The NHL Needs To Shorten Their Season


From a personal standpoint there is no greater sport than hockey, and the biggest league in the game is the NHL. But, there is one problem the quality of the product no longer supports an eighty-two game schedule.

For as long as I can remember there have been 82 games, but in recent years the NHL has had a watered downed product. Scoring is almost nonexistence, and the is often little to no flow to the average game. I’m not saying every game is junk and I’m not saying that the league is without stars. But, there are not enough stars to go around, and it’s hurting the NHL.

In most seasons the first month or two is players and teams learning how to play together after months of down time. What if the NHL went to a 64 game schedule? Take 18 games away, and you force teams to figure it out faster, or at the very least you have made more games matter. For me it seems that the NHL has a coasting period, and I want it gone. Not played with; not tinkered with just gone.

Everyone knows that playoff hockey is the best kind of hockey. No, I do not think players can keep up a playoff style of play for an entire season, but by taking away games it makes everything more important. Every face-off, everybody check, and every second in that ice surface becomes a bigger moment. It’s about entertaining your fan base; it’s about finding a way to become relevant again.

We all remember the lockout season, and while there was rust; every game mattered. By shortening the regular season that could be accomplished every year. Better hockey means more money and more money makes the NHL happy. It’s a win, win; fans are happy and the league is happy.

With that being said, I fully understand that by taking away games owners will lose some advertising money, and buildings will sit empty. But, from a fans point of view I’d rather have a better product. The owners have enough money as it is.

Tags: NHL News NHL Playoffs NHL Schedule

  • Pivot

    I don’t know if that’s ever gonna happen. The NHL has a TV deal with NBC for 200 million. I would think they would have a say in some of the Oct & Nov Games they’d be loosing.
    What I think the NHL should do is expand the NHL teams roster. They’re only allowed 23 players. 18 skaters and 2 goalies dress every night. That only leaves 3 replacement players. What if those rosters were increased to 25,26, or even 28 players. Add some money to the salary cap to adjust and then no player has to play a full 82 games. 65 games is enough. Especially for your top star players. Down the stretch run guys wouldn’t be so banged up and worn out. It may add something to the game down to the end.

    • Patrick Helper

      I’m sure it wont happen, but it does make for a fun discussion. Your idea could very well have some impact of the game. With things being how they are, I’m not sold on the NHL “fixing” anything anytime soon.

    • Rob Cote

      If you add more roster spits, you water the talent down even more. You need to get rid of some teams, not allow more players in.

  • Rob Cote

    They don’t need to shorten the season, they need to get rid of some teams so the talent pool is not so watered down. Get rid of Fla, Nash, Car and Pho. There are 4 teams, equals out conferences and talent pool is strengthened without the weak markets.

    • Pivot

      And what will happen with all those players? There’s some star power in those rosters? The NHL only allows 23 players per roster and has a salary cap that was reduced. Leaving many teams in a cap crunch. Some of those big contracts like Eric & Jordan Staal, Rinne, Weber would have to find new homes. I don’t see any of that happening. You are in the minority on that idea. The league is doing the opposite. They will expand to even out the conferences.

      • Rob Cote

        Actually, getting rid of teams I am in majority. It is dumb dumb Bettmans idea to get bigger which the NHL cant support yet. Look at small market teams, look at Phoenix. With the cut players, have a draft for those players. Cap would go up because less teams. Ask around, most die hard fans want less water downed teams and more teams like the 70, 80 and 90′s where all teams were pretty much good, besides the Islanders of the 70′s and Oilers of the 80′s.

      • J.A.

        I totally agree with Pivot, although shortening the schedule should be done, it will be impossible due to all the T.V. deals and lost revenue. However, increasing the roster size will allow players to rest and play better.