IF I COULD RUN THE NHL
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.