The New NHL – A Joke

So here I am, a die hard Montreal Canadiens fan since birth. I have watched EVERY Habs game for as long back as I can remember. I record them all if I’m away and watch when I get back. I loved the team and the sport as a whole. Last night while watching the Canadiens drop another one to The Sens, it hits me, what has this league come to?

I have seen worse Habs teams iced in my lifetime so I can deal with them not making the post season, or going through slumps. My issue is with the league as a whole.

The NHL is so different from even just 10 years ago (in a bad way) that it’s really become a bloody joke. Here are some of the issues I have.

1) – As we all know there are way too many teams. Expansion has watered down the talent pool on each club, and night after night we see matchups like Florida vs Phoenix, Columbus vs Carolina. Honestly, who really cares?
One of the announcers on RDS yesterday made a comment that 1/3 of the leagues revenues come from the 6 Canadian teams. That’s rediculous. So why do we keep expanding out to Atlanta, Nashville and non-hockey cities?? In my mind, if you had Quebec, Winnipeg, Hamilton even a team in the Maritimes, you’d probably bring in higher revenues.

2) – Time to retract: Carolina wins the cup. They are the defending champs. they have lousy attendance. Same can be said for Tampa Bay. New Jersey who has had superstars in there for years, and has won several cups gets lousy attendance on most nights. The league should fold 6 teams, bring it back to 24 teams. That would mean roughly 120 players could be divided up between the remaining 24 teams. Think of the increased talent levels. Remember when each team had 3 scoring lines and 1 checking line? now a days, some teams (MOntreal) don’t even have 1 scoring line.

3) – Referees – Officiating has become a joke. It is so bush league. I will be the first to admit that refs are human and errors will happen, but it seems like every game I watch, the refs are determining the outcomes due to bad calls, missed calls, or blatant infractions that go un-called. They should go back to a 1 ref system.

4) – Fighting – like it or not, fighting brings excitement to the league. The fans all stand on their feet and cheer, and if you ask most players, they like it as well. Last week Armstrong ran Koivu and Souray stepped in to defend the Captain and send a message. NO PENALTIES were given for the hit, or for him dropping his gloves with Souray. Souray in turn got a 2, 5 10 & match. rediculous. in the old days, 2 big boys would drop the gloves and that would be that. BRING BACK FIGHTING. Lose the instigator rule. This will keep players honest and keep the star players better protected.

5) – Finally, enough with all the f***ing rule changes! For some reason, the league feels they need to change rules every year. Bigger nets, change the schedules, new uniforms, goaltenders handling the puck, bigger blue lines, moving the net back, moving the forward again, no red line, penalty shots (although I do find them exciting), puck over the glass = 2 minutes etc etc etc etc etc. Make a set of rules and leave it for 5 years. See if it works or not and then tweak as needed. If I was a Florida, Carolina, Atlanta resident trying to learn the game, become a fan and get excited about the NHL, I think I’d be terribly confused when rules are changed so drastically from year to year.

On a last note. The all star game was a bloddy joke. I was actually embarrassed to see what the NHL all star game has become from the voting process on down. This is an opportunity to market your game and the best players. With all do respect to all that played in the all star game. Jagr should be there (one of the greatest players of all time) NOT Jason Blake. You should be sending the big names, and the super-talent to represent their teams AND the league. For Brodeur to not be a starter is stupid. For Cheechoo to be a starter this year makes NO sense.

Sorry for the long rant, but I ask this question to all of you,

If you were the new Gary Bettman of the NHL, what would you do to get our beloved game back to a level of enjoyment for the fans??

Your thoughts?

39 Responses to The New NHL – A Joke

  1. blarneylad says:

    if i was commish i would definatly go back to a 1 ref system because too often do the refs get in the way of play. I absolutly agree with u on folding some teams, maybe not 6 but at least 2. florida and (take ur pick), i am also a huge habs fan and I hate watching a team that has a 44pt. leading scorer when the league leader has 82pt. our last superstar was lafleur when will we ever get another one? Superstars need to be on every team but there really isn't enough to go around because there are too many teams and too many players in the NHL that should be playing in teh AHL

  2. muckies says:

    Don't blame the NHL for the fact that the Candiens are full of soft players. Blame your GM Bob Gainey for signing Samsonov, Kovalev and Bonk for 25% of the teams payroll and making a complete floater second line.

    The Habs have Carey Price and some solid prospects, they'll be a good team in the future. They won't be great but they will be good.

    Don't worry this free-agent season they could sign Doan and Chris Drury and be a very good team in no time. 

    They better score first on Saturday or they will have a very tough time winning that game. The Sens look they are ready to get on a role. AND ABOUT FIGHTING IN THE NHL, TELL KOMISEREK TO DROP HIS GLOVES WHEN HE'S CHALLENGED, I HAVEN'T SEEN A D-MAN MAKE THAT MANY CHEAP SHOTS SINCE HATCHER PLAYED IN DALLAS.


  3. 92-93 says:

    just some feedback on the article.

    i think if you started this article without stating the fact that you were watching another Habs loss, it would make it a little more legit. i think some could read this article and (justifiably) think that its just a frustrated reaction to watching your team go through a slump and so your first instinct is to strike out at 'the system.' even if its not what you intended, it may seem that way to some.

    anyways, i think the new NHL is improved on the dead-puck era that proceeded it. its it perfect? no.

    but i rather cheer for a league that wants to evolve – not destroy tradition – but evolve. of course the boundaries between 'evolution' and 'destroying tradition' are different for everyone (me, i think making the nets bigger would be an instance of the latter).

    ranting about expansion teams and retraction and the all-star game, i mean come on. we've heard these complaints, and the solutions that are usually offered to these 'ills' are either too vague or unrealistic or just downright purist.

    the things i would complain about would be the officiating but that takes time (i.e. more than one season) for everyone to adapt. the problem remains that the officials from game to game are calling things differently. i think that is an issue that needs to be looked at. its hard to adapt to the way penalties are being called when they are being called inconsistently (last night's Leafs-Preds game being a good example).

    that being said, a lot of teams out there – and their fans – who complain about penalties have to begin to start thinking about how their team – like my Leafs last night – should have known that such penalties are going to get called regardless of how harmless looking they are.

    what really pisses me off is that they are not calling boarding calls anymore it seems. players are getting hit in the numbers near the boards and the refs wont call those penalties, but moments later will call something less dangerous. equally worse, the refs are not calling enough diving penalties – and there should be a thousand more instances in which the refs call the infraction – i.e. tripping – and the sell job – i.e. the dive – in which a player didnt have to go down but made it look like he was shot. its hard to call these penalties, but sometimes is also quite easy.

    finally, i am not sorry to see fighting – especially the bland, mundane, and planned kind of fighting that emerged and prevailed in the 1990s – get reduced to a once-in-a-while activity that it is now. i would be much more upset if i saw fewer hits, which i havent.

  4. lynchmob540 says:

    So milohabs…why didn't you express your feelings when the Habs were challenging the Sabres about 2 months ago?? Funny how people blame the product when their team starts playing like crap.

  5. Milohabs says:

    actually I disagree. If Komi drops em' he draws an extra 2 minutes. THAT's the problem. It should be 5 for fighting regardless of who instigates the fight.
    As for my Habs, like I said, I don't blame the NHL for a poor roster or no top scorers, I can live with all that (like I said in my article). It's the league as a whole that has really plumited in the last decade.

  6. bleedingblu says:

    For the most part, I agree with of your issues but you know what? The NHL has never been perfect and it never will. I think your frustration is more on your team and now your blaming the league for it. If Montreal was winning you probably would never write this post.
    Have faith in your team!
    That's why we love this sport! For its ups and downs!

    As a fellow Canadian, I would love to see more Canadian teams too but even though its a Canadian game, its an American League. I don't blame the NHL for trying expand this great game all over the US the more fans the marrier. As for Hamilton, they already have a team…… THE LEAFS!! LOL!
    There will always be crappy officials and you're right about the fighting! There is nothing better than a good scrap to rev up the crowd!

    As for the All Star game this year, I agree ….. crap! The only reason why they added new faces this year is to give exposure to other players besides the same guys you see every year.
    I would agree Jason Blake should not have been there but neither should Cristobal Huet. What is he doing there standing with Miller, Brodeur, Kipper, Loungo, and Turco? He's a pretty good goalie but not at that league…. come on lets be real!

  7. Milohabs says:

    Honestly, That is not my intent on this article. I should have left that mention of last nights game out. I watch LOTS of hockey (not just Montreal games) and I feel like the league is just not what it once was. Maybe I'm a "purist" as they say, but it's almost like watching a completely different sport.

    As for the Habs, whatever, they've sucked for years now, nothing new. I kinda like that they are slipping because it means changes are imminant which is always exciting.

  8. Milohabs says:

    Agreed, except. At the time the selected Huet his stats were amongst top 3 in the league. He's bottomed out since. Also, there aren't too many TOP goalies (aside from Miller & Brodeur) in the East. Huet is acceptable for me. Souray HAD to be there with his great year. But Campbell a starter??? please!

  9. Archion113 says:

    I agree, but what was the point of the 1/3 of the league revenues come from the 6 canadian teams?

    Same could be said about the 1/2 of leagues revenues coming from the 6 popular american teams. (Colarado, Detroit, Philadelphia, Rangers, Tampa Bay, and Buffalo (this year stats, not last years)

    Other than that, i agree with you.

    The NHL is evolving, but into a huge stinking pile of crap.  I find it difficult to even watch games anymore.  The Refs are ruining the flows of the game by calling terribly marginal calls.  Like when a player jumps to avoid a hit and his leg gets clipped from the checker and they call a trip.

    The rules were fine before.  The league is losing fans, so at what point do they say hey, whats more important fans or evolution?

    At this rate,they are losing 1-2% of total viewers a year.  I can see the Canadian teams eventually breaking away from the league and forming their own league.  I wouldn't appose it, and i'd even watch it, if they went back to the real rules.

  10. thegoalie1976 says:

    Although I do like the new NHL (as a whole package). The only changes we needed after the lockout was:

    Salary cap
    re-instate instigator rule
    take out 2 line pass calls
    no touch icing
    call clutching/grabbing more (but less than the extent it is called now)

    For the love of god………leave the goalies alone, and make the refs go to a refresher course, so a level of consistency can be achieved.

  11. bleedingblu says:

    You're right the officiating last night with the Leafs and Preds was terrible!!
    Sometimes the refs just have to let them play!!
    No worries, the buds will hand it to the Pens tomorrow! Crosby better not be diving all over the place and I don't want to hear any whinning either!!

    Go Leafs Go!!

  12. 24_cups_and_counting says:

    Cristobal Huet. Why is he standing there with the likes of Miller, Brodeur, Kipper, Luongo, and Turco? 3 of the 5 u mentioned are western conference goalies. Is the east only allowed to send 2 and not 3? Huet was the 3rd best goalie at the all-star break (starting to come back to earth now). He was close to the top 5 in the league in Save % and GAA. That's why he was there.

  13. HabsChris says:

    You finish by saying "If you were the new Gary Bettman…". I think that is the NHL's problem. Hockey is not Gary Bettman's beloved game, it's Canada's beloved game. We need someone passionate about the game to take it to higher levels, and I think it can only be a canadian's job.

    I agree with the fact that there are to many teams.

    Less teams = less players
    less players = bigger talent
    bigger talent = more excitment
    more excitement = more attendance

    We will never see another canadian team as long as Betman is there. In the movie Bon Cop Bad Cop, they make a mockery of him, being a midget and selling the Montreal team to Houston. Colorado is a great market, NY is a good market and Detroit is a good market. Fine, but that's it. It's a canadian sport and it's sad to see what how Bettman is wasting energy trying to expand in the south. 

    Why try to give something to someone who doesn't want it! It's that simple. 


  14. NjDEVSFN says:

    1) Expansion and Contraction

    I will agree with your points that teams need to be contracted, but not as many as you state. Contracting 2 would be of the best interest of the league. This will allow for 2 14-team conferences and 4 7-team division. It would allow the NHL to go back to the old Divisional-Playoff format, which would enhance rivalries.

    The talent pool isnt watered down because of expansion. what is the difference between a 4th liner 6 years ago that was for fighting only and a 4th line today whos sole purpose is to give the other 3 lines a breather? There isn't one. The AHL and ECHL are filled with hockey players that ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH to play in the NHL. There is plenty of talent, but it takes great talent to play in big league.

    Who to contract is difficult. Personally, it would be hard to move a former SC Champion because it hasn't happened in the modern NHL. Compare to 2 Florida teams, one has great attendance + a cup (Tampa) the other has not-so-great attendance and 0 cups (Florida). Of course, I'm sure many Canadians would rather Florida be moved to Winnipeg or Quebec rather than contracted.

    The attendance in NJ was fine until the Devils decided to raise '01 REGULAR SEASON prices to a level higher than that of '00 PLAYOFF PRICES. averages around 17K in the late 90s. NJ is the most expensive place to live in in the United States and if its not, it is Top 3.

    the team is also the worst marketed in the league and i'm hoping thatll change for when they are in the Prudential Center.

    2) Refs

    I also would prefer to go back to the 1 ref system. The NHL did it for so long and it would assure that only the best become NHL referrees. Unfortunately, I think there has been some complacency with the 2-ref system. Refs will NOT make a call because they would hope their partner would see it.

    The only way I would be 100% ok with a shift back to the 1 ref system is that the 1 ref isn't making more calls than the 2 refs. The 1 ref will have to call EVERYTHING he sees instead of not calling it and expecting the other ref to catch it.

    3) Fighting

    I love fighting and I want to see more of it. Just get rid of the instigator rule and change the second fighitng major to a 5+10min misconduct or something.

    It would keep fighting from becoming brawling, which isnt a bad thing and what the NHL wants, and give the fans what we want.

    4) Rule changes

    Bigger nets – no
    Change schedule – yes, but it was no harm at least TRYING it
    New uniforms – not necessarily a bad thing. If the Capitals jersey I saw online is what they are going to have, then i am 100% for their change. How a team in the US Capital isnt wearing Red, White and Blue is amazing. Their blue, black and gold jerseys suck.

    I tried finding a link to the picture, but no luck. If I do find it, i'll post it. A quick search found that a proposed Capitals jersey was leaked and the team did all they could to cover it up and they have.

    Two rule changes I would make are
    a) once the puck touches the blue line, it is considered in the zone.
    b) get rid of the hand-pass rule. most of the time it isnt even a pass, just a player trying to catch the puck but misses.

  15. lynchmob540 says:

    Miloshabs…i agree with the premise of your article. There are a lot of issues with the NHL. And the common link in all of this is Gary BUTTman. The only way for the NHL to regain what it was is for BUTTman to be replaced.

  16. fatsat says:

    Get rid of the playoff rentals – that is a complete joke.  Will Forsberg allow a trade to go through so he has a chance to win a cup?  Then, if he does win the cup, will he go back to Philly?

    Stupid… just stupid.  Who cares about the regular season?  Just make the playoffs, ,make sure you have some cap room and rent the f#$%ing stanley cup.

  17. fatsat says:

    Get rid of the playoff rentals – that is a complete joke.  Will Forsberg allow a trade to go through so he has a chance to win a cup?  Then, if he does win the cup, will he go back to Philly?

    Stupid… just stupid.  Who cares about the regular season?  Just make the playoffs, ,make sure you have some cap room and rent the f#$%ing stanley cup.

  18. Milohabs says:

    Interesting. How about a rule that says if you leave a team to go to another by lifting your no-trade-clause, you can't re-sign with that same team the following year?

  19. 92-93 says:

    yeah it was inconsistent – the call on Sundin was just brutal. but the other infractions were calls that the leafs should know well enough not to take. but against a speedy team like the Preds, its hard to do. the leafs proved they can do it against the Sabres, last night they just didnt get the job done.

    this is the scary part of the schedule. they beat two teams who were red hot – the Blues and Sens. lost to the best team in the NHL right now (no big whoop there). but now the Pens are the hottest team and they are just frightening to watch. yes Crosby dives but it seems to work – though lately the refs are starting to catch on. i am obviously still a fan of this kid though because of what he can do. i am NOT a fan of what he can do against my Leafs.

    as tough as it will be  to win saturday night's game, the pittsburgh game represents a HUGE game for the leafs in terms of the standings. all games are from here on in i know, but in terms of the season series against the Pens, the leafs must win in regulation against them.

    Raycroft will have to be huge.
    the leafs have to stay out of the sin bin.
    the leafs will have to try to play that simple road game at home for once.
    and a big game is necessary from those who should be leading the leafs – re: the top line of Sundin-Poni-Antropov, McCabe and Kaberle and Kubina, not to mention some secondary scoring from the S.O.S. line and some smart passes from Whtie and Colaicovo.

    if they lose this one, the NY-area teams will catch up, the leafs will lose an opportunity to gain more ground on Montreal (and TB and Carolina), and the Leafs will officially lose the season series to the Pens – the 2nd tiebreaker behind Wins. Actually, the leafs will lose the season series even if they win it in OT or in a shootout.

  20. fatsat says:

    That would do it – Plain a simple.

  21. Rysto says:

    1/3rd of the league's revenue may well come from the Canadian teams, but the lion's share of that is surely generated in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.  You might get a high-revenue team in the Hamilton or Kitchener area, but forget Winnipeg or Quebec — the corporate sponsorship simply isn't there.

    As to the reffing, I'll gladly take what we get now over the obstruction-fest we had before the lockout.  There are definitely improvements that need to be made, but trapping teams are no longer dominating the NHL, and that can only be a good thing.

  22. bleedingblu says:

    This is a huge game!! Simple but aggresive hockey is needed by the Leafs tomorrow. On the plus side, they are coming home to a happy Toronto where the fans will be going crazy on Saturday. The Pens beat the Leafs twice this year so its time to take at least one game.

    Poni has to keep it up. I’ve been really happy with his play lately. Same with Steen and Stajan.

    Tight and smart defense will help the Leafs win!
    And….. get under their skin especially Crosby. He tends to lose games when he’s upset because he tries to win the game himself.

  23. kamullia says:

    In short, although I might agree with some of your points, I certainly do not agree with the suggested solutions you include. I have lots to say in each and every subject, but here is at least a tidbit for each:

    1. Economics: In short, the real money is in United States National Television contracts. Right now the main infuse of money in the NHL is tickets sold, but even in Montreal you are talking about a very small portion of the fan base that fills the rink, as compared to the true amount of people who follow the game, such as yourself at home. The NHL is trying to change that, with the aim at making the NHL an accepted game to watch on US television in as many places as possible. And while national television contracts in Canada are not something to sneeze at, the real money is in the US mega-sized television corporations, who measure the reach of households (regardless of how many people inside one house are watching) in millions of households. The more people watch, the more selling power in merchandise, and the higher advertising contracts paid to the television chains, and the bigger leverage and big contracts that will pour money by the truckloads into the NHL. And with this aim, among others, is why the NHL expanded and is trying all other kinds of tactics, all in the aim of enticing more US television viewers. Moving teams to Canada will do little for expanding the fan base, and will be peanuts in monetary terms compared to even a standard US national television contract. You cannot compare 20,000 people at the rink with millions or even hundreds of thousands of households (Most with at least 2 simultaneous viewers) and their buying power. The unfortunate thing is that there is no doubt thus far, that hockey on television, is night and day from the one at the rink. The day they are able through cameras and mics to truly pass on the proper feeling into the television transmissions, then the NHL will truly become a major sport and I predict will rival the NFL in ratings. One good thing that the NHL does have going for it, is that a new study that just came out showed that 40% of the people interested in the NHL nowadays are women (a big jump from the old NHL), a number that thwarts the female interest in any of the major sports. And more acceptance by females without going into details means a lot, in many different ways in present and future possible monetary income. All those pink form fitting jerseys were made exclusively for females had a specific purpose. By the way, the women are overwhelmingly in favor of the new rule changes as a whole, as the study revealed.
    2. Contraction: While without a doubt contraction does improve the quality of the overall players, this goes completely against trying to expand the game fan base and getting the worthy US national television contracts. If the NHL wants to become a regional, or just a Canadian National Hockey League, then contraction is the answer. Otherwise, the real aim has to be expanding the fan base, and that is hard to if you place most teams in Canada or the Northeastern United States, you have to spread them out some. And it is not true that expanding to new markets that do not have hockey is a failure, as the official attendance numbers show. In fact, if you went by this years attendance, as it is your suggestion to focus on attendance, two of the potential teams that would lose their franchises (depending on how many teams it was decided to contract to) would be ORIGINAL 6 teams. In 2005/2006 Tampa Bay had an average total attendance of 20,509 per home game, second only to Montreal. This season, they are averaging 19,825, which makes them good for third overall behind only Montreal and Detroit. But I hate to use those numbers, because most rinks do not have the capacity to put 20,000 in seats. Therefore I will go by percentage of available seats sold, that way it tells us how empty or filled each arena was. And going by that in 2006/2007 the worst attendance teams were: Chicago 65.0%, Washington 74.5%, St. Louis 74.7%, New Jersey 74.7%, NY Islanders 77.4%, Florida 83.2%. During this 2006/2007 season the worst teams are: St. Louis 57.1%, Chicago 62.6%, Washington 71.9%, New Jersey 72.4%, NY Islanders 74.1%, Boston 76.7% Contracting and moving teams is easier said than done once you have in front of you the official statistics and numbers, and some real hard decisions have to be made if any truly means to go through with it. Personally, I think the thought of eliminating the Isles, Hawks, and B’s a repulsive thought, if only for how many Cups they represent.
    3. Officiating: It goes up and down, but I have to say that last year they were pretty much steady all year round, and this year they have been slightly less, but the main message is clear: Certain actions are intolerable by the NHL. If the players haven’t figured out by now that if they raise their stick above the opponents waist, or if they put an arm or glove around them it is an automatic penalty, then they need to go sit at the zoo with the chimps and eat each others lice, because at least they’d be learning something then at their own level. But simply put, going back to 1 ref, is not the answer, unless you are all up for the clutching, grabbing, tackling, and skiing. Personally I do not miss Bobby Sweeney using his stick to whack the “piƱata” contents out of Mario Lemieux or Wayne Gretzky. I prefer the fast skating new NHL, and so do most hockey fans, including that 40% women demographic.
    4. Fighting: I love fighting, and so do most fans, although the women show mixed feelings towards it (just to refer back to that 40%). But the truth is that unless the fighters evolve into fast skating and good utility players, fighting will have to wait until those kind of players evolve and show up in the NHL. The days of the slow, big bad goons are gone, because they are too much of a liability in many ways to the team that puts them on the ice. The new pugilist in the NHL need to find a way to be either productive offensively, or defensively and not just a pair of fists in skates. This is the reason why Brian McGrattan will be worth his weight in gold (from a pugilist standpoint so to speak) when he gets to be a free agent. But until those types of players become common, you and I both will have to get used to less fighting.
    5. Rule changes: I completely agree that changing the rules too often will just create discontent and repel future fans in the process of learning the game. But what it comes down to is that any rule change, even yearly, that makes the game more and more exciting, fan, and promotes shows of high skill and goal scoring, will bring and excite fans. Everyone gets excited by a nice goal, or a player splitting the defense, or the like. If they did not, you would be sure that the highlights of Ovechkin and Crosby would not be playing coast to coast day in and day out.

    I do agree that the All-Star game was a joke, but in my opinion they have always been to one degree or another. But it is true that it has gotten worse. The only good thing that I saw in the All-Star game was the experiment of that rail-cam. I do not think it is the answer, but it undoubtedly showed some aspects to the game in those angles that the traditional camera angles do not show. Anything to get the game better shown on television I am good for, including failing experiments. But they might be getting something with their ideas. Maybe a cam right inside the boards? You’d have to push or lose the first row of seats, but it would be nice to see at a “puck-level” angle the action (of course not ON the ice), especially at the same speed of the skaters. Sort of like speed-skating cameras.

  24. Archion113 says:

    Lol guess you didn't see the Flyers game?

    Richards gets checked into the opponents goalie, literally checked into him and knocked off his skates, and he got the goalie interference call.

    Earlier in the game, someone interferred with Nittimaki and a goal was disallowed, but no penalty assesed.

    I love the New NHL.

  25. Archion113 says:

    I agree and disagree.

    Its just funny how we all talk about the lower talent level, and hows its canada's game and all that shit.  But a canadian team hasn't won in years.

    So do we get rid of Carolina, even though they just won a cup?
    Or Tampa Bay, who has a proven fan base now that they won a cup?
    Minnesota has great attendance numbers this year.
    Florida i'd be in favor of removing.
    St.Louis i couldn't imagine many people missing.
    New Jersey, even though they've dominated the league the past 12 years?
    I think New York can do without the Islanders.

    The problem with less teams, is that with the salary cap teams couldn't afford to sign all the stars leaving other teams.  You'll wind up with 1 or 2 good lines, with the 3rd and 4th line a punch of AHL'ers who get 5 minutes of ice time a game.  Kind of like it is right now. 

    Their are thousands of NHL players not playing in the NHL (prospects and players who are overlooked).  If we maybe added more rounds to the draft process, or even allowed 1 or 2 more players dressed per game.

    I think the problem is, the lack of AHL exposure.  Some teams don't have a farm team, and it really hurts their draft picks.

    Detroit is a great market, and is a bigger market then every Canadian team other then Montreal.  Philadelphia in hte last 5 years has had better numbers then those same Canadian teams. 

    I agree Bettman is ruining the game, but what does is matter whose game it is?  Its now a national sport, you can either be a part of the NHL or not.  Do you even know the orignal 6 teams? Only 2 were canadian.  So before you start knocking american teams, try not to forget that the NHl became what it was because of the joint effort of America and Canada.

    Its no longer just your sport, either accept it or find a new league.

  26. Archion113 says:

    That would destroy free agency.  And unfair in my opinion.

  27. Archion113 says:

    Trapping teams no longer dominate?

    New Jersey is still trapping, and still in 1st place.

    You are the reason why our league blows.  Bettman gets one person to say they like it, and ignored 10,000 complaints.

  28. rojoke says:

    From what I saw, it was the other way around.

  29. quick_stick says:

    Neither a Sens or Habs fan, but I've found Komiserek to be pretty heavy on the Cheap shots and hits…I'm always surprised at what this guy has to do to get the Refs to call a penalty on him. 

    Neil is rough, and sometime a little cheap, but he'll back it up when he's called upon.

  30. 92-93 says:

    so yeah those questionable calls means that the new NHL in its entirety should be dismissed?

  31. avery_is_scared_o_fedoruk says:

    okay crazy habs fan.  that hit on koivu was clean, and in most cases a ten minute comes hand in hand with the instigation penalty.  i love souray and he did the right thing by goin after armstrong, but the hit was clean.

  32. avery_is_scared_o_fedoruk says:

    i agree 

  33. Kraut182 says:

    I think a lot of times the diving is tough to call in the heat of the action.  But they are much easier to spot on a replay after the game, and this is where the NHL needs to look.  Identify the dives on tape, and start handing out the fines and suspensions.

    Unfortunately this won't happen with Bettman in charge.  Ron McLean asked him about it in an interview last year and Bettman said to do so would make players look bad.  What he doesn't realize is that players look bad now, and that the only way to stop them from diving is to call them on it.

  34. Archion113 says:

    Yes.  Why continue to ruin the game?

  35. Archion113 says:

    He did the right thing going after armstrong?

    Not in the new NHL he didn't.  Thats what we're saying.  Its a joke.

  36. Atomic_Wedgy says:

    Playoff rentals are a big part of free agency. If you are currently not contracted to any team at the end of the year, you are free to sign with whoever you want. I dont see the problem with that. No team is forced to sign a rental. Teams sign rentals to strengthen a Cup drive. All parties are aware of the pros and cons of signing a rental.

    Playoff rentals are an exciting part of the whole trade deadline. I would hate to see that excitement tempered by limiting or even eliminating playoff rental trades. I remember when Philly signed Oates one year. Washington Capitals traded Adam Oates to the Philadelphia Flyers for Maxime Ouellet, a 1st (later traded to Dallas – Martin Vagner), a 2nd (Maxime Daigneault) and a 3rd (Derek Krestanovich) round selections in 2002. I was stoked!!!! Unfortunately, Philly ended up losing to TO early, but I still remember the feeling of excitement when Oates was signed. There was a lot of talk that we gave up way to much for Oates and maybe we did. The point is that the choice was made to go for it and damn the consequences. If it wins the Cup you are a genius. If you dont, you are a chump.

    I guess what I am trying to say is playoff rentals are a part of hockey that I enjoy and that is excluding the fantasy hockey considerations which is a whole other post…

  37. Superman4452 says:

    I dont think there are too many teams, that they just need to be in different places. Like Canada, for example. Anywhere in Canada. And just cuz Montreal doesn't have a scoring line, buffalo, for example, has three. and their fourth puts up not bad numbers. You complain about missed and uncalled infractions. One ref misses more. Think about it. I agree with the fighting thing to a point. I think players need to be more like Iginla and Phaneuf, players that drop the gloves when they get upset but arent just fourth liners. If more players acted like that, then the fighting issue wouldn't be such a big deal. Hate the instigator rule. Rule changes, why don't you take your own advice and wait five years?
    The all-star game has always been a joke, just go with it.

  38. 92-93 says:

    DEFINITELY. totally agree. post-game justice is usually not something i advocate, but if you want to get serious about diving, treat it like suspendable offenses. opposing teams should send the tapes to the head office and get them to review it. AND, make the fines and suspensions much more substantial.

  39. 92-93 says:

    so you are going to ignore all the positives because you want to (prematurely) pull out (gee that sums you up nicely doesnt it?) of a new system that takes awhile to adapt to? a new system that has brought about some pretty exciting games and developments?

    not surprised about your simplistic short answers. you dont have much to work with do you?

    and you work on the assumption that there were no or not as many questionable calls before the lockout … hmmm, sure.

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