Hello hockey fans. Let me first say I am a hockey fan. I love the game and its history. I know that most people reading can sense the "but" coming so I'll get right to the point. The NHL has many issues. Serious issues. Where to begin...
Viewers. The NHL has the lowest viewer ship of any of the 4 major sports. The league has also resorted to having its flagship station be a network who's main feature before hockey was Bass Fishing. The league needs to do something about how the game is presented on television. It translates horribly. One thing they can start with is have standardized television coverage for all 30 of its franchises. Why can't for example the Islanders for FSNY use the same video feed when they are in Montreal that the Canadiens present to their fans? Why does it have to look as if they are shooting the game from the International Space Station? Standardized coverage is a must if this league wants to be taken seriously.
White Out? - What happened with the experimentation of using a colored ice surface? Last season they tested light blue in Buffalo for the pre-season last season. After good reviews of the test nothing has been done or said since. The casual viewer will not take looking at a screen of all white all of the time. It can be draining on the eyes and a little more color could be a good thing. With all of the hair brained schemes the NHL has come up with, you'd think they would try something that could make the game more palatable to exactly what it needs - NEW FANS.
Rule Changes. Some work, others don't. How much longer will we as fans have to deal with the asinine goalie trapezoid? The league actually believes that this results in more offense. Goaltenders that are capable of playing the puck should be allowed to do so without this ridiculous restriction. Most goaltenders are adept at playing the puck up the boards and as we as Islander fans have seen hitting a forward for a breakaway or breakout pass to set in motion exactly what the league wants... more offense. Speaking of goaltenders, how much longer is the league going to allow net minders to wear equipment and jerseys that are sometimes 5 times larger than they should wear? In some cases its almost as if a team can place a mannequin in net and as long as the equipment is big enough they will have a .900 save percentage.
Interference. Sooner or later, referees and players are going to have to learn what is interference and what is not. The only problem is its almost like holding at the line of scrimmage in football. It is strictly up the referee's discretion what not to and what to call. This may be a problem that does not have a solution but 18 power plays a game is not the answer.
Video review. Any fan of Islanders hockey who watched last season came away with feelings that ranged from disgust to paranoia. To many times it seemed the Islanders fate was tied to a questionable late video review that SEEMED to go against us. To me the solution is simple. You may or may not remember the "Foxtracks" glowing puck that the Fox network used during their coverage of the NHL. Why cant the NHL Place a sensor in the puck and sensors in the goal that will tell you that the puck has crossed the line? I know the goal judges are going to hate this one but so many times due to the over sized goaltender equipment, sprawling bodies, skates, helmets, sticks among other things obscuring the view of the puck it becomes impossible at time to tell if the puck has crossed the line. How many times is a puck underneath a goalie over the line that we may not see? We have the technology, we can build it.
Jerseys make you play better? I can only imagine how much time and money was spent on these new Reebok Edge jerseys and uniforms. I would rather imagine my favorite sport improving through fixing what is actually wrong with the game, instead of tinkering with the jerseys. NHL jerseys have always had appeal and no more fans are going to buy it because it repels water. This is a microcosm as to what is wrong with the NHL. Its like having a house with a crumbling foundation, and spending all of your time working on the roof. Imagine how many goals Bossy would have scored with THIS jersey? Its just silly.
LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK!! Do you have any rule changes you would like to see implemented? If you were commissioner what would you do?