1991, the last time the Stanley Cup was awarded in May

When I was a kid, I remember older family members and relatives talking about how they wished the Stanley Cup Playoffs would end earlier, like in the “good old days.”

At the time, I couldn’t understand it. At that age, I thought, heck, I’d watch games in August if that’s when Game 7 of the Cup Final was. But as time’s gone by, I’ve begun to understand the qualms with what is practically summer hockey.

I could lie and write that I hope the Devils storm back to force a climactic Game 7, but I won’t. You see, like others who read this blog, I consider myself an extremely passionate sports fan, not just a hockey fan.

And so I see the EURO coming up (Forza Azzurri), I see the NBA Finals just around the corner, I have no rooting interest in the Cup Final right now (I’m the type of sports masochist known as a Leafs fan), I see the forecast of 30-degree days this weekend, and I think to myself, do I really want to be juggling between all of those things and hockey in June?

The answer is no, and based on conversations with friends and even colleagues at The Score, many people feel the same way.

And so I ask, why can’t the National Hockey League just back things up by a couple of weeks?

Shorten the pre-season. Start the regular season in mid-to-late September instead of early-to-mid October. Start the post-season in late March instead of mid-April. Make it so that the Stanley Cup will pretty much always be awarded by the end of May (except in Olympic seasons).

A couple of extra weeks going against the NFL in September shouldn’t hurt that much when you’re already going up against the giant from October-to-January. Plus, this would ensure that like this season (due to the NBA lockout), the NHL Playoffs are always about one full round ahead of the NBA Playoffs, without the league’s Finals coinciding with one another.

Who knows, maybe if the season ended in late May, we’d wish there was more hockey to be played, but I’d rather be left wanting more than wishing the season would end already in a sport I never thought I’d feel that way about.

Who’s with me?

Other than that, here are some morning links:

  • How to build a better bandwagon: Are the Kings too good for L.A. to latch on? (SB Nation) Playing in some more competitive series might have helped, but so would not playing in L.A.
  • Kings fans urged to celebrate responsibly (Los Angeles Times).
  • Putting Jonathan Quick’s performance in perspective (Globe and Mail). As I mentioned last week, when it comes to save percentage and goals against average (not to mention winning percentage), Quick is putting together one of the greatest post-season goaltending performances in NHL history.
  • The Zach Parise free agency derby awaits (NBC Sports).
  • Are the Kings the worst thing to happen to hockey? (Axcess News).
  • If the Kings win Game 4, it might rain ‘Kopistars’ for Anze Kopitar (Puck Daddy).
  • Do the Leafs want to trade up in the draft for Yakupov and Galchenyuk? (Yahoo! Sports) Just like that time the Leafs were going to get John Tavares.
  • Judge orders Bertuzzi, Canucks to reveal details of deal regarding Moore lawsuit (The Vancouver Sun).
  • Marc Bergevin’s hiring of Michel Therrien brings early criticism in Montreal (National Post). While I understand the frustration for some fans, it is a completely different team from top to bottom (including management) since the last time Therrien was there. Other than Andrei Markov, the only thing similar about it is the city.
  • The Hartley-Cloutier connection continues in Calgary (Calgary Herald). The Flames have named Jacques Cloutier their associate coach.