Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 04/18/13 at 05:22 PM ET
from John Shannon of Sportsnet,
Yes, 48 games might be too short, but maybe 82 games is too long. This might be a great opportunity for the powers that be to do something about it. For example, would it not be in everyone’s best interest to shorten the regular season to a reasonable number, like 72 or 76 games? And simultaneously, with the extra week at the end of the regular season, use that time to add a play-in round of four teams, bumping the number of playoff teams to 20?
And before you say, that’s too many teams in the post-season, understand that from 1967, the NHL has gone from eight of 12 to eight of 14, then in 1979, actually had 16 of 21 teams make the playoffs. The historic ratio of two-thirds (four of the Original 6 for so long) has some credence for all hockey fans. Twenty of 30 just makes sense.
Owners have always pushed the envelope in adding as many games to the regular season as they feel the market can bear, and their bankers demand. But in a new partnership with the players, and increased revenue sharing, as long as most of those games can still be played (and revenue distributed), what’s the difference?
In most Canadian cities — and the hardcore cities of Philadelphia, Boston, New York and Pittsburgh — the excitement of 41 regular season games will always pay off.
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