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If Barry Melrose Was The NHL Broadcasting Commissioner

from Suzanna Bezyan of LA Kings 101,

Barry Melrose, a former Los Angeles Kings coach and current NHL Network contributor, commentator and NHL analyst for ESPN, was recently asked if he were made the Commissioner of NHL broadcasting what changes would he implement to make the game more television friendly. The five points he discussed were; Show athlete’s personalities more, do anything to make the game faster, enforce embellishment, make the players not wear helmets during shootouts, and for television packages to be split.

1. “I'll talk more about on the ice, some things I would like to see done. I would like to see our athletes' personality showing more. We have great guys. They are funny guys. They have got great stories. I don't know if anyone knows the Dominic Moore story, what's happened with Dominic Moore and what he's went through; what Marty St. Louis has went through. Every team has those stories. I would do a better job of letting people see what our athletes are like.”

2. “I would do anything to make the game faster. I think speed is where the game's at. I think for the American viewer, that's what they want to see, speed; they want to see things happen at a high pace. So all of the rules I would implement would be to make the game faster. I would continue really stressing the hooking and holding in the neutral zone, take that completely away. Anything to do with slowing people up when they don't have the puck, I would really enforce. “

3. “I would enforce embellishment totally, if a guy embellishes, throw the book at him. It's embarrassing.

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Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: barry+melrose

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“I would enforce embellishment totally, if a guy embellishes, throw the book at him. It’s embarrassing.

This.

Don’t even call the guy who initially hooks, holds or whatever….only call the embellishment unless the infraction has prevented a genuine scoring chance.

“I would do anything to make the game faster.

I don’t see anything wrong at all with the current pace of the game. Christ. It’s far and away the fastest sport played by humans that aren’t aided by a car or a massive land mammal. Plus how in the hell could you possibly want MORE obstruction calls over what is already enforced. There have already been some in the hockey community that feel that the game may be too fast for its own good, given the size and strength of current athletes, with regards to players safety. I’m not sure that I agree with that but increasing the speed of the game wouldn’t even be one of the first 20 things that I’d tackle if looking to improve upon the game.

Posted by godblender on 06/05/14 at 11:37 AM ET

SYF's avatar

“I would do anything to make the game faster.”

Bigger ice, too?

3. “I would enforce embellishment totally, if a guy embellishes, throw the book at him. It’s embarrassing. Puts referees in a very tough light and it’s totally opposite of what a hockey player is about, trying to cheat like that and pretend you’re hurt and things like that. It’s totally opposite of what a hockey player is brought up thinking hockey is like.”

Whoa.  He’s making me like him.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 06/05/14 at 11:48 AM ET

SnLO's avatar

television packages to be split.

I think his rationalization stinks, but he is correct the packages should be split. Putting all the eggs in one basket is too limiting. The audience can be broadened through exposure out of multiple outlets. And should be more money to boot. What is more money: one package for 100m or 5 packages for 30m each?

Posted by SnLO from the sub great-white north on 06/05/14 at 12:04 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

The embellishment thing is difficult though, as it’s tough to expect a ref or even a linesman to make that judgement - especially while everything else is going on.  For instance, we’ve all seen guys get clipped with a high stick and sometimes it happens so fast you don’t see the stick hit him unless it’s in slow mo, yet he’s flopping all over the place.  If the ref missing the high stick hitting his face, the ref may be influenced to call embellishment, even though he was hit quickly by a stick. 

So then, where is the line drawn before what embellishment is callable and which isn’t?  Who knows. 

But there are some very flagrant ones which absolutely should be called.  Such as any and all times Joe Thorton, Dustin Brown, or Mike Smith fall.

Posted by TreKronor on 06/05/14 at 12:08 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

What I think would be interesting, from a broadcast point of view, would be an overhead camera which can move up and down the ice.  I don’t recall where I had seen it (Winter Classic, maybe?) but there was an overhead camera this season which broadcasters would switch to for a Power Play or Shootout, and you were right on top of the action and viewing it from the Blue Line.  How sweet! 

We’ve seen the cameras mounted on the glass behind the goal, but I really enjoyed seeing the angles from on top of the Blue Line on a moving camera - it was sort of like quarterbacking a powerplay from my couch.  They do this in football and it’s really cool to see the play or a huddle from that point of view - I think it’d be a fun addition to the sport.

Posted by TreKronor on 06/05/14 at 12:11 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

Posted by TreKronor on 06/05/14 at 12:11 PM ET

Not to bash your point of view, because it really is subjective, but I didnt like either one of those angles.  The overhead really keeps you focused on the puck, but makes it difficult to follow the action away from the play.  The PP cam drove me nuts just because it put obstructions (the net, other players, seems in the glass) between you and the puck.

If I had to pick one, it would be the overhead, but I guess Im just a vanilla side view guy.  It even took me awhile to get used to the top down view when playing EA NHL games way back when.

And as for Melrose, nothing that falls out of his mouth means anything to me.

Posted by Hootinani on 06/05/14 at 04:43 PM ET

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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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