There is a kick-ass series of articles going around on the interwebs about what people would do to change the NHL. Given that it’s August 26, the season is 47 days away (thank you, damn countdown clock) and it’s a fun game to play, we shall throw our $0.25 into the topic.
Bring team(s) back to Canada
There was far too much talk during the mid 90s about how every team should pull up stakes and move south of the border. Let’s fast-forward 10 to 12 years. Many American markets’ economies are in ruin, teams are consistently underperforming and fan bases are apt to go outside for an intermission cigarillo, never to return. Meanwhile, the Canadian dollar is strong, many Canadian markets are seeing strong economic growth, and—this just in!—Canadians love hockey.
Personally we think the top three cities that deserve a team are:
- Quebec City—Man, the Nords-Habs rivalry was awesome. Remember that game in the 1980s when everyone started brawling and they had to turn off the lights inside Le Colisee? Wasn’t that great?
- Winnipeg—Watching the Jets leave Winnipeg broke our 15-year-old heart. Watching the Coyotes operate their hockey club offends our 27-year-old sensibilities. Knowing Gretzky is somehow involved in this mess hurts our 94-year-old liver. Bring the Coyotes back to Winnipeg, somehow magically adding 3,000 seats to the MTS Centre. Then you have something. Plus our brother-in-law who lives in Winnipeg would be so pumped. Damn it, what more does the NHL need?
- Hamilton—If BlackBerry Balsillie wants an NHL team, give him one. We wanted a BlackBerry and he gave us one, so society should return the favour. Plus it would be grand to watch a new divisional rival kick the crap out of the Leafs, and see long time Hamiltonians burn their Jeff Finger jerseys from the joy of having a better team to cheer for, finally.
Get proper marketing at NHL head office
“Americans don’t like fighting”—Gary Bettman, Commissioner of the NHL
“Pardon me, you are standing too close to my solid gold Bentley”—Dana White, owner of the UFC.
There are some real head scratchers coming out of NHL head office most days. The fighting disconnect is one of them. The UFC is huge. Hasselhoff-in-Germany huge. The fact that human cockfighting can rise up to the point where it has multiple TV deals, and the NHL still languishes on ESPN Ocho should have someone doing some firing in NYC at the head offices.
Plus every ad campaign they do is so terrible. “Is this the year that someone scores 50 in 39?” Is this the year that we step in front of the 4:20 LRT to Castledowns so that we don’t have to bear witness to another NHL ad?
No, we won’t do that. Then they win.
Retool the All-Star game
The All-Star game is about as interesting as being in Rona for three hours deciding between “Egg Shell White” and “Optimum White.” And we used to entertain ourselves for hours making a GI Joe action figure fight a Transformer. How can Joe win? Transformers are made of metal!
The All-Star game is dumb. They should have it in a non-NHL city at the very least, so that people in Winnipeg can see a game. Or they could have All-Stars play the Stanley Cup champs like they used to back in the day. Or they could hire special effects people to make it look like a sniper took out the referee during play. As his blood spurts everywhere and the fans start screaming, the scoreboard can read “Just kidding!” Then the ref gets up, skates over to the microphone in the penalty box and declares that the 36th Olympiad in Athens is officially open.
That would be a good All-Star game.
Start the season 3 weeks earlier
The second week of October is a too damn late for the season to start, particularly when it goes until mid-June. Hockey should start in the third week of September, and shouldn’t end any later than the third week in May.
Bring back the glowing puck
Wasn’t that awesome? Didn’t it make the game easier to watch? Didn’t you just want to invest $150 million of your own money to bring a team to Austin, Texas?
What would you do Nation?
For other smart people who have played this game follow the links below: