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.