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?


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Good and the Bad - Part 2 - New Islander Jerseys

Hello Hockey fans and welcome to the Voice of the Islander Fans Blog Site, a proud part of the Inaugural Islanders Blog Box. I look forward to sharing my thoughts and reading all of yours and I would like to thank the New York Islanders for giving the fans this unprecedented forum to share our thoughts. Please catch Part 1 of "The Good and The Bad" discussing the new additions as well as the subtractions from the Islanders roster by clicking or by copy and pasting this link -

Here Goes for Part 2 which we will discuss the most recent uniform change the Islander have made as mandated by the NHL with its partnership with Reebok for its Edge uniform system.

The Good -
1 - The Overall design of the jersey has the best of both worlds in the classic logo that hangs on the Stanley Cup banners in the Coliseum and a nice new color scheme replacing the old horizontal line stripes. Young fans are more likely to wear jerseys and making them more appealing to young fans is paramount.
2 - The Number on the front is a great addition and will greatly help the sales and popularity of the new jerseys as it did for Buffalo a season ago. After all Buffalo does not have a trade mark on the concept.
3 - There is no fisherman logo any where in sight and that we can take as a Good any day of the week and twice on Sunday. Also, they did not buckle to the trend of adding black to the uniform.

The Bad -
1 - They should have not done the block style colors and made it similar to the classic jerseys. Why change a classic? They look more like pajamas than hockey uniforms!!
2 - The number on the front is just a copycat of what the Sabres did and can be considered a blatant rip off of a novel idea.
3 - The NHL as a league should be more concerned with improving the viewer ship of the NHL and marketing the new crop of superstars it has instead of wasting time with the Reebok Edge Uniforms. All of the money that has been spent and all of the time that has been wasted on what is at the end of the day a gimmick would have been better served to refine rule changes, work with players to stop the endless interference calls and something to make the game more appealing to the television viewer.

I share some of the opinions above but not all. I am very interested to see what the fans have to say on this subject as I'm sure it will be a hot topic of discussion. As we all know us Islander fans are very touchy when it comes to changing our beloved orange and blue uniform. Let me know what points you agree or disagree with and why. Please, no flaming we are all entitles to our opinions and I welcome all opinions on this blog.

Lets Go Islanders!!