Friday, November 18, 2022

Three-point games? Legal hand passes? Trading points for cap space? Rules court returns

Welcome back to Rules Court. Please rise, court is in session.

If you’re new to Rules Court, the concept is simple. You, the readers, submit your ideas for changes to the NHL rulebook. They can be new rules, tweaks to old ones, or the elimination of something that’s already there. On the ice or off. Small, big, or insanely game-changing. You make your best case, and then a three-judge panel of me, Ian Mendes and Sean Gentille make our ruling. Convince at least two of us, and your new rule is passed and the NHL is legally bound to adopt it. (Our lawyers are still working on that part, as the league is being weird about returning out calls.)

Previous sessions of rules court have seen us adopt extended overtime if a team is shorthanded, replace the shootout with 2-on-1s, and adopt a half-court rule. And yet the suggestions keep pouring in, sending a clear signal that you people are insane our readers have a ton of great ideas for improving the league.

Let’s see what you have for us this time…

The way the current system for points in the standings is set up doesn’t make sense from a fairness perspective or a mathematical perspective.  Instead of two points for some games and three points for others, points should be set up as follows:

- Outright win in regulation:  three points

- Shootout/overtime win: two points

- Shootout/overtime loss:  one point

- Outright loss:  zero points

In addition to giving out three points for every game, it rewards a win in regulation (real, non 3-on-3 hockey).  It gives everyone at least one point for getting to overtime, and rewards the team that wins in overtime/the shootout/the 2-on-1 thing you approved last time. – Chuck F. (and many others)

 McIndoe: Yep. I’ve been crusading against the current point system for nearly a decade. There’s really no defending how we do things now. The loser point is awful – it screws up the standings, inflates everyone’s record, makes the NHL the laughingstock of other leagues, and (worst of all) incentivizes boring play late in tie games, which is when the drama should be at its highest. 

So yes, let’s switch to 3-2-1-0. Is it perfect? No. It’s still giving out a loser point, for example, and breaks with the traditional two points for a win the league has had for a century. I know some people would prefer to just go to wins and losses, or bring back ties, or a dozen other possible plans. But that’s the problem with how we do things now: It’s so stupid that literally any alternative would be better, so we get paralyzed by all the options. We need to just pick something and go with that, because literally anything else will be a massive improvement. The 3-2-1-0 system works, so I’m on board. YES.

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