Every hockey fan has an opinion about how to run the NHL. There is no question that the league is really hurting right now. Something needs to be done, and fast. Here are a few ideas that I have to make the league more profitable for its teams, and more enjoyable for it’s fans.


The NHL should install a strict salary cap on all NHL franchises. Total team salary must be less than, or equal to $36 million dollars. This amount is affordable to all current NHL franchises, and would make events like free-agent signings an equal opportunity for all teams.


The quick-faceoff rule is outstanding. It has sped up the games so much. One more rule that would help speed up games, and make the game much safer is the automatic icing. Despite the fact that a chase for an iced puck can be exciting, it is highly dangerous for the players involved. To dangerous to keep in the game.

Change the dimensions of the net. Currently, NHL nets are 4′ tall and 6′ wide. Instead, make them 4’2″ high and 6’4″ wide. Although it is a slight change in size, there would be an increase goal production, wich the NHL badly needs.

Make that darn goalie equipment a reasonable size. Has anybody seen Steve Shield’s pads lately?


Fighting is GOOD for hockey. I don’t care what anybody says. The fans like it, the players like it, the coaches like it. I LIKE IT!!! There should be a 2 minute minor for the first fight of the game, and a 4 minute double minor for the second fight of the game. The third fight of the game should be a 10 minute game misconduct and a 2 game suspension, because 3 fights in one game is a bit excessive.

Having a higher tolerance of fighting will result in less “chippy” hockey. Slashes, high-sticks and cheap shots won’t happen as much, because there will be a price to pay.


Contraction is not necessary in the NHL. I believe that there are teams in markets that cannot compete with other attractions. Relocation is a very realistic idea for the NHL.

Anaheim relocated to Winnipeg

Florida relocated to Quebec City

Nashville relocated to Portland

With the salary cap in place, every team will have a fair shot at siging free agents. It is also important to get teams in natural hockey markets. Who plays hockey in Florida. Definitely not enough to warrant having TWO clubs. Also, if players are receiving the same offers from all clubs, they will play where they want to, not necessarily where the highest bidder is.

Some say, “If there is such a low salary cap, then the richer teams will just sign more superstars.” This, in fact, won’t happen. Superstars have too big of egos, generally, for this to happen. Take a team like the Colorado Avalanche. Sakic, Forsberg and Blake and Patrick Roy make $8.5 – $10 million/season. BUT…with a salary cap of $36 million, that is over half the budget on 4 players. This is why I think a salary cap will make the financial part of the game fair for everybody.

The NHLPA, I believe, would never go for individual player salaries, so a franchise cap is the way to go.

These are just a few ides that I have about the league. Bash me all you want. I am a hockey fan who agrees that the game needs a change. I would love to hear all of your ideas. Who knows, maybe this will spark a GREAT idea that some NHL big-shot will read and use to turn the league around. haha…yeah right.



78 Responses to IF I COULD RUN THE NHL

  1. saiklo says:

    The salary cap reduction would have to be phased in as teams that have enormous salaries would be unfaily penalized by some radical change in the system.

  2. mikster says:

    COME ON!!!….

    She’s mainly the only girl on this site who posts, i thikn there’s a Canuck girl too. But, Babyleaf? Don’t tell me that isn’t a girl’s nickname!!!

  3. mikster says:

    Take out the team that is very unpopular. In this case, NJ.

    The Devils in a Canadian city would be bigger than Toronto as far as fan base. Sad….ain’t it?

  4. cwhockey says:

    Moving new teams like Nashville and Atlanta would send a message the NHL probably doesn’t want. That message would never be spoken, but still very easy to see: start winning quickly or we’re gonna move the team again. Operating under what is basically an ultimatum is not the healthiest way to run a team. But in another four or five years, those two teams will probably be better. So the new cities would benefit and the old cities would be royally screwed.

    As deficient as the press is at times, they’d be smart enough to catch this, and milk it for all its worth. An embarassment the NHL really doesn’t need.

    A change is needed, no doubt. And maybe moving a team will become necessary. When or if it happens, it’s gotta be done just right or the NHL suffers even more.

  5. Tradedude says:

    ya but NEW J is in like 2nd or 3rd place in east and on a roll

  6. burky says:

    Get rid of salaries altogether, just give the winning team a $500,000 to split after each game like in the XFL.

  7. BabyLeaf says:

    I figured my screename would be obvious enough! 🙂

  8. MossRocks says:

    I know, I know. That’s why I said double-take. I got it right away, but it threw me for a second at first. Besides, Titans does have a pink icon, right…

  9. MossRocks says:

    That wasn’t a spontaneous fight last night, Comrie has had him in his sights for awhile now. I know what you mean though.

    I’m not sure about the instigator… How about changing it to a 10min misconduct instead of a game misconduct? That way, the instigator gets to sit and stew but doesn’t get tossed every time. I just don’t want to see Laraque grabbing Briere and beating the life out of him and then only getting 5min. Doesn’t seem right, does it?

  10. TC_4 says:

    I can’t wait to have all of you call me an idiot after I type all this shhhhhhh……it, but anyways,.

    1. Salary cap would be installed. In fact, all I would do is tell them to get some info on the NFL’s cap system with no guarenteed cotracts and memorize it because that is the system that I’m using too.

    2. Contract down to least 26 teams. Nashville, Phoenix, Anaheim, Atlanta would all be contracted. I would also try to have Tampa, Florida, Carolina, and yes even New Jersey moved to better hockey markets. Put these teams in cities where the fans would consistantly come. I don’t want anybody telling me that the fans in Jersey will support that team when they some day start losing again. Same goes for Carolina. Where would I have them moved to you ask? Toronto, Portland, Quebec City, and Winnipeg. With a cap, owners would make a killing and these cities could find owners if they knew they would make money. That’s the reason Bill Comrie doesn’t own the Oilers by now, he knows he won’t make money. It’s not that he couldn’t. I want to know what you fans think of another team in Toronto. I think it would kill, the Toronto St.Patricks/Arenas/something like that.

    3. knock the schedule down to 70 games. Again I know what your all going to say, think about how much money you’ll lose, but you have make these players happy and getting rid of 12 games a season and compressing the schedule would make the players happier, make for better hockey, and reduce all that talk at playoff time of how the defending champs can’t do it because they’ve had it by the time the playoffs come along. And let’s be honest, who on here thinks hockey in mid June is a good thing?

    4. Teams would have 3 jersey’s each, and the uniforms would MATCH!!! I hate Calgary’s, Atlanta, Ottawa, Edmonton(who is my team), Vancouver, Colorado, LA, Phoenix, Florida, NYR, Boston, Philly, NYI, etc. I know they either have the old symbol, or the colors match, but the entire uniforms should match! That is just ridiculous. Other sports have 3rd uniforms, but they all match. This just bugs me so much, and you hockey purists know what I’m talking about.

    5. I would have every arena constructed for an Olympic sized ice surface. The game is too fast not to like on that ice.

    6. No player could enter the draft until age 20. This way teams would get a better read on these players comming out of junior.

    7. I would have a Baseball type minor league system installed. You know, A, Double A, Triple A, NHL. This could really do the players wonders for there development. A hockey could be for the players fresh out of the draft, Double A and Triple A could be for players age 21 and above, oblivously Double A would be a lower case Triple A.

    8. No instigater rule and a 3 fight rule enfored. I’ve never heard it said better then Grapes did this past Saturday. Who is the NHL trying to please by taking out fighting??? The fans? No. The players? No. The coaches? No. The owners? The fans dictat what they like. They’ve got to quit trying to make this game like baseball, basketball, football, and soccer. It is the way it is, and ever since they started trying to get rid of it, the production of play has gone way down. Enough said.

    9. Maximum 5 European players per team. I like watching them, but bringing every single one of them over hear is kind of stupid. It is nothing against European’s or anything, but this is a North American league still. And I think that our 3rd and 4th line players should get the say over them, because let’s face it, they aren’t going to be the ones that bring in the money, and at least our 3rd and 4th line players will drop the gloves. There are about 5 European players that will in the entire league.

    10. The goaltender equipment. Yes it would be made much smaller, and also heavier. It is no coincidence that when Reggie Lemlin introduced the lighter pads that goaltenders play increased dramatically. Make it heavier, don’t bring back the old brown pads, just add a little weight, not much.

    11. Finally, I would bring back the divisonal format to the playoffs. So hear is what my league would look like.


    Pacific Divison: Edmonton, LA, Calgary, Winnipeg, San Jose, Portland, and Vancouver

    Mid-West Divison: Dallas, Chicago, St.Louis, Columbus, Colorado, and Minnesota.


    North-East Divison:Montreal, Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit, Boston, Toronto, and Ottawa ???

    Atlantic Divivson: NYR, NYI, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington, and Buffalo.

    I know Buffalo and Boston should be switched, but Boston has that Montreal rivalry, and Buffalo I believe would really have that NY thing going with the Rangers and Islanders. So there you have it, my dream NHL. Let me know what you think, you’ll probably tell me how come it can’t happen and knock me, but whatever you wanna do. War Oilers, war Oakland A’s, war Buffalo Bills, war Edmonton Eskimos, war Toronto Raptors and Vince getting his head out of his ass, war Peter Loubardious and his future wife(and yes Boris did get that goal in the third period), and war Tyler Campbell. I’m finally…….OUUUUUUUUUUUUT!

  11. beckfan says:

    what do you want to free the garden up for? more knicks games and shitty concerts? great idea.

  12. cwhockey says:

    There is quite a bit about this that I could strongly disagree, but I’m not gonna go off and get angry. It would be counterproductive and besides, it’s your opinion and everbody is entitled to one. So only a couple of comments.

    Contraction and/or relocation: in another post on this topic I stated why contracting and relocating is not a plan the NHL could realistically achieve, especially when your talking about getting rid of four teams and moving several others. One or two contractions and/or relocations are the absolute maximum that could happen in the near future. 10-15 years down the road it could be a different story, but now it’s not something the NHL could do unless they wanted to completely and totally overhaul the league.

    I too like the idea of Olympic size ice, or maybe something in between the current arenas and the Olympic size. Unfortunately the cost for each arena to change their ice surface would be huge. Some of the first rows would have to be eliminated, and that of course leads to less seats in each arena. Reducing possible revenue in each arena probably wouldn’t sit too kindly with the owners.

    Some of the other suggestions were, to say the least, interesting. And I’m not insinuating they were bad, quite the opposite. A few have real merit.

    I absolutely loved the NHL as it was in the 80s and early 90s. But now we just have to face the facts that the NHL is different. And deal with it in a realistic fashion, one that takes into consideration the times as they currently are (ie the economy, sports and the entertainment dollar, etc). But I surely can’t blame you for dreaming, can I?

  13. DG says:

    I would make it a rule that the only combatants in the Stanley Cup Final are the Buffalo Sabres and Vancouver Canucks…that way I wouldn’t have to worry so much about my favourite teams winning 🙂

    Seriously, though, I’d go with a lot of what you said except that I’d have revenue sharing (so that every team has an equal opportunity to spend on quality players) and that I’d keep the fighting rules the same, since the way we have it now is more or less acceptable. Also, I’d move Atlanta, Florida and Carolina instead of the those teams you mentioned, and I’d plop a team in Hartford as opposed to Portland, since I don’t think a city as loyal as Hartford was to the Whalers deserves to be team-less.

    I’d also step up this crackdown, since I’m still seeing a few holes in the calls.


  14. DG says:


    However, what about the high-priced stars with wives/girlfriends they don’t want to cheat on? I’d put in a rule stating players who have a bad game will not get sex. I think that would work 🙂


  15. Project_Infinity says:

    I’m skeptical of implementing a salary cap in the NHL… I see what happened to the NFL before this year – really mediocre teams, even the good ones (Jim Rome commented – “This isn’t parity, this is mediocrity”), but I do belive some sort of salary constraint needs to be put in place. What about revenue sharing and a maximum salary? By maximum salary, I mean restrict the amount a player recives per year to some fixed number. So the most a player could recieve is the maximum salary. I’d peg it a $7 million (Canadian teams, with the equalization plan can afford this), but realistically, it’ll be put at $10 million, if it gets done at all.

    I’d like to see the NHL call hockey by the rule book. The rules now are the same as they were in 1992-93 – the highest scoring year in the NHL. It’s just that certain rules are being ignored in the rule book, while others are being stressed. There’s no need to tamper with traditional aspects of hockey – like changing the size of the nets – to make hockey more exciting. I’ll embrace the hurry-up face off rule and the automatic icing rule – they’re in International hockey anyway.

    And while were at it, I’d eliminate the point for an OT loss. Yes, more Overtime ties are being broken, but fact of the matter is you’re getting a point for losing the game. That’s just not right.

    I’m not a fan for contraction. Carolina was seen as an embarassment to the NHL given its tiny crowds – until last year when the crowds came back and sold out the arena. Simply put, any team in any market, can succeed. Even though they aren’t doing well now, one good season or one good upset, or well, anything could trigger a huge throng of fans that will attend the game and become fans. So while Phoenix, Anahiem and Florida are seen as lost causes, something may happen that will spark intrest in those teams. So we can’t contract them.

    What I say is that the NHL expand to four cities – Winnipeg, Hartford, Quebec and Hamilton – and then stop with any franchise moving/expanding for 10-20 years. Yes, talent levels will dip again, but those cities deserve teams and since the NFL (and the NBA with Charlotte) re-expanded to once deserted markets like Cleveland and Houston, there’s no reason that the NHL shouldn’t do the same – especially since those markets loved those teams (Hamilton has always wanted an NHL team).

    Once we have our 34 team NHL (or before then), the NHL should revert back to a divisional playoff format (where the first place team played 4th and the 2nd place team played #3) for the first two rounds. If fans know who their team will play in the playoffs, familiarity of the other teams will increase amd so too will rivalries.

    I wouldn’t do anything else

  16. TC_4 says:

    See this is why nobody can post anything on here anymore, it’s because a lot of times people don’t understand what your saying, and it’s not just my veiws, it’s everybodys. These are things that I would do to make the game better. It says “If I could run the NHL”. I’m saying those are the things I would do/change. I think the league has gotten so far out of wack that it needs a complete over haul like this to get back to the way it was. The thing that bugs me about the European players is that they’re benefitting from our resources. It’s not there fault, but it shouldn’t be happening, we should be concentrating and favouring our players, go home and form your own league(but we still want your absolute best!). In the long run(long run being 10-25 yrs. from now)the game will have grown by leaps and bounds. Sure it would be even more money now, but it’s kind of like spending money to make money. I know you didn’t try to cut me, but let’s face it, you couldn’t resist. Next time, try to see what the people are saying. Just answer me one question. What would be more exciting, the league now, or the league the way I want it? Call it dreaming, I don’t care. But the fact is if there were a hockey in charge of the league, then 10 of these things would for sure happen.

  17. UsedandAbused says:

    What is the relocating to canada cities crap? Why should these cities have to lose thier hockey teams? Its fine if these canadian cities want to start hockey teams, but relocating sounds kind of dumb.

  18. Tradedude says:

    Your right! the relocating thing is pathetic, the reason for for them moving is either cuzz they suck and can’t attract fans or their owner is drunk or on pot.

    Although, I would like to see the avalanche back in Quebec, fans their want them back SOOO much. It’s like they need their hockey. I don’t blame them for not just cheering for Montreal. Sakic belongs back in quebeccie, fans would support them now that they seen the 2 stanley cups in colorado.

  19. Rushing says:

    What, Edmonton is the lowest paid team and they are at about $32 mill and you’re saying to put it at $36 mill. That is ridiculous!!!

    Actually, Buffalo paid only $31 mill. Once Buff. get’s an owner that will go up. So, simply because 2-3 teams pays beneath $36 mill the “ENTIRE” NHL should pay that low. NO WAY!!!!!!

  20. burky says:

    1. Overtime keeps going until someone scores.

    2. Introduce stiff salary cap at 30-35 million.

    3. Change all-star game to Canada vs Eurotrash+USA format.

    4. STOP trying to increase scoring, right now there is an abundance of excellent goaltenders in the NHL, but as the food chain keeps going the scorers will once again rule the roost and theres nothing you can do to speed that up.

    5. STOP trying to cover the bases of America by encouraging growth in the south, hockey may have worked in Dallas and in Phoenix for a while but it’s unlikely a southern city could appreciate an NHL team the way a northern city could. Sure, fans go when the teams win but what about when they lose? Minnesota sucked until this year and yet they’ve sold out every game. Franchises have been very successful when returning to former-NHL cities like Minnesota and Colorado, so with a salary cap in place why wouldn’t Winnipeg and Quebec City work?

  21. titans says:

    Do you really think theres one married NHLer who isn’t getting a little action on the side?

  22. DG says:

    Well there’s *mind goes blank*…*keeps thinking but comes up empty*

    Good point.


  23. rojoke says:

    Here’s one way to do it. Each team submits a list of players they wish to retain, say 12 each. The others become unrestricted free agents. If those players wish to remain with the new club, they can do so. If not, they become free agents also, with compensation rights going to the club. The team can then retain up to 15 players from each team’s list of 12, with the remainder becoming unrestricted free agents.

  24. rojoke says:

    Not crapping on your ideas, just some opposing or relevant information.

    1. NFL salary cap is the wrong model, because what happens is players get cut down the road for financial reasons, not performance. Guys sign multi-year, multi-million dollar deals at inflated prices, then after a couple of years, it’s a mass fat-trimming party in August when the annual salary cap comes down. For instance, Barry Sanders hasn’t played for the Detroit Lions in years, but his contract still applies towards the teams salary cap because it was a guaranteed deal.

    2. Toronto’s ego is inflated enough with the Maple Leafs, two teams would make it worse. If you want to move teams to better markets like Portland, fine, but trying to duplicate New York wouldn’t work out. Besides, I don’t think the Leafs would allow it. They don’t even want a minor league team in their back yard, so another NHL team is a really long shot.

    3. Reduce the regular season or the pre-season games. Make training camps two weeks, and start the season in mid-September.

    4. Unis – I don’t care. But touch the Habs jerseys and you’re dead.

    5. Olympic-sized ice makes for a more offensive game, but the physicality drops way down. If that’s what you want, okay, but I like a hard fought game. Plus, with all the new buildings, it’s gonna cost a significant amount of money, and the owner’s aren’t gonna like it. If you, the league, is gonna mandate it, you’re gonna have to pay for some of it too.

    6. 20-year-old draft? Fought in court and lost. Try again.

    7. There already is a farm system. It’s called the American Hockey League. Some teams have affiliates in the East Coast League, but very few players make up it from there. Baseball has some many development leagues because they have a very deep, long draft, like 20-something rounds. NHL only has 9. If you do the math, baseball could probably learn something from hockey. How many baseball prospects spend an entire year in A or double AA ball? As soon as they post good numbers at one level, then they move up.

    8. Import limit. I don’t care where you’re from. If you prove you can play, then welcome to the league.

    9. Make them smaller? Yes. Make them heavier? You wear ’em and play in ’em first. Then get back to me.

    10. Divisional playoff. WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? Regular season games have never been the same since the league went to the conference playoff ladder. They may have made the playoff battles longer, but the sucked the life out of the regular season.

  25. jammer21 says:

    WINSTON Smithers???????? i think you meant Waylon……………

  26. cwhockey says:

    I understand that the comments on this are not entirely based on reality. I did state that everyone is entitled to his views and opinions and I have no problem with that. Really.

    The NHL would might be a better and more interesting league if your proposed changes happen. And I certainly can’t blame you, or anyone else, for thinking of ways to make it better. We all want a great league.

    You just have to understand, it’s my nature to say the things I did. I spent many long years of study in learning how businesses/organizations/entities are run, and what factors influence the choices that need to be made for the business to be successful. There are probably a few others on this site who have studied business as extensively as I have, and they realize this as well. But a good number of the proposals made regarding this topic or any topic that relates to the management of the league couldn’t cut it under pretty much any circumstance. If you don’t know what to look for, there are dozens of factors that affect a proposal such as this. And since I am by no means a business guru, there are most likely a few dozen others that I don’t see. If I explained any of those factors, I’d probably bore myself to death, along with everyone else (and you already get an idea of how long-winded I am). So I leave it out.

    I understand your passion and love for the game, and that you only want to make it better. I feel the same thing and want the same thing. But you have to understand where I’m coming from as well. I’m not slighting your motives for the ideas you presented, in fact I applaud them. But each of us has a different view. Now that you know a bit more about mine, maybe you can understand why I said the things I did.

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