Friday, September 21, 2007

The Next Train

The NHL Board of Governors had their first meeting of the year this past Tuesday. When they came out of the days meeting it was announced, that come November, the Board would be voting on the format that the NHL is scheduling it's games. It's expected that they will be changing back to the format that would see each team play each other at least once every season. The current format, one that is despised by most hockey fans, has East and West teams playing each other once every 3 seasons on a rotating bases. So it would seem that the NHL and Gary Bettman may have finally got something right. Fans, including myself, love that fact that some of our favorite players across the NHL will be seen on a more regular bases. Hockey forums are lit up with praise that the right call has been made and hockey fans are looking forward to the change. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

The problem is this, that light, is the next train wreck heading into Grand Central NHL.

The second topic of discussion by the Board of Governors was expansion. A topic brought up by none other then Gary Bettman, who has taken the NHL down this slippery slope once already. The NHL has 30 teams. Some of which can be argued do not belong as it is. So why are we thinking about, let alone talking about, adding more? Will teams in Las Vegas, Seattle, or Kansas City really make the NHL a better league? I think not. In fact I will argue that the NHL should contract and of course I will tell you why.

The NHL is a water downed product.

It simply does not have enough high end players to go around. Aside from the select few, the make up of most teams in the NHL is two or three "Star Power" names and then 3 lines of "Energy" players. Think about it, just take the time to run 10 teams through your head and tell me I am wrong. My Oilers have Hemsky and Souray. The Dallas Stars have Modano and Zubov. The Jackets have Rick Nash and ........ Rick Nash. The Canucks have the Sedins and whoever plays on their line. In most cases you will come up with 3-4 names on a team of 23-24 players that you could consider a star player. So what if we made the NHL a 20 team league instead of a 30 team league? The hockey would be better. Period. You would have line combinations on teams that you will NEVER see in the NHL today and with the cap system that is in place, the talent would be forced to be spread across the 20 NHL teams instead of just with the Rangers. A smaller NHL would but the best players on the ice in stronger doses and keep players, that just take up space in the 30 team league, in the AHL where they belong.

Then again, this is just a damned opinion.

~ damned

The War Room


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