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Columnist: lop 10 games off NHL season

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Old
06-17-2017, 12:28 PM
  #1
LadyStanley
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Columnist: lop 10 games off NHL season

http://www.thepeterboroughexaminer.c...off-the-season

Quote:
The root cause of the ever-extending NHL season is simply money. The owners of the now 31 teams, welcome aboard Las Vegas Golden Knights, delight in extended television revenue and the inflated playoff gate receipts.

As seems to be the case each playoff season, the best, most exciting, interesting hockey happens in the 16-team first round. In each succeeding round, as the number of teams half, the calibre and quality of hockey seems to diminish. By the time the Stanley Cup final rolls around in June, you have two leg-weary teams, a distracted television audience and fan interest waning.
...
There have been as many suggestions on playoff format changes but it always comes down to money for the owners. Since most of the teams do not make it deep into the playoffs, the more they extend the later rounds, the more general television revenue is generated for the owners. The players who are put through this wringer, well compensated for their regular season play, receive a mere pittance of the playoff revenue.

The first obvious solution is to reduce the playoff schedule. Leave the first round of eight best-of-seven series the same. It gives the best hockey, involves more fans and the timing is right for two weeks of intense hockey.

The next two succeeding rounds should be best-of-five affairs. By the time the teams are whittled down to two, an exciting seven-game Stanley Cup final starting in mid-May, will be more appealing. The players will be somewhat fresher and with the potential of an NHL title, as focused.

Obviously that will never happen. It will never be initiated by the owners and as long as the NHL Players Association remains as compliant as it is now, the NHLPA either. The players association folded like a cheap tent in the wind in the recent Olympic dispute.
Interesting idea, but I can't see the league/owners not accepting less $$.

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06-17-2017, 01:39 PM
  #2
njdevsfn95
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Reduce season to 60 games (once home and away).

To compensate for this 27% decrease, increase ticket prices by 27% but put a 5yr freeze on them (toss a bone to fans). STHs would pay the same amount of $ per season.

Fewer games gives them more meaning. Potentially better quality with fresher players come playoff time.

Plenty of other issues with the idea of course

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06-17-2017, 02:07 PM
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njdevsfn95 View Post
Reduce season to 60 games (once home and away).

To compensate for this 27% decrease, increase ticket prices by 27% but put a 5yr freeze on them (toss a bone to fans). STHs would pay the same amount of $ per season.

Fewer games gives them more meaning. Potentially better quality with fresher players come playoff time.

Plenty of other issues with the idea of course
Even if they only reduced the schedule to 70 games I would be in favor of that. The season is just too long. Less games would likely mean fewer injuries due to less wear and tear on the players. It would also be nice to see the playoffs end in May instead of June.


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06-17-2017, 03:05 PM
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Bonk
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1) As he pointed out, the NHL -- and all other leagues -- will never cut the number of games because of $$. We all know this so I'm not sure why it continues to come up.
2) Why have fewer games when the series are more important? If they went best-of-5 for the first two rounds, the remaining teams would be fresher for the last two rounds.

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06-17-2017, 03:09 PM
  #5
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I'd like to see a round robin instead of the 1st round of the playoffs with 8 teams in the East and 8 teams in the West. Top teams get more home games and the top 2 teams in the round robin then have a best of 3 or 5. Then the winner of those games goes straight to the Stanley Cup Finals.

In each division: top 2 teams - 5 home games, 2 away games next 2 teams - 4 home 3 away games, next 2 teams - 3 home 4 away, bottom 2 - 2 home 5 away.

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06-17-2017, 09:48 PM
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Jonas1235
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what should be changed is the roster to 25 players.

Teams should be resting older players during the season. Which they don't cause their dumb. If Rick Nash is tired and therefore isn't producing, sit his ass down for a few games then he'll come out flying.

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06-17-2017, 09:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonas1235 View Post
what should be changed is the roster to 25 players.

Teams should be resting older players during the season. Which they don't cause their dumb. If Rick Nash is tired and therefore isn't producing, sit his ass down for a few games then he'll come out flying.
I like this idea.

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06-17-2017, 09:56 PM
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82 to 70 is a huge jump and people (especially the owners) don't like big changes, it needs to be in small numbers.

Go from 82 to 80 and revisit this idea in another 3-5 years.

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06-17-2017, 11:02 PM
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Originally Posted by LadyStanley View Post
Interesting idea, but I can't see the league/owners not accepting less $$.
To be honest I actually think less games can benefit smaller market teams while will hurt bigger market teams. it a basic case if you don't sell out games instead of getting say an average of 15,000 fans for 41 games you might get 15,750 fans for 35 games(especially if the games you cut out are weekday games). The less travel will also help save some cash.

I could see smaller markets being all for this while bigger markets would be against it.

All that being said ending the playoffs in May I think is a no go because NBC wants programming for after it's TV Season ends which generally is the end of may(hence why the playoffs are pushed into June)

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06-18-2017, 05:38 PM
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tony d
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I'd gladly go for a 70 game regular season, have the season over by mid March and have your playoffs conclude by mid May. No need for the NHL to still be playing games in June.

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06-18-2017, 06:46 PM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonk View Post
1) As he pointed out, the NHL -- and all other leagues -- will never cut the number of games because of $$. We all know this so I'm not sure why it continues to come up.
You have to think long-term growth.

If it's all about money, then why not increase the number of games to 90? Or 100?

The more games, the more meaningless each game feels. You decrease the amount of games, and each game feels more crucial and a little bit more like an event - and will increase interest. The games could be better because players aren't as tired and won't get injured as much. 82 game regular season and then 4 rounds of best-of-7 playoffs is just too much.

I say 60 games max.

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06-18-2017, 07:14 PM
  #12
Grant
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njdevsfn95 View Post
Reduce season to 60 games (once home and away).

To compensate for this 27% decrease, increase ticket prices by 27% but put a 5yr freeze on them (toss a bone to fans). STHs would pay the same amount of $ per season.

Fewer games gives them more meaning. Potentially better quality with fresher players come playoff time.

Plenty of other issues with the idea of course
Unfortunately that math doesn't quite work out like that.

Say it's $100 per ticket, 41 homes games the season ticket is $4100.

The price per ticket to get that same $4100 over only 30 games is $137, or a 37% increase in price to make up the 27% fewer games.

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06-18-2017, 07:17 PM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tony d View Post
I'd gladly go for a 70 game regular season, have the season over by mid March and have your playoffs conclude by mid May. No need for the NHL to still be playing games in June.
That's what NBC and Sportsnet pay the big bucks for.

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06-18-2017, 07:29 PM
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They already went from 84 to 82. But personally I don't care about the other factors, heck increase the number of games to 112 (four per week) for all I care, I want more hockey, not less. I'd watch a summer development league if there was one broadcast. I could go all-in on hockey 365 days a year.

I understand not everyone has the desire to keep up with 82 games a year (or more) but why decrease? Those folks probably don't watch all 82 anyway, and if you went to 60-70 they'd probably still find reasons not to watch every game.

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06-18-2017, 07:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Legionnaire11 View Post
They already went from 84 to 82. But personally I don't care about the other factors, heck increase the number of games to 112 (four per week) for all I care, I want more hockey, not less. I'd watch a summer development league if there was one broadcast. I could go all-in on hockey 365 days a year.

I understand not everyone has the desire to keep up with 82 games a year (or more) but why decrease? Those folks probably don't watch all 82 anyway, and if you went to 60-70 they'd probably still find reasons not to watch every game.
100% agree

If there's 60 or less games, I could see teams doing multiple stadium games to make up the cost.

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06-18-2017, 09:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grant View Post
Unfortunately that math doesn't quite work out like that.

Say it's $100 per ticket, 41 homes games the season ticket is $4100.

The price per ticket to get that same $4100 over only 30 games is $137, or a 37% increase in price to make up the 27% fewer games.
The second 27% was a typo

Simply more reason why it will never happen, I suppose. Makes it even less palatable to the paying fans.

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06-18-2017, 10:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Legionnaire11 View Post
They already went from 84 to 82. But personally I don't care about the other factors, heck increase the number of games to 112 (four per week) for all I care, I want more hockey, not less. I'd watch a summer development league if there was one broadcast. I could go all-in on hockey 365 days a year.

I understand not everyone has the desire to keep up with 82 games a year (or more) but why decrease? Those folks probably don't watch all 82 anyway, and if you went to 60-70 they'd probably still find reasons not to watch every game.
Why decrease? How about the flip side of this question... do you not care who is wearing the uniform? Reason: 84 was a bit too much for players. And that's one thing if you think there should be 50 or more to a roster. Do you want to watch a burnt-out Connor McDavid in March?

On the flip side, I could see a 42-team single table league where everyone plays everyone else home and home, promotion and relegation, NO PLAYOFFS. The Pro/Rel has been argued here before, most of the rest of the concept is too revolutionary for most here, and people will argue about the value of TV without playoffs.

But here's a question: will you increase the value of regular season viewership by making it more meaningful?

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06-18-2017, 11:02 PM
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They went from 84 to 82 for the same reason MLB went from 154 to 162.

Somewhere around the TV boom, the rationale switched: From easy, logically sound schedule making dictating the number of games, to wedging a weird scheduling matrix to fit the pre-established number.

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06-18-2017, 11:25 PM
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Once they go to 32 teams:

Play divisional rivals 4 times each (4 x 7 = 28 games), non-divisional teams twice each (2 x 24 = 48 games).

Reduces schedule to 76 games, gets rid of stupid 3-game season series.

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06-19-2017, 01:55 AM
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I like that idea. WHL does 72 games and I've always felt that was perfect.

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06-19-2017, 07:38 AM
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njdevsfn95 View Post
Reduce season to 60 games (once home and away).

To compensate for this 27% decrease, increase ticket prices by 27% but put a 5yr freeze on them (toss a bone to fans). STHs would pay the same amount of $ per season.

Fewer games gives them more meaning. Potentially better quality with fresher players come playoff time.

Plenty of other issues with the idea of course
How many games do you attend per year? So, you want season ticket holders to pay the same amount, for less games? Yeah, ok. "We are reducing the number of games we are playing to help improve the game, but we expect you to spend the same amount you would if we were playing 82 games."

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06-19-2017, 07:42 AM
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevFu View Post
They went from 84 to 82 for the same reason MLB went from 154 to 162.

Somewhere around the TV boom, the rationale switched: From easy, logically sound schedule making dictating the number of games, to wedging a weird scheduling matrix to fit the pre-established number.
They played 84 for 2 seasons, 92-93 and 93-94 and each team played 2 neutral site games. The original 94-95 season had 84 games, with neutral site games and those were the first canceled during the lockout. NHL never re-visited them except for the occassional Europe trip or Stadium games, if you want to call them neutral site.

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06-19-2017, 07:48 AM
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I would be all for slashing the schedule, if it was done to reduce out of conference games.

One game against the other conference alternating the home team.

East plays their own division 5 times for 35, other division 3 times for 24, west once for 15 games. 74 games.

Pacific plays division 5 times (35), other division 3 times (21), East once (16). Plays 2 teams in division 6 times to get to 74.

Central plays division 5 times (30) other division 3 times (24), East once (16). 4 teams in division an extra game. Although, not sure that works with an odd number of teams, would have to work it out and can't right now.

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06-19-2017, 08:00 AM
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patnyrnyg View Post
I would be all for slashing the schedule, if it was done to reduce out of conference games.

One game against the other conference alternating the home team.

East plays their own division 5 times for 35, other division 3 times for 24, west once for 15 games. 74 games.

Pacific plays division 5 times (35), other division 3 times (21), East once (16). Plays 2 teams in division 6 times to get to 74.

Central plays division 5 times (30) other division 3 times (24), East once (16). 4 teams in division an extra game. Although, not sure that works with an odd number of teams, would have to work it out and can't right now.
Works out quite easily, simply by doing this thought experiment. Line up all 7 teams:
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
A
B

Now each team gets an extra game against the 2 teams above and below them on the list. So, A gets B,C at home and G,F on the road, etc

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06-19-2017, 08:33 AM
  #25
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Would love it, have mentioned it everytime the topic has come up. I actually even think the NHL might not see a drop in revenue from a more fervently followed hockey season with better quality players. Even if they saw a drop, I think a hit now is worth it to make the league better going forward.

I even feel more strongly about this for the NBA season. 82 games to determine basically who the top 3-4 teams are in a league? I really dont get how that league is followed sometimes....

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