Five ways we’d change the NHL

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:

  1. 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?
  2. 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?
  3. 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:

  • Cut the season in half so the regular season games actually mean something. That way we'd have playoff style hockey all year. The owners would never go for it because of the initial loss of revenue, but if the games were always meaningful and were played with playoff-like intensity all year, I would think the incresed TV viewership would more than make up for the drop in ticket revenue. Look at the NFL. They only play 16 games a year, and they make billions.

    Also, how about cameras in the boards / plexi-glass every five feet so we have every imaginable angle for every play available to watch? If HNIC could borrow Monday Night Football's cameras and editors for just one game, I swear they could triple their viewership.

    Next, get rid of the stupid Canadian Tire ads they throw in at every little break in the play. This especially infuriates me during Pay Per Views. Ads in pay-per-view?!? I thought I was paying so I didn't have to watch ads.

    Finally; Put Kevin Quinn and Ray Ferraro out to pasture. For the love of God!!

  • They should replace the plexi-glass behind the visitors bench and replace it with just the protective netting.

    In addition, all fans sitting in the first five rows behind the visitors bench could get served booze until the final buzzer of the game.

    From a fan experience standpoint they would be the best seats in the house.

  • Selling booze until the end of the game is a good idea. Try going to a game in Calgary – it's impossible to get a beer and a whiz in an intermission. You end up missing half of the next period. Edmonton's service is WAY faster.

  • Winnipeg and Hamilton could definitely support teams, Quebec City not so sure.

    To make the All-Star game worthwhile, give home ice advantage in the Cup finals to the winning team like baseball does for the World Series.

    Start the season in early September.

  • My five are:

    1. No touch icing.

    2. Drop the instigator penalty.

    3. Players who get penalties in OT, that haven't expired before the shootout, cannot compete in the shootout.

    4. Two points for a win, 1 point for a loss and no points for losing in overtime or shootout.

    5. Cross-over playoff spot if 9th in one conference has more points than 8th in other conference.

  • • Three pucks on the ice at once

    • Remove the glass at each end of the rink

    • Instead of "time-outs," each coach has a button that kills all arena lights for 30 seconds. Can be used at anytime, including while the play is going on.

    • Grease the top of the boards at the players benches for zany, unpredictable line change follies.

    • Award an extra half goal for artistic merit. And conversely, anything that goes in off Ryan Smythe's ass is only worth half a goal. (Final score: Edmonton 5.5, Calgary 3.5)

    • Start each period with a three-man shootout, just to get everyone into the mood.

    • Allow creative, on-site betting at the arena for things like: Time of first penalty. First fight. Total number of goals. Winner/Loser, etc.

  • Ummm Tony, why were you in Calgary at a game? Unless you were doing a recon mission I am very worried. Putting your hard earned Oiler money into the pockets of the flames is Oilers Nation blasphamy. It's the equivalent of buying a Phaneuf jersey. Shame on you Tony….unless you got the tickets for free and wore your Oilers Jersey and threw your beer at Regher! And you shouted "FLEURY SUCKS" repeatedly until the entire crowd broke down in tears from the taunting. Then you would be forgiven my child….

    Oh right improve the NHL….it is hard to improve on perfection (Now I know how K-lowe feels in the mirror each morning) but here we go. Diving would a 5 minute major and no penalty would be called on the other team (I mean we're not a bunch of cheese eating shin grabbing soccer lovers, be a man). Hire hollywoods biggest fans to do our commercials, Jerry Bruckhiemer is a huge fan of the NHL and even approached them about helping out with their ad's and the NHL turned him down, yeah cause the guy who's made Top Gun, Armaggedon and Bad Boys I and II knows nothing about getting people in create more scoring and keep the pace of the game up. They want to add more goals, thats the key. The only reason they started to do that in the first place was because the Oilers were so dominant in in the 80's four on four and the league changed the rule. the "Oiler rule" if you will.

    And finally, abolish the BS obstruction hooking rule. How many times did we see the offensive player grab the defenders stick and hold it in his mid section drawing the whistle. BS! How is it hooking if the other guy has one hand on his stick?

    Change Calgary's colours to pink and aqua marine.

    Move the Leafs to Tampa and Tampa to Hamilton and leave no team in Toronto for us to hear about 24/7 and end their pathetic existence. It is time for the league to offer them the Kavorkian and put them out of their cupless misery.

    Gagner/Obama 08

  • Umm K there were some typo's in that post. please see revised.

    "Hire hollywoods biggest fans to do our commercials, Jerry Bruckhiemer is a huge fan of the NHL and even approached them about helping out with their ad’s and the NHL turned him down, yeah cause the guy who’s made Top Gun, Armaggedon and Bad Boys I and II knows nothing about getting people in the seats and excited.

    4-4 when teams have matching penalties. If you want to get in a fight then the game will be wide open and faster paced because of it. They want to add more goals, thats the key. The only reason they started to do that in the first place was because the Oilers were so dominant in in the 80’s four on four and the league changed the rule. the “Oiler rule” if you will."

    My apologies.

  • 1. Instigator needs to go.

    2. More Canadian teams.

    3. The Allstar game should be to determine which team gets home ice in the Stanley Cup final. Otherwise you're just rewarding a team for being the best team in a lesser conference.

    4. If you're going to make shooting the puck over the glass a penalty, then make sure the glass is the same height in every building.

    5. Give the Oilers the right to match any UFA signing. What's that, you don't want to play in Edmonotn? Well screw you, you're playing here unless we don't want you!

  • I've always thought that Pro-Line's idea of putting a polar bear behind each net sounded pretty exciting. And the personnel ramifications . . . The oilers just signed a new GM? Who the heck cares about that? How long have we got out trainer under contract for?

  • Playoff Series As Follows:
    Game#1 Friday
    Game#2 Saturday
    Travel Sunday
    Game#3 Monday
    Game#4 Tuesday
    Game#5 Thurday
    Game#6 Saturday
    Game#7 Sunday

    One Day Off…Repeat. Cup Rewarded in May!!!

    Let The Vetran Teams Suck Wind. A Playoff Series Need Not Take Two Full Weeks.

    I Don't Care About Scheduling Conflicts… If The NHL Playoffs Are Less Important In Your Market Than A Celine Dion Concert; Move Your Team To Winnipeg!

  • Get rid of stupid instigator rule (screw that nerd betman who got beat up to much in highschool and in the nba)

    No loser points, my god, why do we give anything for being a loser? It just encourages teams like calgary.

    4 division, and in the playoffs, you gotta play your way out of you division fisrt, the confrence finals to win the cup. You wanna see rivalries, watch us kick cal and van's ass every year in the playoffs on our way to wining 5 straight cups, with me in goal!!!!!

    MORE CANADIAN TEAMS, where people actually like and pay to watch HOCKEY!!!!