The Best Ways to Improve Today’s NHL
With all the hardships most NHL franchise’s go through or are going through, owners are always looking at ways to sell more seats. There are many reasons why teams just can’t get fans inside, especially when most arenas are not cost effective. So, how can the NHL make fans want to spend money, even if their home team is consistently a non-competitive team?
This top 10 list was inspired by the lack of attendance in almost every arena in all southern states as well as how the game can be slightly more entertaining. Personally, I am a big fan of way the game is now but even I am willing to add a few ideas to welcome others to enjoy it just as much. Though many of these ideas are somewhat ridiculous, some of these suggestions may actually work.
And now, I will not keep you waiting...
#10 – Cheerleaders
This is self explanatory. I am not sure how many arenas have cheerleaders but I do know that Phoenix does and this helps those boring moments between plays. Not only would that, but this would also prevent drunken people from dancing to the music and spilling beer everywhere. It works in football so why can’t it work in hockey.
#9 – Put microphones on referees and linesmen
I have noticed that some televised games do have referees wired up to tell everyone what penalty he has called. Firstly, do this in every arena for every game, not just the televised ones. Secondly, take it a step further. Have all refs and linesmen wired for the whole game with no “off” switch. This would be a unique way to get a different live play-by-play at the game.
#8 –Introduce a goon award
Fighting is not going to be banned from hockey, no matter what, it is entertaining and I am one of millions who love it. The NHL has been around for over 100 years so why hasn’t there been an award for the best goon in the league yet? They get paid big bucks to be very good at their job and they deserve the right to literally fight for this award. Maybe call it the Dave Shultz Award? Tiger Williams Award? Joe Murphy Award?
#7 – Unlimited curve on hockey sticks
The fans want more goals and so does the league but yet it is a penalty to “over” curve the blade of the stick. Drop this rule and let’s see what players can do with a curve that they like. There is no way the game can get worse by trying this. Not all players may use this but the option is there if they like. I vote to bring back the banana curve and the natural flutter puck.
#6 – Video replay
I’m sick of coaches and players claiming that the officials “missed a call”. Give each coach either one challenge per game or one challenge per period to argue any called that was or was not made. After the whistle, they throw a red towel and get a replay on whatever they want; a missed goal, a no goal, a missed penalty etc. Now, if they challenge and lose, it is automatically a two minute minor penalty for delay of game.
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#5 –Winning fighter gets less time in box
This rule goes hand in hand with #8. Whenever there is a fight in the NHL, the winner only gets a two minute penalty while the loser gets the full five minutes. There would have to be a voting system to determine the winner, maybe three random judges, or just let the referees decide. If a fight is determined a draw, then both players serve the full five minutes. This may make fighters think twice about their opponent.
#4 – Bring back Sean Avery and more….
The agitator; people hate to love them but love to hate them. Guys like Sean Avery make the game better and we need more like him in the game. He carries a charisma that makes me want to watch him get killed on the ice and want to see him not win. The point is that he attracts me and I assume other to watch. Those antics he did last year in front of the net with this hockey stick were genius and makes me want to see more. The league needs more Brian Barnaby’s and Avery’s.
#3 – New all-star format
Am I the only one that thought the all-star game and skills competition was beyond boring? There are ways to improve both. The all-star game has to change its format to get more attention from people who agree with me. With the whole North America versus the World thing already been done, here are some ideas.
How about having lefties versus righties match in an all-star game? Or a visors versus no-visors battle? What about bringing back the backyard skating rink concept and have all the all-stars throw their sticks in the middle and have the ref toss sticks to each side? At least there would be a surprise factor.
As for the skills competition, there needs to be a body checking competition. Maybe have a heavy dummy in three parts of the ice, like along the boards, open ice and in front of the net and see who can cause the most damage. How about having a shot blocking competition or instead of the fastest skater, have the fastest chaser?
#2 – Penalty kill icing rule
Why does the team who took the penalty have the advantage to ice the puck without being called for icing? Take this out and make penalties much more costly. This will put a lot more pressure on the shorthanded team and leave them to do more than just dump the puck to kill time. Offensively, this should work out for more goals.
And my best way to improve today’s NHL is.…
#1 – Improve scheduling
The league wants more fans at games but yet they won’t change the stupid schedule system. People want to see the stars in their arenas and some teams only play other teams once in a season. This means that some cities have to wait two years to see many teams and players like Sidney Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin and Joe Thornton. I don’t understand why every team doesn’t play every team at home and away in the same season. This is an easy way to get more fans out and allow every city to see every player.
Other ways to improve today’s NHL that deserve Honorable Mention:
- Remove instigator rule
- Two pucks on the ice at once
Agree, disagree? Let me hear what you have to say.
By Kevin Chaves
ProHockey-fans.com Staff Writer
Find all of Kevin's Best of the NHL articles here at Pro Hockey Fans!
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