Dave entertains us with our weekly segment called “what have I learned”. He continues his look back in history on this day giving us some insight on what happened. Then Conrad steps in to save us since Greg and I were not doing well guessing the trivia questions.
Conrad discusses some of the additions, including the new head coach of the Sabres Ralph Krueger. How can he help the Buffalo team advance towards the playoffs? The problem as we discussed is the Sabres have some stiff competition with teams like the Florida Panthers and New Jersey Devils along with the New York Rangers all improving their rosters.
We asked Conrad his reaction to the Phil Kessel trade and how it will affect the Arizona Coyotes next season. He plans to go back to Buffalo in October and has tickets to see the Coyotes and Sabres play.
10 NHL Rules Changes
1. Outdoor Games – They don’t seem special anymore and limiting them to maybe 1-2 games a year would make them more attractive to fans.
2. Draft – Is it really necessary to have such a huge group of people up on the stage after a team announces their draft pick? I mean who are all these people? Limiting it to maybe the coach/GM, the owner would be plenty. It’s just for photo ops but they’re going to need a bigger stage if they keep allowing large groups up there!
3. Remove the trapezoid– It’s been discussed and would open up play behind the net. Goalies like Mike Smith of the Edmonton Oilers would love it since they think they’re a defenceman back there handling the puck and setting up plays. It may even become entertaining as goalies like Smith may get caught behind the net instead of actually staying in their crease where they belong.
4. Head–hunter penalties need to be harsher – More and more players are getting head injuries and most are avoidable. The consequences of endangering a player’s livelihood by being careless if not doing it intentionally must be controlled. Stiffer fines may help but with players making a fortune it may need to be focused more on suspensions. The last season’s playoffs games saw a rise in high hits. It really takes away from the game and there’s got to be a solution.
5. Olympics– Having NHL players compete in the Olympics seems to be a thing of the past. Certainly, the league is concerned about injuries but having the BEST players in the world compete for their countries is the definition of the Olympics.
6.Eliminate the shootout – The shootout was an exciting concept that has outlived its usefulness. The outcome of an overtime game wasn’t meant to be a skill contest. Why not just put up targets in the net without the goalie as they do in the All-Star skills competition to decide a game? Why not extend the successful 3-on-3 to 10 minutes and most of the shootouts would be a lost memory?
7. No more charity points – Just as it’s time to get rid of the shootout, it’s also time to change the point system. Getting a “charity” point for an overtime loss or shootout loss has got to go. Why not reward a team with three points for an overtime or shootout win; two points for a regulation win; and one point for an overtime/shootout loss? NHL road teams will just play to get to overtime since they will be rewarded with a point. That would still hold true but under this system but they would be more motivated to win after regulation if rewarded that extra point. This could even change a team’s strategy towards playing in overtime. It’s not as drastic a change as rewarding a team three points for a regulation win, two points for an overtime or shootout win and zero points for an overtime loss… it’s still a loss and should be negatively rewarded as such.
8. Playoff format – Why not leave the divisions as set up to help with team travel but change the playoff format? I don’t know about you, but if I see one more Bruins/Maple Leafs matchup or Caps vs Pens matchup, I’m going to scream! Let’s go back to 1 vs 8, 2 vs 7, 3 vs 6, 4 vs 5 in the conference standings. There would be many different matchups and give fans a new refreshing look.
9.Luxury Tax – Why not institute a luxury tax as they have done in other sports for teams who don’t have enough cap space left and need to trade away players they really want to keep? The way it would work is for every $1 million over the cap the team would pay a 50 percent or $500K tax. The tax would go towards the smaller market teams to not give the rich teams (Toronto) the advantage. They would need to work out the details. Right now, teams must get creative by using the LTIR to have enough cap space. That’s beginning to be a joke.
10. Power play or Penalty shot – Why not make it a choice of the team where the team decides to either have a penalty shot OR a power play when a player is usually rewarded a penalty shot for an infraction on a clear breakaway? It seems most fans would enjoy seeing the teams play in a power play as opposed to the penalty shot which is much like the shootout.
Listen to our discussion of these prospective NHL rules changes. Do you like some and not others? Do you feel the NHL will actually institute any of them?