7 Rules The NHL Will Never Implement (But Totally Should)
Tonight the All-Star Game season starts with all the festivities we have come to know and... love is probably too strong a word.
Fastest Skater, Hardest Shot, Most Accurate Shooting; these are a few examples of the things we will see this weekend. There will be a few laughs and funny moments along the way but all in all it will be the same thing we get every year.
If there is one flaw to the National Hockey League as a whole, it's that it has no imagination. Players aren't encouraged to let their personalities shine and the league will always go back to the tried and tested gimmicks and events... boy I can't wait to see which teams play in a mediocre outdoor game next season.
The league needs to spice things up and luckily considering every NHL executive who matters reads my blogs, this information will make it right to the source.
Without further adieu here are 7 new rules the NHL should implement immediately.
1.) Give Divisions Points For All-Star Game Wins
Yes the All Star Game is supposed to be for kids, and yes most players don't want to actually be there, but what if there was a bit more on the line? Have the Pacific play the Central and the Atlantic play the Metro in two 10 minute periods of 5 on 5. The winner of those games each get 1 real point in the NHL standings for their division.
Do the same for the Final with the winner of each previous game playing against each other and the champion earns 2 real points for each team in their division.
Let's say the Pacific Division wins it all, earning and extra 3 points in the standings for each team. Nothing hurts competition within the Division but suddenly the Wild Card position matters with with Pacific teams having a good edge over the Central.
Maybe that'll convince Ovechkin to finally show up.
2.) One Free Playoff Win For The Presidents Trophy Winner
The team that has the best record in the NHL at the end of the season gets a fancy banner and a trophy to say good job. After the amount of aches, pains, blood, sweat, and tears shed after a grueling 82 game season, shouldn't there be more?
Whichever teams earns the most points in the NHL gets an automatic win against their first opponent in the NHL playoffs. That team would still get two home games in a row first, moving to the away team's arena for Game 4.
3.) Draft Playoff Opponents
Imagine the NHL playoffs started today, with the teams currently in a playoff position. The captains of each of these teams are brought to a big event hall with a podium at the centre. Alex Pietrangelo of the 1st place St. Louis Blues takes to the podium and begins to speak.
"The St Louis Blues pick the Calgary Flames as their opponent in the first round"
Mark Giordano walks onto the stage, shakes hands with Pietrangelo and a photo is taken as the first match of the Western Conference Playoffs bracket has been selected.
Next up would be the Avalanche who have more points the the Vancouver Canucks and so on and so forth. The highest point team that hasn't been picked for a match will each have their turn at deciding who their opponent will be.
4.) Remove Offsides On Powerplays
Not all of my brilliant choices are things for off the ice. My head is full of revolutionary changes for the game itself.
Coaches take all the fun out of hockey. Players are taught from an early age how to function within systems and follow the X's and O's. Even 3 on 3 which started as an exhilarating change for the NHL has been over-coached to stagnation.
Some have suggested making powerplays last the full penalty time, regardless of whether a goal is scored or not. That's a great idea but it doesn't go far enough.
Bring back the carefree days of that one cherry picking kid standing in front of the opponent's goalie. Removing offsides would create complete chaos that would be almost uncoachable and thus fun and good. Of course this would also mean that the PK team wouldn't be allowed to freely ice the puck.
Does the PK get risky and plant a player behind the opponents blue-line, risking the 5 on 3 in their own end? Does the powerplay set up with 3 players already in the opponents end and risk suddenly defending an odd man rush? You decide.
5.) Make Cool Goals Count As 2 or More
The NHL has never been more creative than it is right now. Players like Forsberg and Svechnikov are providing highlight reel goals for the masses. If the NHL truly wanted to bank on this new trend they should up the stakes.
The league every year will release a list of moves and techniques that if you are able to score doing any of those, it's automatically worth two points. Maybe make some of them worth more!
Who wouldn't want to hear the announcer say, "Alright the Nashville Predators are down by 3 and it looks like Forsberg is scooping the puck onto his stick from behind his own net and is trying to skate with it to the Golden Knights end. Of course if he is able to score that will be worth 4 goals for his team."
6.) No More Starfishing
I realize that this would end the NHL careers of some prolific players in the NHL but hockey is the fastest sport on ice and fans pay good money to see players skating on their own two feet. By laying on the ground you are neither skating nor playing hockey and therefore not playing the game. Just like a player is penalized for hooking a player to prevent a breakaway, so should a player be penalized for laying down to stop a shot attempt.
7.) On A 5 Minute Major, the PP Team Decides Who Comes Out
5 minute majors are essentially the worst penalty a team can take. Being without a player for a quarter of a period is a tough obstacle to overcome. But is that really enough of a punishment?
Imagine Calgary plays Edmonton and Tkachuk throws a stupid elbow because of course he does and the penalty results in a 5 minute major.
Now the Oilers step to the ice with their top unit powerplay, getting ready to fire pucks onto David Rittich. In addition to that, the Oilers get to pick the four players in front of Rittich. After a brief discussion the Flames are forced to send out Tobias Reider, Milan Lucic, Zac Rinaldo, and Cam Talbot onto the ice. Maybe next time you'll think twice about being a goon Tkachuk.
There you have it, a few new rules that would boost the NHL's ratings by roughly 60-100 million additional viewers. Please leave your own rules suggestions in the comments and I'll make sure they get to the right people.
Thanks for reading.