March 2, 2010

More NHL fixing, Olympic style

by Dan Bilicki In: Ice Hockey, Olympics

With the NHL dropping the puck for the stretch run of their season – after stupidly taking off time for the Olympics – I have a good question for Commissioner Gary Bettman: Were you watching the men’s ice hockey tournament? Because if he was, he might have noticed that the Olympic set of rules is far superior to the ones his league uses. That just run down the many ways the NHL could be improved if he simply used the international rules of the game.

First, the fighting problem would be gone. Would you really want to employ a goon when a fight results in a game suspension? Not unless the player actually had other talents. This would completely eliminate the guys who are completely one-dimensional in the most primitive aspect of the game. But, let the record show, I have no problem with fighting’s part of ice hockey; I just think that it should be punished more severely.

Second, no-touch icing and quicker faceoffs would eliminate teams dumping the puck whenever they’re in trouble in their own end. If you couple these two rules together, teams that do so would be punished by having gassed players out on the ice for longer without the break that it takes a defenceman to collect the puck for a whistle. It would speed up the game immensely.

The trapezoid behind the net in the NHL should also be abolished. It became very clear that if a legend like Martin Brodeur – one of the best puck-handling netminders ever – could make mistakes with the puck, then how would scoring not increase with an increase in mistakes?

Finally, and this is the rule that needs to be in the NHL the most of them all, the points system needs to be revamped to international style. Three points for a win, two for overtime wins, one for an OT loss. Teams should be rewarded for not requiring extra time, plain and simple. This would solve the problem of teams with losing records hovering around the playoff race. And if I hear another person say a team that 31-30-5 is over .500, I might snap.

So, commish, I hope you were paying attention instead of holding your breath and praying no stars got injured. If you were really watching, your league could make some big improvements in the coming years, instead of looking for new American markets to fail in.

1 Comment

  1. The NHL should institute no-touch icing at the very least!

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