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How would you fix the NHL?


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#21 Oriole85

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 10:25 PM

I find Olympic hockey interesting, and you could not pay me to watch the NHL.  Olympic hockey seems more open (larger rinks?).... but I know part of my interest is the waiving of the National flags.

I think that's a bigger part of it for the vast majority. Same thing with the World Cup. (yes I know soccer is growing in this country).


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#22 Oriole85

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 11:20 PM

I would also add that in addition to relocating to Canada that there might also be some northern-tier US cities where the NHL could do better. I would definitely say a team here in the Pacific NW could work, whether Portland or Seattle. Portland is the only one of the two that has an existing arena that would suit the NHL (and they were were actually active in trying to get the Coyotes up until they finally reached an agreement with Glendale). There's also Hartford, though I'm not sure how they would do attendance-wise, as they only averaged about 14,000/game during their prior NHL stint. Maybe somewhere in Wisconsin? Probably not Milwaukee, since they already have 2 major league sports teams. But Madison perhaps?

Not sure how successful that would be, the college hockey team is pretty successful. And sure you got a team in Columbus, but they have 3x the metro area population.


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#23 SportsGuy

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 10:35 AM

Those people complaining about the fighting don't even watch now though. You shouldn't be able to complain from the outside in. There used to be like 3 fights every game back in the day and no one complained. Now there is one or less per game and people cry about it. Same people that say football is too physical. We are just getting too PC as a society I think.

And trust me, no you wouldn't. If you watched 60 minutes of back and forth hockey with one goal you would be bored to death. We aren't talking near misses and high octane, we are talking turnovers and fewer shots on goal. Its worse than watching baseball.

I am talking about media members who constantly watch and talk about how bad it is right now.



#24 JeremyStrain

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 11:00 AM

I am talking about media members who constantly watch and talk about how bad it is right now.

 

Yeah that's what I mean though. Just cause they are a media member doesn't mean they know a LICK about the game. Jason LaCanfora was at one time the Caps beat writer for the post remember, we all know hockey is not his first, or second love. He did a good job because he's a great writer, but not understanding the history or even minor details of the game you'll miss stuff. It's how you end up with articles from people where you find yourself scratching your head going, that's so stupid...or why Thorne is so annoying at times because he doesn't understand what he's talking about. Great announcer, knows little about baseball.

 

It's NOTHING like it was in the late 80's-mid 90's but there is this thing now where you are only cool if you talk about how worried you are for the safety of players playing the game with the rash of concussions and the narrative that has going on in the NFL. Hockey is the only other contact sport, and that being said you even see people doing it in baseball (home plate collisions, INF collisions). At some point people are going to want all pro athletes wrapped in bubble wrap. Yes some of the ideas are good ones (padding for pitcher's helmets for example) but some of them are just people protesting for the sake of protesting.

 

(Don't take any of this as directed towards you, or even saying you have that opinion, just generalizing towards the group of people that wants to water down and police hockey even though they don't even watch it, there are a ton of them out there)

 

There have been 134 fighting majors doled out (which means 67 actual fights) in 124 games played this season. That's  one every other game ish. It's just not the thug game it's made out to be.


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#25 Chris B

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 11:03 AM

This sounds petty, but I just won't have interest in the NHL unless Baltimore gets a franchise. Just haven't been able to connect with a team.

 

That said, going to a hockey game is awesome. I can actually see the puck and the fans are rowdy. Minor league hockey (and all of its easy, cheap promos) is just great fun.



#26 You Play to Win the Game

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 11:07 AM

I don't think hockey is broken - it's a great game, and just a ton of fun to watch, especially live. I do think that as more information becomes available, the league will probably have to put an end to the fighting. It's not just a matter of PC (Although I definitely see Jeremy's point), it's much more about law suits and liability. That said, anyone who watches hockey knows a ton more concussions happen just by the normal contact (checks, etc.) that take place in a game than in fights.

 

Anyway, I love BoB's idea of taking away the losers point unless it's a SO loss. I'd like to give that a shot, it'd be interesting. Like him, I do not see the NHLPA agreeing to extend the 5-minute OT period, though, but I'd like to see that ideally as well.



#27 JeremyStrain

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 11:13 AM

This sounds petty, but I just won't have interest in the NHL unless Baltimore gets a franchise. Just haven't been able to connect with a team.

 

That said, going to a hockey game is awesome. I can actually see the puck and the fans are rowdy. Minor league hockey (and all of its easy, cheap promos) is just great fun.

 

And I KIND of understand that, at least I've really been trying to the past couple years. I am born and raised DC suburbs, closer to that Bmore/DC grey area (think like Columbia/Laurel/Annapolis) so I've always felt an interest in both cities, like it's one region and not a split of two cities. Was a Redskins fan long before the Ravens and an Orioles fan long before the Nationals.

 

My solution like mentioned before by a couple people was that Baltimore should get an AHL or ECHL team at minimum, that could have been the Caps minor league affiliate. Keeps the groups close, and gives people in both areas a reason to be invested in one franchise. Hershey has been a great team to be a part of, but I don't think anything could compare to a DC/Bmore 1-2 punch.


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#28 JeremyStrain

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 11:18 AM

I don't think hockey is broken - it's a great game, and just a ton of fun to watch, especially live. I do think that as more information becomes available, the league will probably have to put an end to the fighting. It's not just a matter of PC (Although I definitely see Jeremy's point), it's much more about law suits and liability. That said, anyone who watches hockey knows a ton more concussions happen just by the normal contact (checks, etc.) that take place in a game than in fights.

 

Anyway, I love BoB's idea of taking away the losers point unless it's a SO loss. I'd like to give that a shot, it'd be interesting. Like him, I do not see the NHLPA agreeing to extend the 5-minute OT period, though, but I'd like to see that ideally as well.

 

The root of that is that there are only two contact sports. Football and Hockey. In football it's a little easier to put protections in place for players since there are limits on the number of plays per game, and players directly targeted for contact. But in Hockey it's non-stop for 60 minutes, and there can be an infinite number of collisions in that period both with and without the puck. If you take away fighting, but leave the physical, there is nothing to stop a team from putting out a player that is only going to get a couple minutes per game to go rough up and attempt to knock out an elite skilled player from the other team. (and hence the birth of fighting in hockey) It's actually a defensive function where if there was a player you could put out there with no function but to blindside a LB when they aren't looking and potentially take him out the game, you would be a lot more cautious about how rough you are when handling that team's QB. Or when it comes to the old debate about beanings in baseball. You are less likely to throw at a player's head if you know the next inning the same is going to be done to your top players.


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#29 Oriole85

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 11:34 AM

Yeah that's what I mean though. Just cause they are a media member doesn't mean they know a LICK about the game. Jason LaCanfora was at one time the Caps beat writer for the post remember, we all know hockey is not his first, or second love. He did a good job because he's a great writer, but not understanding the history or even minor details of the game you'll miss stuff. It's how you end up with articles from people where you find yourself scratching your head going, that's so stupid...or why Thorne is so annoying at times because he doesn't understand what he's talking about. Great announcer, knows little about baseball.

 

It's NOTHING like it was in the late 80's-mid 90's but there is this thing now where you are only cool if you talk about how worried you are for the safety of players playing the game with the rash of concussions and the narrative that has going on in the NFL. Hockey is the only other contact sport, and that being said you even see people doing it in baseball (home plate collisions, INF collisions). At some point people are going to want all pro athletes wrapped in bubble wrap. Yes some of the ideas are good ones (padding for pitcher's helmets for example) but some of them are just people protesting for the sake of protesting.

 

(Don't take any of this as directed towards you, or even saying you have that opinion, just generalizing towards the group of people that wants to water down and police hockey even though they don't even watch it, there are a ton of them out there)

 

There have been 134 fighting majors doled out (which means 67 actual fights) in 124 games played this season. That's  one every other game ish. It's just not the thug game it's made out to be.

I think you have a point, unless you're a real hockey fan, the Caps/hockey beat are just a stepping stone to football/baseball/basketball or being a general sports columnist. I disagree with you on Thorne knowing little about baseball, but that's a different matter. His Baltimore knowledge bothers me more than anything else but I'm a fan of his -- yes, I know he his detractors like you, Chris, and Rob.


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#30 JeremyStrain

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 11:50 AM

I think you have a point, unless you're a real hockey fan, the Caps/hockey beat are just a stepping stone to football/baseball/basketball or being a general sports columnist. I disagree with you on Thorne knowing little about baseball, but that's a different matter. His Baltimore knowledge bothers me more than anything else but I'm a fan of his -- yes, I know he his detractors like you, Chris, and Rob.

 

Don't get me wrong, I'm a big Thorne guy as an announcer...but in Hockey, which is his true love, not baseball where he just took a job to get a job. He's improved the more he's covered cause he's naturally learning things, but stupid stuff like not understanding little things about the game and then openly questioning the decisions behind said things on air made me want to throw things at the TV. But that's a different topic.

 

I wish he took over for Joe B and Laughlin with the Caps, that would be amazing.


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#31 Oriole85

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 12:01 PM

Don't get me wrong, I'm a big Thorne guy as an announcer...but in Hockey, which is his true love, not baseball where he just took a job to get a job. He's improved the more he's covered cause he's naturally learning things, but stupid stuff like not understanding little things about the game and then openly questioning the decisions behind said things on air made me want to throw things at the TV. But that's a different topic.

 

I wish he took over for Joe B and Laughlin with the Caps, that would be amazing.

I don't think he's exactly hurting for money (if he is, he's probably doing more than ~100 games per season, given that he has little other commitments during baseball season now), but sometimes you have to take a less glamorous job than you prefer. It's not like he's some baseball novice, he did pbp for the Mets, White Sox, and ABC/ESPN.


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#32 DuffMan

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 12:03 PM

There' isn't much I would say in this thread that Jeremy hasn't already brought up,  great points all around.

 

I wish he took over for Joe B and Laughlin with the Caps, that would be amazing.

You don't like Joe B?   Locker is quite annoying and I wouldn't miss him, but I think Joe B. does a heck of a job calling games.



#33 You Play to Win the Game

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 12:13 PM

There' isn't much I would say in this thread that Jeremy hasn't already brought up,  great points all around.

 

You don't like Joe B?   Locker is quite annoying and I wouldn't miss him, but I think Joe B. does a heck of a job calling games.

 

I love Joe B... that being said, Thorne would be one of very, very few who would be an upgrade over Joe B, IMO. He is just awesome in hockey, and needs to get back in the game.



#34 SportsGuy

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 12:17 PM

Yeah that's what I mean though. Just cause they are a media member doesn't mean they know a LICK about the game. Jason LaCanfora was at one time the Caps beat writer for the post remember, we all know hockey is not his first, or second love. He did a good job because he's a great writer, but not understanding the history or even minor details of the game you'll miss stuff. It's how you end up with articles from people where you find yourself scratching your head going, that's so stupid...or why Thorne is so annoying at times because he doesn't understand what he's talking about. Great announcer, knows little about baseball.

 

It's NOTHING like it was in the late 80's-mid 90's but there is this thing now where you are only cool if you talk about how worried you are for the safety of players playing the game with the rash of concussions and the narrative that has going on in the NFL. Hockey is the only other contact sport, and that being said you even see people doing it in baseball (home plate collisions, INF collisions). At some point people are going to want all pro athletes wrapped in bubble wrap. Yes some of the ideas are good ones (padding for pitcher's helmets for example) but some of them are just people protesting for the sake of protesting.

 

(Don't take any of this as directed towards you, or even saying you have that opinion, just generalizing towards the group of people that wants to water down and police hockey even though they don't even watch it, there are a ton of them out there)

 

There have been 134 fighting majors doled out (which means 67 actual fights) in 124 games played this season. That's  one every other game ish. It's just not the thug game it's made out to be.

Pretty sure guys like Bob Ryan and Wilbon know hockey.

 

I even think I have heard Melrose say there is too  much...but not 100% sure.

 

The Olympic hockey ratings are way higher than NHL...I get that its the Olympics but a lot of people prefer that game.



#35 Oriole85

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 12:22 PM

Pretty sure guys like Bob Ryan and Wilbon know hockey.

 

I even think I have heard Melrose say there is too  much...but not 100% sure.

 

The Olympic hockey ratings are way higher than NHL...I get that its the Olympics but a lot of people prefer that game.

I don't think the size of the ice matters here much if at all. If they built bigger rinks, I wouldn't expect to see much of an increase in ratings; if anything, I think we'd see a decrease. The Olympics like the World Cup is just a different animal that will attract many non-traditional hockey fans.


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#36 Oriole85

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 12:31 PM

I don't think hockey is broken - it's a great game, and just a ton of fun to watch, especially live. I do think that as more information becomes available, the league will probably have to put an end to the fighting. It's not just a matter of PC (Although I definitely see Jeremy's point), it's much more about law suits and liability. That said, anyone who watches hockey knows a ton more concussions happen just by the normal contact (checks, etc.) that take place in a game than in fights.

 

Anyway, I love BoB's idea of taking away the losers point unless it's a SO loss. I'd like to give that a shot, it'd be interesting. Like him, I do not see the NHLPA agreeing to extend the 5-minute OT period, though, but I'd like to see that ideally as well.

Agree with taking away the losers point -- I'd do it even in a SO loss though. I'm just not a fan of rewarding losing. I'd like to see the NHL extend OT as well, if they extended to 10 mins, would it still be 4 on the ice?


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#37 You Play to Win the Game

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 12:33 PM

I also think 82 games + a 2-month playoffs is way too much for as physically demanding as hockey is. Obviously from a revenue standpoint, that won't decrease. Still boggles my mind that these guys can play as long as they do, with as physical as it is. Just goes to show, a lot of this modern PC stuff is just in people's heads.


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#38 DuffMan

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 12:36 PM

I also think 82 games + a 2-month playoffs is way too much for as physically demanding as hockey is. Obviously from a revenue standpoint, that won't decrease. Still boggles my mind that these guys can play as long as they do, with as physical as it is. Just goes to show, a lot of this modern PC stuff is just in people's heads.

Great points about the schedule,  I definitely would like to see the NHL season end in May instead of June.



#39 Oriole85

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 12:41 PM

I also think 82 games + a 2-month playoffs is way too much for as physically demanding as hockey is. Obviously from a revenue standpoint, that won't decrease. Still boggles my mind that these guys can play as long as they do, with as physical as it is. Just goes to show, a lot of this modern PC stuff is just in people's heads.

I don't mind the length of the regular season as much as I do the playoffs. You play 82 teams, it's not football (whose playoffs are still smaller) -- you can make the regular season more meaningful. But that's not happening. The playoffs are where the big bucks are. And you get the annoying "nothing like playoff hockey." There's nothing like playoff baseball, playoff football, and playoff basketball either.


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#40 SportsGuy

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 12:47 PM

I don't think the size of the ice matters here much if at all. If they built bigger rinks, I wouldn't expect to see much of an increase in ratings; if anything, I think we'd see a decrease. The Olympics like the World Cup is just a different animal that will attract many non-traditional hockey fans.

Sure...But its also a more free flowing, better game to watch.

 

Whatever the reasoning is(I don't know because I don't pay attention), it is a game that more people seem to like.

 

Will die hard hockey fans prefer it?  I don't know...But if you want to grow the sport, you have to look beyond the die hard fan and bring more people into it.

 

If not, it will never have the remote chance it has to be on the level of the 3 main sports(in this country at least).






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