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Three Ideas For Gary Bettman

from Gord Stellick of Sportsnet,

The Florida Panthers (1996), Philadephia Flyers (1997) and Washington Capitals (1998) were each swept in four games by either the Red Wings or Avalanche. At that point I though it would be appropriate to scrap the conference finals and have the final four teams to cross over in what would be an “NHL Semi-final,” allowing Detroit and Colorado the opportunity to meet in the Final.

Given the strength of the Western Conference these past few seasons, I like that idea once again. Make it possible for the very best two teams to meet in the Stanley Cup Final, even if they are from the same Conference. Why not? What is the NHL holding on to? There isn’t the same history that Major League Baseball has with the American League and National League and the NFL has with the NFC and AFC.

For Leaf fans, it keeps the possibility of a Toronto-Montreal Stanley Cup Final alive (though realistically these days it would more mean likely a Battle of California Final starring the likes of Los Angeles, Anaheim or San Jose). Regardless, how nice would it be to know the Stanley Cup would be contested by the best two teams in the NHL every year?

read on for two more ideas...

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

alwaysaurie's avatar

So let me get this straight.

His suggestion is that Bettman change the system so that it’s likely both teams in the finals are from the same area of the country?

Is this designed to make the ratings for the SCF lower?

Posted by alwaysaurie on 01/23/14 at 12:30 PM ET

Itrusteddrrahmani's avatar

Posted by alwaysaurie on 01/23/14 at 11:30 AM ET

I agree, what the hell is he talking about? Of course a Tor/Mtl final would be great or a Det/Nyr would be cool as well. But what happens in the more likely scenario that two west coast teams and no one cares. Or even if two east coast teams met, and alienated the rest of the country. The Finals are meant to bring the best of each conference, and every sport does it that way for a reason.

Posted by Itrusteddrrahmani from Nyc by way of A2 on 01/23/14 at 12:46 PM ET

Avatar

I never understand why every damn year there are all these people that want to change crap around in the NHL.  I mean it is literally every year.  Remove the two line pass, institute hybrid icing, move the wings to the east, rename the conferences, change up the playoff format…. Dear God…. if you do not like the game as it is… go watch basketball.

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 01/23/14 at 12:46 PM ET

Avatar

Dear God…. if you do not like the game as it is… go watch basketball.

Are the conference names, conference makeups and playoff format the reason you watch “the game”?

I watch the game because of the goals and hits and dekes and passes and shots, things like that.  The name of the conference doesn’t affect my love of the game in any way.

Posted by Garth on 01/23/14 at 01:01 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

Asking for static situations and traditions in the NHL ignores the history of the NHL. Few teams have gone without significant changes to their sweater crests over even the last decade. Even the vaunted traditionalists in Detroit have had two alternate sweaters in the last ten years (Winter Classic). Teams like Buffalo change their sweater designs instead of their game plan to mask bad seasons ineffectively. Has Nashville ever started a season with only two sweater designs?

Stuff changes. The game changes. Basketball is far more static. So if change bothers you, there are options.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 01/23/14 at 01:27 PM ET

awould's avatar

I’d rather give a team 1 point for a win and nothing else. You lose, zero. You tie, zero. Basically, you don’t win, you get nothing. No reward for a tie. Maybe extend overtime an extra minute or two to give them the chance to get that point.

Posted by awould on 01/23/14 at 01:48 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

I’d like a 10 min OT with a stop at 5 min to go 3 on 3. Then it’s a tie and no points awarded. 1 pt for an OT win, 2 for a regulation win.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 01/23/14 at 01:55 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

I’m all about it if it equates to better hockey.  The league has made an emphasis, particularly with the newest realignment, to make the division and conference competition more important.  But at the end of the day, the Western Conference is clearly better, and I personally would rather see the best two teams in the league play each other in the final.  Whether or not they are in the same conference doesn’t matter to me, so long as they are the two best teams.

Posted by TreKronor on 01/23/14 at 05:21 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Three ideas for Gary Bettman:

1. Long walk off a short pier with cement shoes;

2. Cage match with Chris Chelios;

3. First sports commissioner on the moon, residency permanent.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 01/24/14 at 07:25 AM ET

Hank1974's avatar

I like the idea of seeding the teams across both conferences.
1 vs 16, 2 vs 15, etc.
It used to be that way. No reason it can’t be again.

But I don’t like the cap idea. Instead, why not reward teams for drafting well?
Make it so that only 75% of a drafted and developed players salary counts against the cap.
This way powerhouses that draft well can keep the players they poured money into while they developed within their system.

Finally, the last off-ice change I’d love to see be made is a change in the draft lottery.
Edmonton, AGAIN, is on pace to take the #1 pick overall.
That’s crap.

Instead, why not have a similar system to the 2005 draft where teams have upwards of 3 balls in the box.
If you’ve gone to a Cup final the previous year, you lose a ball. If you’ve picked #1 overall, you lose a ball.

How much fun would the draft be every season if every team had a decent shot at the #1 pick?
To help struggling franchises (like Pittsburgh and Chicago needed), you could make it up to 5 balls so that Cup winners still had a longer shot of getting the #1 as opposed to a craptacular team like Edmonton or Buffalo.

Posted by Hank1974 on 01/24/14 at 10:13 AM ET

Hank1974's avatar

I’d like a 10 min OT with a stop at 5 min to go 3 on 3. Then it’s a tie and no points awarded. 1 pt for an OT win, 2 for a regulation win.

Agreed!

I don’t like the shootout but I’m hesitant to remove it entirely because kids do love it.
I’ve taken my boys to games and they’re both hoping for a tie, haha.
We can’t ignore that demographic completely because they’ll eventually be the fans that drive the league.

But I’d love to see more OT before going to a Shootout.
The league has said they don’t want to extend games any longer with a 3-on-3 portion but my response to that is “Why don’t you just start games on time!?!?”.
It seems every game starts 10 to 15 minutes later than what’s scheduled.
In baseball, if it says 7:05 start, you bet your butt the first pitch is thrown between 7:04 and 7:06. Hockey needs to do the same.

And for the shootout, the NHL needs to adopt a policy that after the first three shooters can repeat.
The World Jr’s where Toews scored multiple SO goals was awesome.

I’d rather give a team 1 point for a win and nothing else. You lose, zero. You tie, zero. Basically, you don’t win, you get nothing. No reward for a tie. Maybe extend overtime an extra minute or two to give them the chance to get that point.

awould, you’re singing my song.
2 pts for regulation or OT win, 1 pt for SO win, loser gets NOTHING.

But then the NHL couldn’t trumpet the false parity that it creates.
Just look at the schedule. How many times do you see a good team play its 3rd game in four nights against a bad team who hasn’t played in 2 nights?

Posted by Hank1974 on 01/24/14 at 10:21 AM 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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