Monday, August 12, 2013

Grantland: How you'd fix the NHL

Last week I told you how I'd fix the NHL. This week, it's your turn.

>> Read the full post on Grantland


  1. I have an idea or two that would fix the NHL and draw in many new viewers, especially south of the Canadian Border.

    -First, we can keep the helmets, but face masks will be required by all players.

    -Second, six players a side is great and all, but wouldn't 11 be better?

    -I love checking, too, but why stop there? Let's allow tackling.

    -You really want to make the puck more visible? Make it out of leather and while we are at it, cylinders are lame. Let's go prolate spheroid.

    -The sticks can go,too.

    - In lieu of making the goals bigger, let's just get rid of them and put in a large scoring area that is differently colored from the rest of the playing surface. It is a zone at the end of the ice, so perhaps we can call it the, I dunno, "endzone"?

    -Speaking of the ice...let's scrap it. Ice is depressing. Field turf makes me people happy.

    -There's probably more changes that need to be made regarding playing surface size and rules, but this is a good start, no?

    1. This new game idea is awesome -- especially since everyone is still wearing their skates. I sure hope that leather oblate spheroid isn't pressurized or anything; imagine what's gonna happen the first time anyone accidentally kicks it!

  2. Great article - you've become one of my must read sports columnist.

    Each game needs to have the same weight. I prefer one point for a win, nothing for a loss, 10 or 15 minute OT then go to a SO. This removes the extra column in the standings.

    The new draft order is a bright idea. Thanks for sharing Adam Gold's video.

  3. Bahahahaha!! Love Ben G.'s comment and your response.

    Never change, Sens fans. Never change.

  4. Good bye loser point. 2 points for a win in regular time or overtime. 1 point if you win in a shootout (it's no longer a team sport at that point and should be worth less in the standings).

    Nets should be only 1 to 3 inches higher, not wider... equipment makes a goalie generally wider, not taller.

    Fights are allowed... but only in a special area between dressing rooms... and it will be televised in the bottom right corner of the screen while the game continues on... we could call in the "DomiDome"... the other option is to allow fighting but any player who participates in a smack down forfeits a percentage of that night's pay cheque equal to his number of PM's for that game (i.e. 15 minutes = 15%)... and send it to a Brain Concussion/Cognitive Impairment Program so that the original player can get some use out of it when they retire.

    Home and Home games between teams have to occur at least once each season with all the teams in your home division.

    Playoffs should be for the top 16 teams. Rank them 1 to 16 based on their regular season records and throw out the conferences/divisions for the playoffs. I don't care if the final 8 are all Western or all Eastern teams if they are the best in the league.

  5. I like the idea of trading 5 on 3s, but that could take a long time if it had to go several rounds. Instead, the home team picks who goes first. That team gets a 5 on 3, faceoff in the offensive zone, with the clock running _up_ from zero until they score (or some time limit is reached, I guess). Then, the other team gets a 5 on 3, faceoff in the offensive zone, with the clock running back down. If they score, they win; if the clock runs out, the first team wins. Any 3 on 5 shorty is an instant win; no goalies can be pulled (would be big advantage for team going second). Offensive team would serve any penalties they commit as usual; a defensive team penalty stops the clock and results in a penalty shot. Tweak as needed, but at least this decides the game with normal hockey (albeit special teams) while ending relatively quickly.

  6. To fix the NHL playoffs. The night after the regular season have the 3 division leaders GMs meet on TV. Like the draft they will select from their conference who, among the non division leaders, they will play in the first round.
    This would eliminate teams sand bagging at the end of the season to get play against the #3 instead of #4 or #5. It would give incentive to the division leaders. It would raise interest before the playoffs began. It would create instant rivalries.
    In a case like two years ago there is no chance Vancouver selects LA. So LA says "yeah you don't want to face us", and the team they do choose has a chip on their shoulder "you think you can beat us?"
    So the 3 division leaders choose and the last 2 play each other. Could you see it now the GM on the phone with the coach trying to select who to play.

  7. Re-reading through these articles again, the one thing that didn't make sense from the Gold concept:

    The biggest risk from the Gold concept for top pick points is the weighed time when teams are eliminated from the postseason. The worse teams are eliminated sooner, in the process getting more opportunities to get draft pick points. By contrast, the teams that are in the playoff hunt are penalized for being in the playoff hunt- exacerbating the "it's better to bottom out than to be just good enough for 7th-10th in the conference" status, only changing it to "if you don't have a chance at the Stanley Cup, bottom out early in the season, then catch fire at the end"- even worse due to the way that teams have gone the last couple years [what if two years ago, LA decided to bottom out, get mathematically eliminated, then roar back for the 1 pick?] In addition, the mathematical elimination point, instead of when it's pretty much clear they're out, takes a game or two of point-getting away, and punishes teams in bad divisions who are out of the hunt for the 8 seed, but in the hunt for the division title and 3 seed.

    As such, my slight change to the Gold Theory to make it easier to take and reward every team:

    -Instead of the point totals starting when "EACH" team is eliminated from the playoffs, the point clock starts for teams the moment the FIRST team to be mathematically eliminated from the playoffs is out of playoff contention.

    By having the clock start once the first team's out of playoff contention:

    -You get more time for the second array of point totals.
    -Every team has a uniform point total, giving each non-playoff team the same chance. --Like before, you reward the teams who fight hard, even when they're playing for pride. However, you're also rewarding the teams who are in the thick of the playoff hunt to keep fighting and trying for the goal of getting into the playoffs, not just playing for pride and a draft pick. If a team is in the hunt, playing well, and come up just short in 9th place in their conference after being eliminated on the last day of the season- but is rewarded for how hard they fought with the number one pick in the draft, it rewards the team that played the hardest down the stretch, not just the team that was eliminated earliest. And if it does lead to a good, 9th place team reloading with the 1 pick...well, when the Orlando Magic rode a 41-41 9th place season to getting the second straight number 1 pick and becoming a top contender overnight, no NBA fans had anything bad to say.