sure there are holes to be punched in it, but at the surface I like it.
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Re: How to fix the NHL?

Postby no name on Fri Aug 09, 2013 11:51 am

It all comes down to the CBA, is it benificial to the owners and league as a whole. Its up to the team owners to sell tickets in their city and get favorable TV and arena deals. To stabilize the league you need for each franchise to stablize themselves. This new CBA is a way for owners to stop bleeding money and bring it to a small trickle. Lets face it there will always be some franchises losing money. They just need to minimize the loses so it doesn't bring the league down as a whole. Once a team loses money its up to them to ride it until the team starts winning and the fans come back .

The CBA honestly is ment to protect the owners from themselves in modern sports. They have no restraint to do the right thing for their business they just try to win no matter the cost or loss of money. This hurts the league, if each owner ran their team focusing on making a profit, the league as a whole would be more secure.
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Re: How to fix the NHL?

Postby Fast B on Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:36 pm

If an NFL wide receiver started comically flopping around to draw pass interference on every second play, every football broadcast for the next week would mock him mercilessly, and that's at least part of the reason you rarely see it.


I generally liked the article, but this stuck out as crap. Don't receivers in football do this sort of nonsense constantly? Just look at Baltimore.
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Re: How to fix the NHL?

Postby Rylan on Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:38 pm

Fast B wrote:
If an NFL wide receiver started comically flopping around to draw pass interference on every second play, every football broadcast for the next week would mock him mercilessly, and that's at least part of the reason you rarely see it.


I generally liked the article, but this stuck out as crap. Don't receivers in football do this sort of nonsense constantly? Just look at Baltimore.


Yes they do. And then they do the universal "flag throw" motion which triggers the actual flag throw.
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Re: How to fix the NHL?

Postby Pitt87 on Fri Aug 09, 2013 2:33 pm

Rylan wrote:
Fast B wrote:
If an NFL wide receiver started comically flopping around to draw pass interference on every second play, every football broadcast for the next week would mock him mercilessly, and that's at least part of the reason you rarely see it.


I generally liked the article, but this stuck out as crap. Don't receivers in football do this sort of nonsense constantly? Just look at Baltimore.


Yes they do. And then they do the universal "flag throw" motion which triggers the actual flag throw.


Thats the part I think should be illegal. If you get up and ask for a penalty or signal for a flag, I think you earned a 15 yard unsportsmanlike penalty regardless of an interference call.

Sports in general need to keep players from officiating. Start there, and sort out the rules on the field/ice. I think the NHL should also start reviewing penalties and handing out fines and suspensions for diving. The phantom head-snap treads on obnoxious-soccer-flop territory.
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Re: How to fix the NHL?

Postby largegarlic on Fri Aug 09, 2013 2:55 pm

Beveridge wrote:
I've probably lost a few of you already, because you hate offense and excitement and fun. (Hello, Jacques Martin!)



I'm a fan of that draft idea. I'm sure there are holes to be punched in it, but at the surface I like it.


I really liked that draft idea too. It would definitely make the end of the year more interesting for teams out of the playoff picture (and their fans).
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Re: How to fix the NHL?

Postby Rylan on Fri Aug 09, 2013 3:13 pm

largegarlic wrote:
Beveridge wrote:
I've probably lost a few of you already, because you hate offense and excitement and fun. (Hello, Jacques Martin!)



I'm a fan of that draft idea. I'm sure there are holes to be punched in it, but at the surface I like it.


I really liked that draft idea too. It would definitely make the end of the year more interesting for teams out of the playoff picture (and their fans).


The issue is that bad teams are still going to be bad. It changes the deadline, since no one could be sellers, it changes trade strategy since getting rid of better aging players in exchange for building a future, and it changes managing teams going forward. Its a terrible gimmick to only focus on the current situations. But its not going to be more fun for the fans, because their team is still terrible. It won't make the players work harder. It will make the rich get richer and the poor get poorer as it plays out. The system is fine as is, leave it be and continue on with your day.
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Re: How to fix the NHL?

Postby the wicked child on Fri Aug 09, 2013 4:03 pm

The draft idea is absolutely terrible.
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Re: How to fix the NHL?

Postby IMFC on Sat Aug 10, 2013 3:59 pm

I'd like to see the net raised maybe an inch or 2 - side to side seems fine, but the butterfly forces too fine of a snipe upstairs. I'm always for taking away a 'technique' that artificially negates talent - make 'em stand up a little more.

Then, grabbing and hooking/slashing are for losers that got their lame asses out of position, stop rewarding them. Any stick used on a person is a penalty - it's totally retarded right now, relentless slashing and hooking that just ruins any skill and rewards morons like Chara for having 20 foot long sticks. I'm not even sure its the size of the players that's messed up the spacing so much as the length and usage of sticks. Blech, hate it.
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Re: How to fix the NHL?

Postby mikey287 on Sat Aug 10, 2013 7:06 pm

Just glancing at subject lines in order...

- The loser point: It looks sillier now with the stupid shootout thing we have. It's a shame the players won't allow a 10-minute OT. Fine with a system where all games are worth the same in aggregate points pretty much. I'd like to see a team get a point for making it to the shootout, because they didn't lose a hockey game. So I guess that leaves me at 3-2-1-0.

- Puck over the glass (unless 100% obviously intentional) should be penalized like an icing, that works for me.

- I don't care to see any changes made to icing, personally. But I'm in the minority I guess anymore...

- I'd be fine if dives were reviewed. It's tough to call a dive in live speed, it really is. Even at lower levels that I've reffed, it can be tough. Review them, fine them, suspend them, whatever you want...

- No reason to change the Cup presentation

- I don't care if you increase offense (not the problem), just increase the quality of the product. Sometimes offense is a byproduct of that, sometimes it's not. Goals =/= excitement in any sort of 1:1 ratio.

- Bigger nets is horrible, of course, because they've been this way for 100 years and nothing much has changed. Fine, the average player is a couple inches taller, that's nice. The problem is the goalie pads (they have changed, quite dramatically might I add), that's obvious to everyone. Start weeding it out or it will never go away. Look at how bad most Canadian goalies are today...they've done it to themselves. They were borrowing talent on margin and the bubble has burst.

- I don't care for any changes to the draft as tanking is not an issue in the league, period. 1983 and 1992, notwithstanding, the league just hasn't had a problem with it. Why inhibit a legitimately rebuilding team from infusing youth into their lineup and letting it get experience in exchange for this fabled stance of "they finished last they must be losing on purpose..." ...does anyone realize that beyond the emotions of the whole thing, multi-million dollar jobs are on the line? People need to get over the fact that one team has to finish last. Not pictured: draft picks are chances in and of themselves. They aren't worth their weight in gold.

- You get a stride to finish your check on a player, more than that is a penalty. Fine. I don't know what they're talking about in the article. You get a stride, that's all.

- Lose the instigator, let the players handle things that players need to handle. You let these rats in the league get their **** pounded in once in a while and they'll start to clean up their act a little. Aren't they penalizing now for removing helmets in a fight or some such? So now they're forcing visors on you and making you keep your helmet on for fighting? I'm not sure if I'm remembering that right, but if so, that's total bunk...I'm not even a fan of fighting, I've changed the channel when a fight has come on before, but it definitely has a place in the game. It's part of the fabric of the game.

- The NHL already has rules on jersey re-designing/re-branding. Home teams wear home team colors, not white. White is what you wear on the road.

- Information availability - I'm indifferent about. We get the information pretty quickly and easily anyway. In fact, typically before the press release from the club.

- Obviously we don't need this many outdoor games, the novelty has quickly worn off.
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Re: How to fix the NHL?

Postby Rylan on Sun Aug 11, 2013 5:25 am

Yep mikey pretty much. Scoring is only exciting when it is rare. See basketball where scoring is easy and how it takes runs to create excitement. Heck watch lacrosse and its similar where goals are nothing more than just another goal. No real excitement.

In hockey there is a build up to scoring. Every chance creates the excitement. Scoring is not what creates excitement, it is the result of building up to a goal that creates the euphoria of a goal. Lots of goals is not the answer to that.

That said, goalies are over-padded and that needs fixed. There is no reason for goalies to be as big as they are aside from just taking up more space.

As for outdoor games, I think we as Pens fans are spoiled having had 2 outdoor games in a short amount of time. Allowing for some other teams that would never be in a one off game. It really isn't for TV anymore aside from the main Winter Classic. It will be good for NYC this year with the 3 teams playing outside. Acting like the outdoor games are negative or silly is no good. I think its a saturated market, but getting other teams other than the same 6 playing in a still rare event is cool in my book.
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Re: How to fix the NHL?

Postby shmenguin on Sun Aug 11, 2013 10:05 am

Bigger nets doesn't do anything for me. Smaller pads, I like. And enforcing interference. Even past round 2 of the playoffs (crazy, I know). Maybe every once in a while, 2006 needs to happen, where breathing on a guy gets you 2 minutes. It's not good hockey, but it resets the standards, which will last for a few years.
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Re: How to fix the NHL?

Postby Pavel Bure on Sun Aug 11, 2013 11:52 am

Smaller pads, at least to the size they were in the late 80's early 90's is not going to happen that's why the bigger nets was brought up. I can absolutely buy into 2 inches taller and an inch wider on each side. It solves the big pad problem all by itself. The smaller pads argument has been going on for what, a decade? It's not going to happen. Bigger nets makes a ton of sense and like the article said those extra couple inches will help the players but anyone watching the game won't notice beyond knowing it's been done. You're lying if you say you'd notice it. Additionally using basketball as an argument against higher scoring is beyond laughable, it has zero 1 to 1 comparison value. Football would be a better comparison in terms of Touchdown excitement and the suggestions for hockey are pretty similar but you'd get what at max 2 more goals a game? Lets not act like that would somehow cheapen the excitement of a goal. Especially while on one hand advocating for smaller equipment and scoring like the early 90's and then scoffing at inches added to the net to get those results.
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Re: How to fix the NHL?

Postby Rylan on Sun Aug 11, 2013 1:08 pm

I have never once stated I want scoring of the early 90s. I want smaller pads because currently padding makes up for a goalie's mistakes anymore. The butterfly has become too effective in part because of the fact that goalies are taking up more space than ever. How about instead of doing a stupid work around making the nets bigger, you actually address the issue at hand. Goalie equipment can indeed shrink a helluva lot before it would risk the goalie's health.

Smaller pads debate has been going on for a decade, but it hasn't been until recently that it has gotten serious looks by the NHL. So, yes it can be fixed, but it will take 3-5 years before we see if they go far enough. Making the nets bigger will only mean goalies will get larger equipment. Does nothing to fix the problem as previously stated by me. I do not need early 90s pads, but the current equipment is laughable.

The basketball comparison was hyperbolic to get my point across. I then moved to a more apt comparison with lacrosse that further advanced my thought process to a more realistic comparison.

Image

That is what I want goalie equipment to look like. You will notice it is much more form fitting. The jersey is taunt. The the thigh rises aren't to his nipples. His pants are tighter. The upper body is not bulging out, but instead fits Roy's form. The blocker and glove are not excessively large.

That is pretty much where I want goalies equipment.

I will leave you with the reigning Stanley Cup champion:

Image
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Re: How to fix the NHL?

Postby shmenguin on Sun Aug 11, 2013 2:19 pm

I agree with pavel bure, in that there is an implicit excitement in scoring a goal, and in that sense: more goals = more excitement. And the entertainment wouldn't be cheapened by adding inorganic offense. I think football is a better product when guys are breaking passing records every year, even though some people think it's cheap. It's simply more entertaining. But I get the "purist" POV as well
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Re: How to fix the NHL?

Postby IMFC on Sun Aug 11, 2013 2:56 pm

I don't want to see anything that articially makes either more OR less scoring. Baseball's steroids - blech, no thanks.

But anyone that wants to turn hockey into soccer/mma/nascar, where morons sit around for 98% of the contest HOPING something will happen, then freaking out when it does - NO THANK YOU.

Scoring should be challenging, not artificially nearly impossible, and defensive technique respected.
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Re: How to fix the NHL?

Postby shmenguin on Sun Aug 11, 2013 3:12 pm

Baseball was never more entertaining in my lifetime than during the steroid era.
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Re: How to fix the NHL?

Postby Pavel Bure on Sun Aug 11, 2013 3:16 pm

shmenguin wrote:Baseball was never more entertaining in my lifetime than during the steroid era.

True story. The whole homerun race that dominated not just the sports pages but the FRONT PAGES of newspapers everywhere was the best time baseball has ever had. It was never more popular.
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Re: How to fix the NHL?

Postby MRandall25 on Sun Aug 11, 2013 3:43 pm

Hockey isn't baseball, though. I don't think that making every game a 7-6 game will draw in fans and put hockey on the front pages.
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Re: How to fix the NHL?

Postby Pavel Bure on Sun Aug 11, 2013 3:54 pm

MRandall25 wrote:Hockey isn't baseball, though. I don't think that making every game a 7-6 game will draw in fans and put hockey on the front pages.

And the article isn't talking about turning every game into a 7-6 game. It's talking about increasing the average goals per game to a total average of 7 per game (a whole 1.5 more GPG than the current model) and the method of doing this isn't crazy. Adding as he said in the article, "An inch or 2" all the way around the net increases scoring while keeping it meaningful and forces the goalie to use more skill than pad size to make stops. It's very odd that we as fans and those in charge are so reluctant to change that it has caused multiple lockouts. The majority of hockey people are so adverse to change that the clutching and grabbing that has made its way back into the NHL isn't being viewed as regression it's viewed as restoring a balance by many in the old boys club. I like the quote below quite a bit and as I said above reducing pad size has been a topic for a while but it's the "abortion talking point" of the NHL. People say they care a lot about it but no one really does and they only say something to appease the masses.

But understand that allowing the goalies to get so much bigger while the net stays the same size is already a change, and the stats reflect that.
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Re: How to fix the NHL?

Postby shmenguin on Sun Aug 11, 2013 4:04 pm

my priority would be making pads smaller. if that's too difficult to change/enforce, the net should be bigger.

so what exactly is the challenge with the pads? is it getting companies to manufacture new equipment? is it too impractical to enforce it down through all levels of hockey, where the cost becomes prohibitive? or is it just too difficult to enforce?

if the official story is that last one, i don't buy it.
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