TIMEOUT is a regular feature on OurHometown.ca, where our NHL Columnists weigh in with quick and pointed thoughts on a given topic. These guys do not see the other responses before the story is posted. Sometimes they agree and sometimes, not so much! Either way, it is a fun read...ENJOY! If you have questions or wish to submit a question for a future edition of TIMEOUT, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Timeout – If you could change two things about the NHL, what would they be?
In this week's installment of 30 Second Timeout we take a look possible changes to the way the NHL game is played. This week’s question was: If you could change two things about the NHL, what would they be and why? Below you will find the responses from five of our columnists.
Cornwall - February 1, 2012 - In this week's installment of 30 Second Timeout we take a look possible changes to the way the NHL game is played. This week’s question was:
If you could change two things about the NHL, what would they be and why?
Below you will find the responses from five of our columnists. Feel free to vote for your choices in the poll below.
Phillip Blancher - I would change two things simultaneously in the NHL; the number of divisions/conferences and the playoff structure. Drop from the current conference/division format to a simple two-conference consisting of 15 teams per conference in an East and West format. Then I would change the playoffs so only the top four teams in each conference would make it to the playoffs and that playoff matches would be seeded by lottery similar to how FIFA seeds World Cup tournaments. I feel this would increase competition in the league during the regular season, making every game matter in the season matter.
Steve Minakakis - NHL refereeing has been as bad as I've seen it in recent years. If the game is too fast for the refs to make the right calls on a more consistent manner there needs to be a solution. I'm all for giving the coach a challenge. Also reviewing a play such as a goal waved off for goaltender interference or a high stick should be expanded. Often times the play its left with the refs decision. A video review should be able to overturn such decisions. Or at least have all 4 refs gather and discuss what they saw before changing the game with a mistake call. I say all this with images of Kerry Fraser watching Gretzky high stick Gilmour, fully in the fore of my mind.
David Murphy - The first thing I would change would be to allow goalies to play the puck anywhere in their zone again. You wouldn't see the revival of the trap just because a puck handling goalie can go into the corner and dump the puck out. This would also slow players down a bit as they head into the corner. The second thing (and Don Cherry will like this) would be to eliminate touch icing. Having the privilege to call OHL games for the past seven years, I can honestly say the game doesn't lose anything on no-touch icing, except less chance for serious injuries. I would still not allow line changes on icing though and that would keep teams from simply rifling the puck down ice to relieve the pressure.
Chris Savard - I would like to see the rules changes so that the home team predominately wears its white jerseys at home. Currently, if you are a season ticket holder at the ACC, one team always wears blue and the other wears white. Years ago the Leafs would be in white and the visitors could be in a number of other colours. The other change I would like to see is a hybrid of the no-touch icing as suggested by Brian Burke. Basically, players would race for the puck to the hash marks instead of the goal line. If the puck crosses the goal line, the play is blown dead.
Jeff Stevenson - I would allow for flexible ice size allowing the home team to decide on the dimensions of their ice surface between the current and an Olympic size ice to create a real home ice advantage. Then I would remove the instigator rule and allow for players to protect each other and hopefully get the respect up again for your fellow players.
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