The Malik Report
by George Malik on 04/14/11 at 02:34 PM ET
The AHL chose to chop 4 games off its 80-ame regular season schedule and eliminate four-game-in-five-night slates during Wednesday’s Board of Governors meetings, and TSN’s Darren Dreger says that the NHL will at least examine several of the AHL’s proposals to see whether they could be tweaked to help the NHL while keeping the NHL’s 82-game schedule intact:
Some NHL teams have pushed for a similar schedule reduction since the lockout, going as far as to propose the NHL drop from 82 to 72 games (although those who still favour a change say they would be happy to trim the schedule from 82 to 76).
The NHL acknowledges there have been discussions on this topic, but sees nothing imminent when it comes to a change.
Because of an obvious loss in revenue, NHL owners are unlikely to support playing fewer games. But with player safety a key issue in today’s game and the millions of dollars lost annually across the league to injuries, the team executives who contend less is more will be closely monitoring the impact the AHL’s schedule reduction may have on its players. As one star NHL player told The Dreger Report, “Money wise we need an 82 game schedule, but body wise, 60 would be better.”
Continued, and given the ridiculous number of injuries occurring on an every-season basis these days, I think the AHL’s suggestion to extend its regular season by a week and reduce back-to-back grinds are both ideas worth examining.
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