Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 07/18/11 at 08:34 AM ET
via Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe and Mail,
Bill Simmons of Grantland.com is perhaps the most original sports writer since Bill James. One of Simmons’s ideas is a week-long, single elimination tournament for the final playoff seeds in the NBA. As you read this, just substitute NHL for NBA and tell us it wouldn’t be a TV blockbuster.
“Let’s say we cut down the regular season to 78 games, lock down the top seven seeds in each conference, then stage a week-long, single elimination, 16-team tournament between the nonplayoff teams for the 8-seeds. (No conferences, just no. 15 through no. 30 seeded in order.)
“The higher seeds would host the first two rounds from Sunday through Wednesday; the last two rounds (The Final FourGotten) would rotate every year in New York or Los Angeles on Friday night and Sunday afternoon, becoming something of a fun sports weekend along the lines of all-star weekend. Friday night’s winners would clinch playoff berths. Sunday’s winner gets two carrots: the chance to pick their playoff conference (you can go East or West), as well as the no. 10 pick in the upcoming draft (that’s a supplemental pick; they’d get their own first-rounder as well) ...
“Lottery teams couldn’t tank down the stretch or shut down starters for nefarious reasons; not with a possible playoff berth and an extra first-rounder at stake. Fans would remain invested no matter how poorly their team was playing down the stretch (knowing the tournament was coming up). Sponsors would pony up extra money to be involved. We’d get a fun basketball weekend in New York or Los Angeles out of it. The 14 playoff teams would get 10 days off as their bonus.”
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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