The NHL regular season schedule always has teams taking the ice in October. The problem is that once the NHL gets going, they are contending with the MLB playoffs and the NFL is in full swing with its season. If the NHL wants to improve its ratings, a change in the schedule is needed.
Simply moving the Regular Season opener to the beginning of September could make a big difference. There is no hiding that the NHL has a ratings issue when it comes to competing with other professional sports. Making the change would give the NHL some time to shine. A September start takes the NBA off the table and it also puts your sport on TV when there is not muchelse going on.
There is more to this than ratings. If the NHL moved the regular season to September it would have its Championship round in May, and there is nothing going on in May. Or, if you want to add games to the NHL’s Regular Season Schedule it would give you a month to play with. I don’t see leagues taking games away even though that’s what I really think the NHL should do. The addition of games would fill buildings longer, and that means money.
Another benefit to the extra month is that the NHL can spread the schedule out more. With injuries on the rise, I can’t imagine that the NHLPA would cry over some extra time for players to heal and rest between games. Rested players would lead to better hockey and in turn could fix the two issues above. It would help ratings and should bring in more money for everyone involved.
It would be refreshing to see a league take players into consideration. This could be a change for the NHL to show the sporting world they are cutting edge and they understand that things need to change. If the NHL is looking to make a splash changing the start date would turn some heads, and the NHL could use some positive publicity.