Less Teams:Many people think that there are to many teams in the NHL, and while I do not necessarily agree, I think the NHL would be better off if they cut the league down by 2 teams. The 2 teams I think the NHL would miss the least are the Phoenix Coyotes and the Florida Panthers. Neither of these teams have been really successful and their fan support has been weak. If they got rid of these 2 teams, hold a draft to redisperse the players from these teams to the 28 remaining teams.
No More Conferences:In the NFL you have the AFC and NFC, in the MLB its the AL and NL, in basketball its the East and the West. Right now the NHL is like the NBA while having the east and west, but I think it would be unique and be something that a lot of people could enjoy if they got rid of conferences.
My idea is to get 4 different divisions of 7 teams. The 4 divisions names should be the Adams, Patrick, Smythe, and Norris to go back to the ways things used to be before the 1993-1994 season. The NHL is most history based than any of the other major sports (with the Stanley cup and other tropheys) so why not bring back the old school names?
New Divisions:With the bigger divisions and the fact that 2 teams are gone, the divisions need to be fixed. I would go with the following 4 divisions:
- Pittsburgh Penguins
- New Jersey Devils
- New York Rangers
- New York Islanders
- Philadelphia Flyers
- Washington Capitals
- Columbus Blue Jackets
- Calgary Flames
- Vancouver Canucks
- Edmonton Oilers
- Los Angeles Kings
- San Jose Sharks
- Anaheim Ducks
- Colorado Avalanche
- Boston Bruins
- Buffalo Sabres
- Montreal Canadiens
- Detroit Red Wings
- Chicago Blackhawks
- St. Louis Blues
- Toronto Maple Leafs
- Dallas Stars
- Tampa Bay Lightning
- Atlanta Thrashers
- Nashville Predators
- Carolina Hurricanes
- Minnesota Wild
- Ottawa Senators
New Scheduling/Points:The first thing that would have to change would be the schedule. Currently you play every team in your division 6 times, all other teams in your conference 4, and everyone in the other conference 1 time (and 3 of those teams you play twice).
For a new scheduling, I would still have you play your divisional opponents 6 time (36 games). The other 21 teams I would have you play them twice each (42 games). So far this is a total of 78 games, but you will play a total of 84. The other 6 games depend on how you finish the year before. You would play every team that finished in the same place in their division as you 2 more times. So if the Penguins and Blackhawks won their divisions one year, the next year they would play 4 times instead of 2.
The other change I would have is the points system. I think it is time to adopt a 3 point system in the NHL. Getting basically half the points you get for a win just by going to OT is not right, and needs to be changed. I believe it needs to be as follows:
- 3 points for a regulation win
- 2 points for an OT/SO win
- 1 point for an OT/SO loss
- 0 points for a regulation loss
Playoff Format Changes:A lot of people might not like this idea, but I do. Instead of the 16 teams with the most points making the playoffs, there would be a divisional playoff first. The top 4 teams in each division would make this round. What would happen is each division would have a tournament to see which team is the division champ. For example in the Patrick Division say it ended up these final standings:
- Blue Jackets
Once all 4 division winners are crowned, then those 4 play to see who the Stanley Cup winners are. They would be ranked 1-4 based on the amount of points earned outside of your division, and the tie breaker would be total points. Then it would be just like the current conference finals, the 2 winners go on to the Finals to see who would play for the Cup.
Rule Changes:There are a few rules in the current NHL that I would want to change:
- Get rid of the instigator rule, no explination really needed.
- When a player is called for diving, don't put both players in the box. Either the other player took a penalty or there was a dive, punish them for diving instead of making it even.
- Get rid of the trapizoid. Goalies that can stick handle well shouldn't be punished by putting a place in where they can't handle the puck.
- Make the goalies pads smaller. I was always on the fence about this, but after seeing some goalies pads they need to be smaller. When you watch an old school game, their pads were so small its rediculous. I am not saying make them that small, but a little bit smaller to inscrease scoring.
- If a goalie goes behind the net to play the puck, he should be free game for hits. Would make a lot of exciting plays behind the net.
- When a penalty shot is called, the team gets to decide if they want the penalty shot or 2 minute power play.
Thats all I got now, feel free to leave a comment about what you agree/disagree with and any other rules you would like to see.