This entire post isn't going to be "Wah wah Gary Bettman needs to go" but he's in here hence the photo.

This entire post isn’t going to be “Wah wah Gary Bettman needs to go” but he’s in here hence the photo.

It’s July. Still. God this month drags for what feels like an eternity. I have no passionate feelings about anything so it’s hard to find a writing topic. New divisions? Whatever. The Minnesota Wild crying poor? Meh. Mikhail Grabovski remaining unsigned? Yeah, what is up with that? NHL GMs, man.

When the passion isn’t there, you can’t force it. That’s how you wind up with a ninth season of Friends and marriage. So instead of forcing it with one of those aforementioned topics (Seriously, if Grabovski winds up somewhere besides the NHL, this league should be embarrassed), I’m doing one of those things about ways to make the NHL better that will never happen but whatever it’s fun.

Some are obvious, some maybe aren’t, some are probably dumb, some are definitely things you’ve heard before. So here’s some stuff about hockey to distract you from your life and job for a few minutes.

1. Gary Bettman stops presenting the Stanley Cup. It’s at a point where everyone – EVERYONE – is aware of how awkward it has become. When a team wins the Stanley Cup, it’s a festive occasion. Fans are cheering, players are laughing and hugging, then Bettman comes out, and it turns into a scene from The Apollo. The entire mood changes. After three lockouts, it’s time to retire this tradition. Let Bill Daly do it. Let literally anyone else on the planet do it. Have a designated historical figure from the team that can clinch that night in the house. If that’s too hard, have a C-list celebrity from True Blood hand out the trophy. Hell, have the owner make a speech and give it to the captain.

If you want to make a case that Bettman isn’t at fault, hey, if you say so, but we’re past the point of blame. It’s time to move on because it’s embarrassing. Why he continues to subject himself to it is a mystery. Maybe it’s a pride thing. But it needs to stop.

Maybe Gary Oldman should present the Cup. Who would be against that?

2. Home teams wear white jerseys again. Seriously. Why did this ever stop being a thing?

3. No-touch icing. Just go all-in, NHL. Hybrid icing isn’t foolproof. No-touch icing is. It’s also a time saver. Just make the immediate leap on a safety rule for once, will ya?

4. Let linesmen call penalties. They already do, in the case of high-stick infractions and too many men penalties. Linesmen have a lot on their plates, what with tracking the puck in relation to blue and red lines along with keeping their heads on swivels to avoid large humans traveling at great speeds who sometimes fire pucks accidentally at their heads. Linesmen are busy, but they could also be a support system for the two referees.

An NBA court is 94 feet in length and 50 feet in width; an NHL ice surface is 200 feet in length and 85 feet in width. Yet the NBA uses three referees to police its players, who also move at a far slower place than those in the NHL. Adding a third referee would clutter the ice surface, so let’s allow linesmen to call any penalty they see. Will they catch everything? No, but it will prevent more penalties from going uncalled. If you have four cops on a stakeout, would it make sense for two of them to be unable to make an arrest if they see a person committing a crime?

What’s the worst that can happen? More power plays? Yeah, sounds terrible.

5. You still get a power play if you score on a delayed penalty – Yeah. What I just said. This should be a thing.

6. Puck over glass no longer a penalty. The rule was created with the best of intentions. Wheezing players trapped in their zone that can’t find a comfortable angle for icing the puck instead flip it into the stands, drawing a whistle and a much-needed change. What better way to knock that off than to punish it by awarding the opposition a two-minute power play?

Here’s the thing – 98.8 percent of the time that penalty is called today, it’s the result of a purely accidental shooting of the puck into the stands. The puck is bouncing or it flattens out on the blade or it’s an innocent attempt to play the puck off the glass and into the neutral zone. It’s like awarding power plays for icing the puck.

Since when the puck is played over the glass intentionally all the team wants is a rest, then treat it like an icing. The faceoff is deep in your zone, no changing of personnel allowed. It’s punishes the infraction far more fairly and playoff games will no longer have a chance to be decided by a misplayed bouncing puck. Yeah, adjusting the rule will result in more players taking advantage of it, but man, who cares? Maybe referees will feel compelled to call real penalties in the playoffs instead of swallowing the whistle out of a misguided sense of “not affecting the outcome of the game” and waiting for a puck to go over the glass.

Let’s meet in the middle and say if a team does it thrice in a period, then it’s a two-minute penalty.

7. Saying “Original Six” results in a fine. Stop saying it. It’s not a real thing. It’s a marketing tool. Unless you work for the NHL, you shouldn’t say it. “It’s dumb” is widely considered to be a poor intellectual argument, but really, “It’s dumb.”

8. A 17-day break every year for a World Cup. Look, I don’t want to make life any harder for the players than it is. The 82-game season is already too long, and squeezing that schedule into a tighter window for the sake of the Olympics only opens the door to more players suffering injuries.

But man, I sure do love Olympic hockey, and by bringing back the World Cup, we will basically have the Olympics every year during the season.

Don’t forget that while this does tighten the schedule, it only makes life worse for the each country’s best players. The Al Montoyas and Blake Comeaus of the world get a built-in holiday every season. The best of the best would play on an international stage every year for two weeks, and I don’t know how that can do anything except build the NHL’s brand. Yeah, injuries, blah blah blah, but if guys are willing to subject themselves to that at the half-assed Worlds (Hi, Eric Staal) after the season, they should be willing to do it in North America (Oh yeah, this thing is taking place in North America every year) during the season.

This would be a treat for the fans, and perhaps this should be considered as reparations to them for three lockouts in 18 years. Yes, there is reportedly a World Cup coming down the pipe in 2016, but A) We could all be dead by 2016, and B) The plan is to hold it in August. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’m thinking players would rather have a slightly more compressed regular season as opposed to an offseason that ends early with games in August. Also, players would be at their best in the middle of the season as opposed to August. My idea is better.

9. The most perfect overtime there is. I know everyone with a keyboard and IQ above 46 has their miraculous way of improving overtime and abandoning the shootout, but shootouts aren’t going anywhere no matter how badly we want to get rid of them (they are hockey’s herpes), but this OT plan is the best and would minimize the herpes outbreaks.

Overtime remains 4-on-4, because 4-on-4 is great and 3-on-3 would simply devolve into a 2-on-1 contest, which is an even goofier way to give away point than a breakaway contest. We take the time to Zamboni the ice after the third period (not a full intermission, 6-7 minutes) and there is one subtle change – teams switch ends to start overtime, thus creating another “period of the long change,” which is also Doc Emrick’s way of describing a 12-year-old girl beginning puberty. The longer change will help create more goals.

After that five-minute session, you know what we have? Another five-minute session! The ice is shoveled and we play another five-minute overtime.  You give an advertiser a little on-screen plug during the ice cleaning and quick Zamboni break before overtime, and we are on our way to more actual hockey and not a shootout.

If all that doesn’t work, fine, go to your shootout.

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10. Pierre McGuire stops calling games. For those of you in Canada, this doesn’t apply to you. Consider yourself lucky you no longer have to deal with this situation and spend the next couple paragraphs accepting the fact Canada isn’t winning a medal in Sochi.

Announcing is very subjective. What I like, you may not. But Pierre McGuire is objectively bad at his job. Is he knowledgeable? About certain things, yeah. Is he a nice guy? I suppose. But he has no idea what he’s doing as a third announcer. He’s there to be sprinkled into a broadcast, much like how Darren Pang does his thing, and make pertinent observations. He’s proven he is unable to do that consistently. McGuire goes into every game with an agenda, and he forces that agenda onto the viewers at home and announcers in the booth, constantly seeking affirmation from Ed Olczyk on everything. While that’s happening, he’s missing action on the ice because he’s only seeing the game through his predetermined prism.

Sure, it’s a great joke, how Pierre speaks directly to Doc and Eddie, but that is a major problem. No other announcer in sports does this, and it’s because every other trained announcer in sports knows he is speaking to the people at home. Hearing “Doc and Eddie” at the start of 40-60 statements per game is intolerable. The fact that Pierre screams when he has a state-of-the-art, top-of-the-line working microphone is also a major problem. I know it’s loud down there, but you have a microphone.

I’m not rooting for someone to become unemployed, but I’m begging for a team to give Pierre the front-office job he craves. Or heck, put him in the studio. You would be doing a service for every hockey fan in the United States.

Also: That amazing Pierre photo is from @KellyIsADIC_ and he deserves all the glory for it.

11. No more GEICO ads with Nicklas Backstrom. Even he knows he can’t act. Let’s put a bullet in those commercials for 2013-14. Fans have been through enough over the past year.

12. Turn up the volume on suspensions – We’ve come a long way since Brendan Shanahan became the NHL’s disciplinarian three years ago, when he was dispensing justice like a cross between Guy Fawkes in V for Vendetta and Willam Munny in The Unforgiven. But as the years have progressed, the length of suspensions have returned to pre-Shanahan levels.

I think Shanahan has done a really good job since taking over. He’s light years more consistent than Colin Campbell ever was at a job where it’s really hard to be consistent. When I see a hit that I think should be suspended, I feel like I’m on the same page as Shanahan 9 out of 10 times, with the occasional Rene Bourque elbow that goes unpunished that leaves me wondering.

What I want to see is Shanahan make punishments more harsh. Guys aren’t learning. They likely never will. My dream is to have Shanahan do his thing, come up with a number for an infraction, then double it. Maintain all the same rules for repeat offenders (although I barf a little knowing Matt Cooke, as much as he’s cleaned up his game, isn’t considered a repeat offender anymore), but just be harsher on any and all offenders. Double everything. That’s what I’d like to see.

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13. Face-off circles in the middle of the ice. During an NHL Research and Development Camp a few years ago, a new idea was given a chance – get rid of the two face-off circles on the left and right side of the offensive zone, and replace them with one face-off circle in the middle. It was a downright genius way to give the offense a slightly better chance at scoring off a faceoff. It was an idea so simple that you couldn’t believe you didn’t think of it.

As you would expect, it was roundly mocked and forgotten about.

The beauty of the centered dot is when you win a draw, both of your defenseman are in prime scoring areas. The center is already in front of the net, and the wingers both have a chance to crash the crease. With the face-off circles positioned how they are now, you need to make an extra pass from the wall to get into a true scoring area. The face-off circle in the center of the zone minimizes the work needed to generate a shot.

Of course, it didn’t pass because it “looked funny” and that was that. I get it. Remember when America decided not to go to the moon because rocket ships “looked funny?” Or when George Lucas said he didn’t want light sabers in his movie because it “looked funny?” Or how about when Jesus Christ decided against dying for our sins because being nailed to a cross “looked funny?”

The NHL sure saved itself from embarrassment there. It would’ve been as bad as going with a Metropolitan Division.

14. You can’t bring horns into games. I mean, why would you even do this in the first place? Do you want to be considered the team’s best super No. 1 awesome cool fan? Do you think you are helping the team win? You’re not. You’re annoying people. It is loud and no one wants to hear it. Look at this poor guy sitting behind the horn guy at Verizon Center. He sure looks like he’s enjoying it. This vuvuzela phenomenon is all the fault of the 2010 World Cup, proving once again that soccer is the worst.

15. Kicking pucks for goals is now legal. The NHL will tell you (and me whenever I bring it up) that there is both rhyme and reason for how they decide if goals should count when pucks bank off skates. Unfortunately, years of video evidence says otherwise. Let’s just say any puck off a skate counts. Is it dangerous for large men with weapons tied to their feet to be kicking and flailing in a crowded area? Sure. If someone loses a foot or finger, we can revisit this. For now, I’m willing to risk the careers of people to avoid the annoyance of video review on pucks that go into the net off skates. Seems fair. Totally sane.

16. No more fighting. It’s pointless. Is it fun? You bet. I’m not above enjoying watching two large human beings punch each other in the face. You ever see those street fight knockout videos on YouTube? Man, I can get lost in those for an hour.

As great as those street fight videos are, I don’t want to watch the people in those videos play hockey. Fighting does nothing for hockey. It doesn’t police players. Despite the existence of fighting for decades, there have always been players taking liberties on the ice. Fighting works as a deterrent about as much as the death penalty prevents murder. People are going to commit murder and hockey players are going to do dumb things, and that’s why cops and referees exist.

Football, baseball and basketball all find a way to exist without fighting. When a quarterback is hit late or a receiver is hit in a dirty fashion, somehow, some way, the team that has been wronged never feels some foolish sense of pride that results in a linebacker and offensive tackle fighting. And even if that fight happened three times a game, it would do nothing to prevent those types of dirty hits anyway.

I’m tired of watching goons who can’t skate get six minutes of ice time in which all they are doing is giving players with actual talent a breather. With the way collision sports are becoming a powder keg of concussions, banning fighting would at least take some of the powder out of the keg. We live in a dumb time. Fifty years from now, assuming the world isn’t under water, we will look back on this time when fighting was a thing in hockey and laugh about it the way we laugh about people thinking the world was flat or Ilya Kovalchuk played for the love of the game.

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16a. Fights to the death. So let’s say you are your team’s enforcer. Your team’s best player gets caught with his head down in the neutral zone and is crushed with a legal hit that sends him helicoptering through the air. Does play continue because the hit was clean? Of course not! You have to fight the guy who hit your guy because in a full-contact sport, you shouldn’t be allowed to make full contact with another player.

What ensues is a dumb fight where the enforcer jumps the other guy, linesmen break it up, the enforcer yells stuff at the clean hitter from the penalty box, idiots argue about it on Twitter for two days.

I say if we are keeping fighting in the game, let’s take fighting to a Game of Thrones level. If two guys want to fight, they fight to the death. Linesmen, get a sandwich and coffee because you’re not needed. I’m tired of this nonsense where one guy stands up for another guy and after 45 seconds of holding and punching, they tap each other on the back and say, “Good fight.” Screw that. Show me you really care about your teammate. Show me you have honor. That other guy dishonored your brother, your teammate, your profession. He has to die. Why just punch him in the face a few times when killing him would send a true message of how much you care about firing up the boys?

Once the gloves are dropped, that’s it. Someone has to die. Technically, as it stands now, someone could die in a fight and no one seems to care about it. Everyone seems to cheer despite those being real consequences of fighting. Let’s take it to another level. Two guys fight, they fall to the ice, now it’s MMA. Forearms to the face, knees to the sternum, hell, take off your skate and try to cut the other guy. Hockey is the toughest game in the world? Prove it to me.

God, fighting is so dumb.

Comments (63)

  1. As to 16b – If your guy dies do you lose the cap hit? If so I’m all for it.

    • Why the Hell would you employ Sean McCullen? This guy is the last person on earth that should be working for the NHL.

      This has got to be some kind of a joke bringing Sean McCullen into working with the NHL. What a disturbing nightmare

      Sean McCullen
      Copy Editor at NHL.com (National Hockey League)

  2. These are some of the best ideas I’ve read on the subject. Except maybe that ‘fight to the death’ thing. World Cup needs to come back (not every years, but regularly), kicking should count, icing for intentional pucks over the glass, etc. Get on the competition committee!

  3. What about shortening the season? Hockey is such a physical sport and having an 81 or 82 game season simply does not make sense.

    • Agreed! Unfortunately it would never happen!

    • Eliminate preseason games! Way too many games

    • The problem with shortening the season is that it lowers revenues – fewer games to sell tickets for, sell concessions at, earn TV revenue from, etc. – which neither the owners nor the players would ever go for. However, it could go nicely in conjunction with an annual World Cup of Hockey if the NHL partnered with it. If the season were cut down to, say, 70 games, that would eliminate the need to compress the schedule in order to take a 2 1/2 week break for the World Cup of Hockey. And if the NHL had a financial stake in such a tournament perhaps they would be able to earn back enough of the revenue that they’d be losing by eliminating 180 regular season games (12 games per team times 30 teams divided by 2 teams per game) to make it worthwhile.

      • Pete for commish!!

      • this is not necessarily true. one can imagine a scenario in which there are fewer games, but equal or greater tv revenue, since the games are more meaningful and get better ratings. that said, you are absolutely correct in stating that shortening will never happen.

    • They shorten the season every five or six years now. Just wait until the CBA expires.

  4. Decent list….touch icing needs to go…and so do Bettman & McGuire…the overtime idea is a good idea….the faceoff idea not so much – give the goalies a break after they’ve made a stop and smothered the puck….no appetite for a World Cup from me – I’d a rather a shorter more intense season….and fighting is a good thing if they eliminate the instigator rule…staged fights between guys who are no good at hockey are useless…being able to drop the gloves and beat the snot out of someone who just high sticked a teammate would act as a deterent to carelessness with the stick…fighting in hockey began as a way to ‘warn’ guys about playing cleaner in the future…there are a lot of guys in the NHL who could use that sort of lesson….losing the instigator rule would make for open season on a lot of guys who could use a few shots in the face…

  5. This is the best thing you’ve ever written.

  6. Gosh, it sounds like you’re describing NCAA hockey, with a few exceptions!

  7. Why on earth would you want teams to wear their white jerseys at home? That’s easily in my top five most hated things about the NBA. No one wants a white jersey. If I’m going to a home game I want to wear my team’s colors and see them wearing those colors as well. White jerseys are stupid.

    • I love seeing the different dark jerseys coming through my arena. If your home team is always in their darks, and the road team is always in their whites, most games look the same.

      It’s more visually appealing.

    • PRECISELY what I was thinking!!

    • Agreed with Ryan, I still remember when the Raps had a “red-out” when they made the playoffs against NJ and Vince Carter. Of course the raps were wearing white and New Jersey decided on their red jerseys.
      Plus a majority buy jerseys with colours in ‘em, they’re usually much more visually appealing, and you would like to wear the same jersey as your team on the ice.

    • White jerseys for home was always the tradition for decades until after the lost-season lockout. It was a gimmick by the NHL to show how things had changed, but it was completely superficial. White jerseys should be the home color.

  8. #5 sounds good but we would miss out on watching the guilty player sheepishly glide out of the box during the other team’s goal celebration, come on now

    • You missed the point of #5. You still get that satisfaction if the player is already in the box. Dave is suggesting if you hook a player on a play that ends up with the puck in the net, then you still spend the next 2 minutes (or until a PP goal is scored, whichever comes first) in the box. As it is now, the goal wipes the penalty off the board.

      • Thanks for the clarification. I must have ignored the word delayed because it’s relatively big word, I’m completely braindead today.

  9. Use the NBA technical foul system for fighting. I’m setting it at 8 but it can be any number. 8 fights and your suspended a game. 10 fights and your suspended 2 games. 12 fights and your suspended 3 games and coach is suspended for 1. Every player get 7 free fights and it would enforcers think twice before they fight for no good reason. This needs to happen.

    • So basically copy the OHL’s rule on fighting?

      It’s an interesting concept, but in practice it would never work. Every team would be like “Oh, you’re approaching your 8th fight? Well then we’ll send you back down to the AHL and replace you with another face puncher we’ve got down there.” It wouldn’t get any of the pointless staged fights out of the NHL, it would just increase employment opportunities for knuckle draggers who don’t bring any actual skill to the table since any team that wants to employ a face-punching “enforcer” would then be forced to carry several extras to rotate through

  10. I’m all for #7 happening immediately.

  11. I agree with most but definitely NOT #2. Every team has a white jersey of course and usually they are the less aesthetically pleasing of the two (or 3 if you count alternates) so why would you want to go back to the boring and bland white jerseys for the home team? Seems silly to me. Pretty much everything else on this list is spot on – dunno about the centered face-off circles inside the zones, although that is something i would like to see in some preseason games so i could get an idea of how it plays out.

  12. I vehemently oppose home teams wearing white, but it’s very much related to being a ‘Hawks fan. Home teams wore white back when $ Bill Wirtz was running the team into the ground and refusing to allow home games to be broadcast on TV, many Chicagoans associate the ‘Hawks wearing white at the United Center with a truly dark place emotionally…

  13. The faceoff dot is a good idea but it would never happen because of the referees. The linesman dropping the puck is in no mans land in front of the net if the puck goes back to the dman on the side hes on. Throw in a couple wingers pinching in on the dot and hes left open to get hit with the shot, or forcing the pass to the other guy like you have with the faceoffs in the corner.

  14. When did “that’s dumb” or “you’re dumb” become an intellectually acceptable argument?

  15. I would like to see a short season…maybe 65-70 games….I really am only interested in the good play off hockey…plus cuts the season down by a few weeks……

  16. You should include 17) – lose the singing of the national anthems at the start of every game (every professional sport league should stop this). It does not make sense, players are not playing for the countries the game is being played in and a good percentage of them are international players.

    This does not mean delaying the start of every game 5 to 10 minutes so we can have more of the talking heads, it means start the game at the scheduled start time. You do not need filler to allow fans to get into their seats they will adjust their schedule to be there at game time.

    Before getting all patriotic on your responses, think about it: no more awkwardness of some poor person forgetting a line or two, or singing to the tune of a wholly different song. Do not have to worry about a military type hanging a county’s flag up-side down accidentally. In Vancouver you do not have to wonder what is happing to the Opera singer that performs the anthems that used to weight 300 lbs and is now only 120 lbs. And you really do not want to keep these open competitions by some performers to see how long they can extend the singing of the Star-Spangled Banner and break eardrums in the pitch they can take it to.

    Just stop this nonsense!

    • I agree. Im tired of turning on games that start at 5pm at 510 only to find the puck still hasnt dropped. If I wanted to watch not hockey I would watch the pregame show.

    • I get your point, but in places like Vancouver and Chicago, we have traditions built around the anthem (Vancouver: everyone sings along, Chicago: cheering). I would miss that a lot.

  17. #2. Home teams wore dark jerseys up until 1967. My opinion is going to white jerseys would be just dumb. Teams won’t be able to market stuff like “Rock the red”. Just my opinion though.

    #10 Us Canadians still have to suffer with McGuire. With his random appearances on TSN and frequent appearances on sports talk radio.

  18. “13. Face-off circles in the middle of the ice.”

    No, no, no, no, no, no no, no, no. Also, no.

    Maybe we can put Pierre McGuire in the middle of the ice. I like that idea, though I would be looking for an increase in concussions if we made that change.

  19. “1. Gary Bettman stops presenting the Stanley Cup.”

    Every time I watch the last game of the SCF with someone who isn’t a reasonably hard-core hockey fan, they ask either “Why are they booing their own team?” or “Why are they being so classless as to boo the winners?” Yep, someone else needs to hand out the cup.

  20. Ive kicked forwards for trapping the puck with their feet along the boards. Hard.
    Ive kicked defensemen for laying down on top of the puck in their own zone. Hard.

    Letting people kick “at pucks” will just result in a lot of people kicking each other “accidentally”. Its a really bad idea.

    • Yeah, the kicking with knives on your feet at the puck is a bad idea. Revisit it when someone really is hurt makes no sense if you are a proponent for no touch icing.

  21. I am amazed at how many of these items I whole-heartedly agreeEsp with.

    Especially the “leave your horn at home” item. Unless you bring a trumpet, and can actually play the Cavalry Charge Bugle Call (and possibly one other traditional hockey-related bugle call) on it, then leave your goddamn air horn at home, or shove it up your ass.

    Your overtime sounds awesome. Losing the over-the-glass penalty? Awesome. I want you to be seated in an NHL office before the end of the month.

    But no moving the faceoff circles. Come on, man.

  22. shorter schedule? fuck that.. noone will ever get to 100 points, 50 goals or even 40 wins as a goalie again.. gay

  23. “Fighting does nothing for hockey”

    Embarrassing comment from somebody who is supposed to be a hockey journalist, shows a fundamental lack of understanding about hockey.

    • A fundamental lack of understanding? It shows that?

      I assume you mean he doesn’t understand that fighting let’s players “police” the game. The author made the point that fighting has been around forever, and players still take cheap shots.
      They don’t fight in the Olympics, and the hockey is amazing. I believe the problem is that some players don’t respect one another enough to not make a dirty play. I might also have to do with people thinking that a player who plays “on the edge” is a good hockey player. Fans have a secret perversion for dirty players, but they also love to see them get beat down.
      Anyway, for me that’s not hockey, but I have a fundamental lack of understanding of it too.

  24. Get rid of the trapezoid behind the net. We will never see a puck playing goalie again post Brodeur.

  25. you forgot #17 – Delete Dave Lozo’s blog from The Score.
    I didn’t read “your” ideas because it has been mentioned in many forums and internet sites before. i saw your titles and came down to this comment section to tell you again how you are just an attention craver and don’t really care about the great game of hockey. As witnessed by some of comments above, I am not the only one that thinks this way.

  26. Take out 10 teams.

  27. No touch icing–yes. Get rid of fighting–no. I would be all for finding a way to get rid of the “staged” fights. They’re just a sideshow….kind of a “my dad can beat up your dad” thing. Fighting should be a result of some kind of passion or on-ice incident that needs to be addressed. I love the tough guys who can play….Gillies, Probert, Secord…those guys contributed to the team…Probert probably the closest to a “goon”, but he did make an All Star team. Secord had a year where he scored 54 goals and had more than 200 pims. If the NHL wanted to get rid of fighting, they would. I go back to the bench-clearing brawl days. When they finally decided to do it, the NHL eliminated them almost over night. I really don’t know how to get rid of the staged fights. If the league cut the roster size from 20-19…would that do it? Probably not. Until those staged fights have a negative effect on the team…they will continue to exist.

    I grew up in Detroit and always loved the Wings home/white jerseys. I still do….the red jerseys are fairly plain. When the league announced the jersey change, the Wings’ marketing people were ecstatic. Go to a Detroit game and you see about a 5-1 ratio of white to red jerseys…..that also happened to be the sales ratio. Since the change, the licensing numbers show that the red jerseys have become more popular, but the white still outsells the red about 3-1.

  28. Presenting the Stanley Cup should be handled like lighting of the Olympic Flame during the Opening Ceremonies. First, choose someone respectable who is worth bestowing the honour upon. Second, the identity should be kept a secret until the Cup is brought out onto the ice. Start with Howe, Beliveau, Bower, Mikita, Orr, Salming, Henri Richard, etc.

  29. I bet the one faceoff circle made it look like boobs on ice.

  30. I agree 100% and love your illustrations even more.My name is Nadia – and I will make your fantasies come true
    I’m a top-notch model, elite porn star and skilled adult entertainer. I am a featured star in Penthouse and Hustler.

  31. The comment about fighting and concussions seems patently ridiculous even without reflecting on it.

    If your concern for fighting has anything to do with concussions, then ban physical contact alltogether. The hits against the boards, and crease scrums do far more damage, and are a far greater safety concern than fights ever or will be. A staged fight typically involves two guys who spend most of their time in the AHL.

    Hits, however, involve everyone…from inexplicably bought out centers by barely sentient potatoes (read: Nonis, David), to star centers, to elite defensemen. A disease like Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy generally effects those who experience middling hits often. This is why you’re more likely to see an NFL lineman get CTE instead of a running back, or safety.

    Banning fighting does zero to help player safety except make savages like me disappointed I don’t get to see one of my favorite Dallas Stars (Jamie Benn) have a nice punch in the face contest with Jarome Iginla or something. I realize much of your post was facetious, and this article is indeed fantastic (the Game of Thrones reference is almost overshadowed by the Pierre pic), but you seemed serious with 16, and I’m calling bullshite on that one.

  32. great read, loved all the ideas (including to the death to end the waste of time fighting provides)

  33. I agree with pretty much all of them.

    Also, how dumb is the delayed penalty goal negating the PP? You can pull the goalie at any time. It’s not like you have seven skaters out there.

  34. “Seriously. Why did this ever stop being a thing?”

    Two reasons:

    1. Dark alternate jerseys sell more than light ones (the Rangers were the best example of this – their dark Lady Liberty VASTLY outsold the white one), so teams wanted to wear those at home to showcase them more.

    2. With teams wearing white at home, but largely wearing dark alternates (see above), teams had to pack two sets of jerseys on road trips if even one of the teams they were playing was wearing an alternate. That was a major annoyance for the equipment staff.

    Now, I think you’re going to see it eventually, but with the proviso that all of the alternate jerseys will have to be white-based to eliminate the problem from #2. That’ll give Reebok an excuse to roll out 30 new jerseys, which they’ll like.

  35. They should make a rule where each team , .. only geets one player rated over 85… everyone always uses the penguins, its so gay.. also all you lozo haters, h gets more reads than these other douchers on the score combined….

  36. Shortening the season to 70 games would make it more meaningful. I also wonder if it would lead to a decrease in injuries as players would have a longer offseason to recover, even if they went deep in the playoffs.

    One other thing that should be at least tried is a MLB type schedule where teams play a mini 2 or 3 game series against each other in one city during the regular season. I don’t understand why this hasn’t been tried in the Western Conference where the travel schedule is brutal.

  37. I agree a shortened season (70 games) would be good for a number of reasons. The injury factor is one of them, but I also know most NHL coaches would love to have more practice time. Shortening the season would also decrease team revenues…I wonder how many players would be willing to cut their salary proportionately to a shortened season.

  38. no blacks.. and no jews

  39. Hmm Grantland just did a piece like this. Lots of the same points…

  40. The best point is #10. The worst is #5.

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