Tuesday, August 7, 2007
If I Was The NHL Commish ... #1
Something tells me that I will do this pretty often, thus the No. 1 in the header.
So here are some random things that I would do if I held the top spot in the league right now ...:
*Bring back the original conference and division titles - Prince of Wales, Clarence Campbell; Adams, Smyth, Patrick and Norris. Since there are now two more divisions than there used to be, add the (Frank) Calder and the (Herb) Brooks. The divisions are named after old guard builders and Calder was one of them so he is an obvious choice. And Brooksie is one of maybe two coaches worthy of such a large honour (the other being Scotty Bowman, but he isn't dead yet). If not for Brooks, hockey would not have its biggest most transcendent moment so I think it would be a good PR move. Not to mention that he still has massive name recognition so the public would understand. Hockey isn't basketball; we don't have to be as dry and boring, and the NHL doesn't have to provide a geography lesson ...
*Also I would bring back the old logo; the silver, 'climbing a hill' logo is silly. Make it gold, to complete the trilogy - first the copper (ok, it was orange), then the silver and now gold.
*The NHL is dumping a massive amount of money in its new New York store that will open this fall (for details click here). So to draw people to the store, the I would mandate that some players from each team that comes to play the Rangers or the Isles should spend an hour or two signing autographs.
*Forcefully encourage Nashville to move to Hamilton. The less teams there are in the Southern U.S., the more teams there are in Canada, the better.
*Smack Chicago Blackhawks owner Bill Wirtz upside the head. There is no reason that one of the Original Six teams should be mismanaged so badly. That squad has a ton of potential right now, let the hometown fans watch them on TV. There is no reason that the AHL team in that city should draw better than the NHL team. Idiot.
*Bring the NHL Network to America - most cable carriers include the NBA Network (and soon the NFL), they should also have the NHL.
*ESPN did some inside-the-locker room documentaries a few years back on the Wings and the Aves if I remember. I would see if HBO would be willing to do a few new ones - then you wouldn't get the white-washed, selectively-cut version; you would get to see how things really are. While it is classic as is, something tells me Dino Ciccarelli wouldn't have said, "I can't believe I shook that freakin' guy's hand."
*I would stop the marketing/PR machine from dictating the highlights of the games. If you go to NHL.com and look to watch a game highlight, you won't see the fights in the game ... and that is insane. The Chris Simon incident aired all over the place but not on NHL.com. The biggest on-ice incident never happened if you watched from there ... for the thousandth time, stop trying to 'clean' up the NHL's image. That isn't the appeal. If people wanted to see long seasons of hockey with no fighting or hitting then they would watch the women play. Olympic hockey happens once every four years and has the best in the world playing on a dozen teams. Unless you are going to reduce the NHL to those restrictions, then you have to have the rough stuff. Thirty teams playing long, grueling seasons need to get physical to help stay motivated. Look at a baseball game now in mid-August - could it get any more boring?? And on that note, I have to get back to my 'day' job ...