Monday, June 18, 2007

Things Need to Change Next Season

It is that time of year where The Dark Ranger must harass the NHL Commissioner and force his will upon others. There are subtle changes that need to be examined -- the new rules of last season have improved the game of sorts, but now with the season at end, it is time to take flight and KA-POW our way into making a better game.

1. The Toronto Maple Leafs need to change their flag. If you concentrate on the white area of the Maple Leaf Flag, you can see two long-nosed men arguing forehead-to-forehead! Subconsciously, this is the story of the team this past season. Raycroft and Aubin having an indefinite staring contest...."Are they going to pull me yet?" Aside from this, now onto real interest stories.

2. 82 games each season are too many. Knock it down by 10-12 games per season per team. It will make the fall games more important and enjoyable --- the player injuries will be reduced and this will allow teams to recover for the playoffs. Each team should play more games per season against division rivals, and reduce the number of games in other conferences making the post-season that much more interesting.

3. Widen the nets by a couple of feet and increase scoring. In the States, this will increase visibility with the general public. More goals. More exciting. More viewership. Professional soccer is unacceptable to U.S audiences because three hours of play can produce zero goals. The science of goaltenders playing the angles needs to be slightly altered. The Dark Ranger is certain this will rise KING LUNDQUIST to the top of the league's goalies.

4. All overtime play should be five on five! Let 'em play! Let 'em play real hockey. Limit the overtime penalty minutes to one minute, as opposed to the current two minute penalty. It is ludicrous in a five-minute overtime to allow for almost half of that time for a bad hit.

5. Three-strike rule, then suspension. If any player during the season intentionally uses there elbows or upper-body for head checks, they should get an automatic five-minute penalty. A third penalty leads to a one-game suspension; every additional bad hit, they double the suspension time (i.e. 2, 4, 8, etc.). If the referees have any chance this upcoming season in properly calling the game, then how often a player hits needs to be standardized.

6. Three points for a regulation win. This will prevent all teams from defensively playing the last two minutes in the third period for the extra point. Lame for the game! The Dark Ranger is mad!

7. In 1735, Mrs. Leeds discovered that she was pregnant with her 13th child. She complained to her friends and relatives that the “Devil can take the next one”, and he did. When the baby was born, he was a monster! She cursed him and named him Marty. He thrashed about the Leeds home for a bit and then vanished up the chimney. Brodeur, or the “Jersey Devil” as he was dubbed, began haunting the Pine Barrens, but now resides in Newark. No more awards for this creature. No more wins. The Dark Ranger has had enough of this goalie-creature wannabe.

8. One referee vs. two referees on the ice? How many times is that perfect play snubbed by a half-skating ref getting in the way? With the league relying on replays for close calls and the league in Toronto calling the close shots in general, is it necessary? Until the League widens the ice, there is no room for two. Though, the Dark Ranger could hover above the ice and strike at will....ah, MSG in four months!

9. Expand the teams! Add Kansas City and Las Vegas. It gives The Dark Ranger a reason to site visit the City of Sin. The teams should be self-sustaining financially and in good 'ole Darwinism, the strongest fan base will survive. When the fans don't give a hoot, No Moe Hockey.

10. F&#k Nashville. Trade the players to Philly and move the team to Hamilton! Sold out. Good for Canada!



  1. Interesting, I agree on most points, and disagree on others.

    Instead of 1-minute powerplays, why not just extend the OT to 10 minutes instead of 5? 10 minuets of no TV timeout hockey goes by pretty quickly, and it makes shootouts more rare and special.

    I'd also say 3 points for a win, 2 for OT win, 1 for Shoot out win, 0 for loss. Seriously why do teams get points for losing?

    If the goal of the NHL is to grow the game in the states, moving a team to Canada won't accomplish that at all, especially Hamilton.

  2. I'm going to weigh in here.

    I don't mind the suggestion of reducing the number of games. However, any injury to a superstar could dramatically alter your post-season chances if there are less games.

    Widening the nets is NOT the answer. Instead of having goalies who wear bigger pads every year, reduce the pad size, especially the chest protector. If you widen the nets, the game will change dramatically again, and that's not good for the game.

    OT can be 4-on-4 or 5-on-5 for me. Personally, the only OT that matters is OT in the playoffs, and that should always be 5-on-5 sudden death.

    The three-strike rule should be carried through the player's career. Occasionally, there is a hit thrown that unintentionally catches a player's head. Players should be allowed a little leeway in this case, but if it is a blatent shoulder or elbow to a head, it's an automatic suspension. No questions asked.

    Two points for a regulation win is fine. It's hard enough for non-NHL fans to follow the league with figuring out how many points a team has without some complicated math problem.

    Two referees is good. It has cut down on obstruction and fouls behind the play. However, the level of officiating needs to be kept high in the playoffs. I saw too many muggings that went unpunished during this past season's playoffs.

    No expansion! None. Not until the league can establish itself as a viable television-friendly league once again. Otherwise, expansion just puts more teams at risk of nobody watching.

    As for Nashville, give them a chance. The fans have been told it is up to them to keep the team in Nashville. Let the chips fall where they may.


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