Tuesday, June 07, 2005

One Year Since Last NHL Game

One year ago today the Tampa Bay Lightning won the Stanley Cup. It was the last game the NHL has played to date. In the meantime, the NHL has actively been screwing themselves up. We have a lockout killing the entire season and the Stanley Cup playoffs. It looks like the new Central Bargaining Agreement, though it may bring back hockey, will not bring back as good a league as we used to have. Tom Benjamin writes about the Gary Bettman hockey league (the league Bettman wants to set up). I agree with him, I think this league will lead to a bunch of mediocre franchises where it is impossible for any really good team to stay together that has so much player movement that all but the most dedicated fan forgets who plays on his team. I'm not too happy with the idea. I hope that we do see hockey next season - but I hope its not the Gary Bettman hockey league that we are expecting.

Further, the NHL wants to change its rules. Here is a story on this topic. Smaller goalie equipment makes sense. Its an obvious thing to do. But I am against making any stupid change rthat might increase scoring even if it spoils the game. The AHL playoffs have been a low scoring goalie battle and they have been great hockey. Worse, I am against the shootout, which seems like it will happen. Why do we need a skills competition to settle tied games? Is it to make the NHL more ammenable to Las Vegas gamblers? Mike Milbury says "If they don't have the shootout, I'll be shocked. That's an easy one. The fans want it." I must not be a fan. I do not want it. Most of the people I talk to who are serious fans don't want it. It may be that the focus groups of casual fans in markets that largely don't care about the NHL do want a shootout. I am very worried that the new league we will have will not look at all like the old hockey we had as recently as last year. That may alienate a lot of dedicated fans. And it may not attract any new southern US fans they want to gain. Changing the league for people and markets who do not care about the league just does not make sense.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?