Friday, September 21, 2007

If I were Commisioner, I would.....

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?

FCT

8 comments:

Mike said...

Good Blog, I agree with all your points except the ice surface. I could not take the game seriously anymore if they played on Blue Ice with neon color lines just so the casual fan can see the puck better. This whole jersey change has been nothing but a joke, I am dying for the Islanders to already go back to their classic duds.

FCT4NYI said...

Thanks Mike,

I have to disagree with yo about the ice surface. Neon lines.. no that would look cartoonish, but ice that is slightly tinted blue would take a lot of the glare off of the solid white look especially on HDTV where the entire picture that is shown for most of the game is white. Granted this is not going to bother the rabid hockey fan but the key is new viewers and the growth of the game. I'm thinking a light blue with the standard color lines.

Adam said...

Good post, but about goal judges, they are pretty much done already with the introduction of video review. I believe most if not all teams are moving their goal judges to the press box this season. BTW according to the NHL, every goal is reviewed by Toronto whether or not it happens on the ice.

tom94cup said...

i agree that the jerseys are a joke ..in a devil pre-season game three jerseys ripped during fights...but hey at least reebok is making its money extorting money from NHL teams on jerseys that they didn't need to change

C.T.W. said...

Subject: RULE CHANGES

As a long time fan of the "SPORT", and the Islanders, I understand the attempts to infuse a bit more offence into the game. So here are a few suggestions which I believe would add to, rather than detract from the game.
1)When a penalty is called,Hockey Officials continue play,until the offending team "touches or controls" the puck. I suggest that play continue until the offending team can clear the puck from their defensive zone...(goaltender cover up would still stop play)
If this were coupled with the penalized player required to vacate the ice when the initial signal is given, think of the added time that could be gained in the offensive zone with a
6 on 4 or even a 6 on 3 advantage. All before the play is stopped, and penalty time awarded.
2)Let's face it with the skill level & coaching in todays NHL a 5 on 4 situation is barely an advantage. I'm sure alot of teams are just hoping a second defender fouls to get some 5 on 3 time...
My suggestion, allow the offended team the option of 2 minutes of power play OR a PENALTY SHOT...(with any player on the ice at the time of the foul)
Just think of the possibilities & Monday morning quarterbacking that could result...THE MIND REELS...
A double minor option - 4 min PP, or 2 penalty shots, or 1 penalty shot & a 2 min PP. As you can see the coaching decisions could truly effect the outcome. I also believe the PENALTY SHOT is the most dramatic play in "all" the major sports, So seeing more of them in game situations would not be disappointing...Look how the fans took to the shoot-out...

FCT4NYI said...

C.t.w. I like the idea of playing on a delayed call until the defending team clear the puck out of thier zone. The problem with a player having to leave the ice when a penalty is called is that players sometimes dont know when a penalty is called on them. sometimes its obvious, sometimes its not. A Ref chasing a player to throw him off the ice is not a good situation. I agree that a 5 on 4 is not what it was. A Penalty shot gives a team a better chance of scoring and its something I would not mind, but it would have to be a penalty in the offensive zone, similar to soccer when an foul is committed in the penalty area.

C.T.W. said...

Subject: Rule Changes followup

I appreciate the feed back on my rule change suggestions. As for any confusion that might arise from a call, this could be dealt with very easily. When the Referee makes the initial penalty signal (raised arm) a simple call out of number & color (ie; 22-BLUE) would immediately alert the other Ref & two Linesmen (along with all the players on the ice) as to the identity of the culprit. I'm quite sure one of his opponents will be happy to inform the guilty party he's been caught... Besides, as hockey fans, we know that the player is fully aware of exactly what he did,(no matter how much "he doth protest") and is the first guy looking to the Refs to see if he was called. Now, when a delayed penalty is in effect, the guilty party roams the ice actively attempting to instigate & goad an opponent into a retaliation penalty, so he doesn't leave the ice alone. Then, when the whistle does stop play, his trip to the BOX usually involves barking & whining at the Ref about the call. Both of these situations would be eliminated if players were required to break from play & report directly to the BOX when the initial signal (& call) are made. I'm sure the players would learn to comply very quickly, especially if their 2mins can easily become 4 or more if they don't.
As far as the Penalty Shot option: The entire idea is to provide the opportunity for more scoring. I feel the location of the penalty should not be a factor. The penalty is TWO MINUTES no matter which zone the infraction occurs. Even the most inept NHL PP unit will manage to get some offensive zone time during a two minute advantage, so if a team is willing to forgo the two minutes for a ONE SHOT opportunity, I say let them have it. I believe the overall NHL save percentage on PENALTY SHOTS is right around 70%. Even the best PP units don't click at 30% over an entire season. So if more scoring is the NHL mandate, I'd much rather see an avalanche of PENALTY SHOTS over an enlarged goal. (but that is a completely different subject)Thanks for the forum,hope I haven't been to long winded. C.T.W.

FCT4NYI said...

Noo when we are talking hockey there is no such thing as long winded. The idea of a larger goal is just silly. I like the idea of all power plays being 2 minutes no matter if the team scores or not. How about an icentive that is a shorthanded team scores a goal the power play is over. Purists (what do they know?) would not go for a penalty shot in lieu of a penalty.
I do think its an idea worth discussion. I know this has been talked about but goalie equipment is something that HAS to be gotten under control. Pads are supposed to protect the legs of the goalie, not block 1/3rd of the net. gloves and blockers have gotten insanely large. They wear jerseys that are 5 sizes to large with chest and shoulder pads that a football player would find large.

FCT