5 ways I would make the NHL better

Change Rules
That’s a given of course. But what rules? I always keep hearing the same ideas on what rule changes should be made (Make the rinks bigger, 4 on 4 hockey, kill off fighting). Those rule changes have been on the table longer the Bass Pro Shop, so I’m not going to bother with that. How about having a two minute power play not expire after a team scores(Credit Bucky Gleason). Think of the element it would add if a team was down 2 goals. It would make things a lot more exciting. Of course shrinking the goalie equipment would help too. Lets also shorten playoff overtime hockey to 2 periods and do a shoot out afterwards. Remember the gold medal game in the Olympics in 1992? Yeah I know, some of you like overtime hockey, but when you get to 3 overtimes, it’s more like watching your clock then the game.
Change schedule
Lets do something to shake things up and cut costs. How about having teams within their own division play 3 games in 5 nights, just like they have it in baseball. Picture having a 3 game series with Toronto coming to town. Game 1 Sabres win 6-5, Game 2 Leafs win 4-3 and there’s 200 minutes in penalties and Lindy Ruff vows revenge for Toronto going after our captain. You wouldn’t have to wait a month for the next game, because it would be the next night. The blood would still be boiling and fans experience would be like being at 3 days of Woodstock, except with no peace. It would be like a week long event. How would it cut costs? Well you wouldn’t have to fly to Montreal more then once. As far as teams outside of the division you can play a 2 day home stand. Works for me.
Exploit Fighting
If there is one thing I can tell you about what women want, it’s their always a sucker for the bad ass guy. That’s the same that goes for the typical sports fan. Hockey Fights are awesome. I’ve seen it first hand at arenas when the crowd rise to their feet and start yelling. Why the NHL is trying to get rid of it? I have no clue. It’s the one thing that the other 3 major sports don’t have and trying to be different from those sports should be the NHL’s goal. If you don’t believe me why don’t you youtube hockey’s greatest fights or for you Sabres fans, type in Flyers vs Sabres fights and enjoy. Not only is it exciting but it’s a part of our game. I’ll never forget the Senators vs Sabres game where Drury got knocked out by Chris Neal and Ruff told his team go out their and fight. Revenge is bitter sweet and so is fighting.

Fire Versus!!
I remember watching ESPN a couple years ago and all of a sudden the program shifted over to a 10 minute discussion about the upcoming Arena Football League season. The anchors were acting as if the Arena League was on the verge of being a great league. Um, I’m sure it would be if the NFL and CFL didn’t exist. Why the hell was ESPN giving the league the plug? It was because ESPN had the same deal that NBC has with the NHL in sharing TV revenue. ESPN is the mastermind when it comes to shoving sports programming down our throat. Versus isn’t even up to par with the sports TV I produced in College. Their intermission reports are a joke. Showing the same highlights over and over again is just a complete drag. How about during the playoffs the crew sets up a satellite interview with a player that’s going to be playing the next night on Versus. Heck, have him do a phone interview if you can’t afford the satellite truck. The intermission is the same thing every night. It’s all about exposure and ESPN is simply the exposure machine.

Hiring acting coaches!

Ok, my credibility (as if I had any) probably just sank because I have a picture of Steve Austin on here. But the reason I have it up is because when wrestling blew up in the late 90’s it wasn’t because of the actual wrestling in the ring, it was because the wrestlers started doing more promos and were getting the audience to buy tickets even before the wrestler actually wrestled. Every great promoter in wrestling wants and needs a great villain, especially in today’s world were the bad guy is idolized, fans are more likely to pay hard earned cash to see a wrestler get their ass whipped who they hated. The NHL needs to adopt that philosophy. They need to find the villains and heroes. They need to get the fans in building and to watch on TV even before the puck is dropped. When was the last time we saw a verbal exchange between two players that hated each other, and don’t give me Crosby/Ovechkin, the trash talk was like my best friend and I playing a video game. They need venom! They need Steve Austin saying he’s going to kick the Rock’s ass venom! Besides talking trash how about celebrating a goal a little better. That whole let us pound it out thing is a BORE! TO and Chad Johnson got so much PR from just autographing a football and purposing to a cheerleader. I loved it when Ovechkin did the hockey stick on fire celebration. And you idiots who thought it was too much, need to step aside and realize the younger generation is who the NHL needs to sell too. You NHL old-schoolers are what wrestling promoters call some of their fans “Marks.” Which means you will watch anything that has the word hockey in it. It’s not about getting you on board, its about capturing the fans who are hanging out on the World Series of Poker boat.
Honorable Mention: Fire Bettman, Players use twitter during games, move two American teams to Canada, Force Golisano to sell the Sabres.
-Joe-
“Thank god it’s friday
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