The NHL has made a decent comeback since we were robbed of a hockey season in which I thought my beloved New Jersey Devils looked great enough to bring home another Stanley Cup. While the NHL has made some great additions with the shootout and some key rule changes, I think the attendance factor still continues to bog down the NHL’s revenues and the full popularity in the sport. Now hear me out because some of things I think need to happen in order to keep the NHL from going back to those hard times and poor ratings. My ideas might rub some hockey fans the wrong way but here they are

1. Change the points system please. why should an OT win be worth the same as a regulation win. Make the regulation win count for three points

2. Move some teams. I have friends that are dying to have an NHL franchise back in their city. I have friends that were heartbroken as the whalers left Hartford, or when the Nordiques left Quebec. My suggestion, move the Lightning, the Thrashers, the Panthers, Blue Jackets, and other franchises to cities that really want these teams. I attended an Islander game that had nearly 5000 Nordiques fans there in support of both the Islanders and the Thrashers who are both 28th and 29th in attendance. I would never say move a franchise because it is terrible for those cities, but they do not care, send em some where that has a parade with over 10,000 people yearly to get a team back there.

3. Remove lame duck owners. These clowns are just looking at overhead, and they are just concerned with being in the black. Sell those teams to the public let us buy shares like they did with the Green Bay Packers.

4. Who does not remember the Coolest game on Earth advertisements.

5. Let em fight. Make sure every team has at least 2 enforcers.

6. Do something to get hockey cards back out to the public. Go the route of going with a 70’s style O-Pee-Chee cards

These are just some thoughts, please add to them as you see fit. Thank you every one for your support, I look forward to writing on Badwax. Follow me on twitter@ nick_steele66

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6 responses »

  1. Mike D says:

    I have had similar thoughts on what would make hockey a more viable option again.
    First and foremost – move hockey out of the south. There is no need for teams in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Arizona. The “globalization” of hockey several years ago was a downfall for the NHL, and it shows with spotty attendance and poor advertising. Hockey belongs in Canada, and if it doesn’t snow in your locale (I’m looking at you too, California…) then there is something grossly wrong with that.
    Second – revise marketing schemes. Bringing back the outdoor games and hanging onto the Winter Olympics for hope is nice, but when you are only banking on Ovechkin, Crosby, Detroit and Chicago to do the bulk of heavy lifting, it is no better than ESPN putting on Yankees-Red Sox or Mets-Phillies on their games of the week. Limited exposure and cornered superstars will remain. Does anyone outside the hockey circles know who the Sedin twins are?
    Third – Find a way to make international players more accessible. Some of the biggest stars in baseball are ESL, but still manage to see as much domestic press as ever. Pujols, Ortiz, Pedro Martinez, Sosa (until Congressionals…) and even A Rod (he claimed foreign for the WBC!!!?) are as marketed as Jeter, Howard, Lincecum, etc. I saw on a Yahoo blog yesterday where Pavel Datsyuk did one of his first interviews in some time. And he is a superstar on a banner franchise.
    Some teams do it right – Chicago Blackhawks – for example, put their guys right out there and are visible all over the Windy City. But that has large part to do with John McDonough and Rocky Wirtz and their aggressive marketing. And having a Cup doesn’t hurt, either.

  2. Daniel Mathews says:

    WHOA WHOA WHOA!!! Don’t move the Lightning! They’ve won a Stanley Cup!

  3. They’ve won a Stanley Cup!!! No one watches them, but they’ve won a Stanley Cup….

    I like your thoughts, but the 3 point thing. Keep regulation wins at 2 points. Give 1 point to OT/Shootout winners… take away the 1 point for losing in OT/Shootout
    Who rewards losing??? Seriously…

  4. Michael says:

    I was so pissed when Norm Green moved the North Stars to Dallas. I have remained a Stars fan though, and the Wild are just not the same. Just because the owner sucked and the city they play in is different, doesn’t change my stance on the team. Had they changed the team name, like the other teams that had moved around that time. I may be singing a different tune. I feel for the cities that really care about hockey, and are still without a hockey team. Minnesota was able to get a team back. For the most part, it’s nice, but it will never be the same. Once you love a team, it’s hard to change.

    NORM GREEN, YOU STILL SUCK!!

  5. tomseaver says:

    Hockey is the greatest game on earth so I wouldn’t change much. The thing that bothers me about hockey is the refereeing. They are terribly inconsistent and biased. I watched a game last night between the Flyers and Leafs where one player got a 5 minute major and game misconduct for a boarding penalty and later in the game, another player did a very similar thing and wasn’t even penalized. This was not an isolated incident because calls like that happen almost every game. This problem makes it hard for the casual fan to take the game seriously in my opinion.

  6. Shawn says:

    I agree that the point system needs to be changed. We should limit the amount of 3 point games in the NHL. I propose this:
    2 Points for Regulation Wins
    Increase the overtime period to 10 minutes and reward 2 Points for an OT win, team that loses in OT get 1 point
    1 Point for a SO win, zero points for a SO loss.
    This would make the OT period more wide open and given the fact that you won’t get a point if you loose in the shoot out it will make the hockey more interesting.

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