As the NHL season approaches the halfway mark, a few trends have emerged. And one of them is discouraging: Despite some hope for another post-lockout bump in scoring, the goals per game rate so far this year is virtually unchanged from last season. And the rate of even-strength scoring is on pace to be among the lowest since before the 2005 lockout.
That’s disappointing for fans of offensive-minded hockey, and it’s led to renewed calls for the league to take some sort of action to increase scoring. Although it’s true that more offense doesn’t automatically mean a more entertaining product, and a 1-0 game can be far more exciting than a sloppy blowout, there does seem to be a consensus that the league could use more scoring. But how? While other leagues have responded quickly to dips in offense, Gary Bettman’s NHL has always struggled with exactly what to do about it.
Let’s take a look at 10 of the more common suggestions for increasing NHL scoring and consider whether they could actually work.