i don't see them ever going to international ice rink sizes but it'd be interesting if they were to slightly increase the rink size as to not affect the seating arrangements (money makers). like with if they rink was 3-6 feet wider
It's actually pretty funny. As I've grown up in Europe and played and watched hockey majority of my life there and then moving to the States few years back I would never want to go back to the international rink. It is way too big. I talked couple of years ago with Mike Sullivan about this and he thought the NHL rink is too small and he would like to see a compromise between the NHL and International rink and I remotely agree with the idea.
The problem with international rink is the width, there is too much room thus the play is much slower. It also gives a team that has a PP a bigger advantage as there is way more room to move the puck. In the NHL size rink the chances on PP and PK (in my opinion) are pretty even. The play is is also more straightforward and simpler as there is no room to move the puck from one side to another that much.
NHL lost their opportunity to do this. They should have implemented larger rinks halfway between NHL and Olympic sized in the mid 90s. There'd be every new arena built with the new ice size and that'd be most arenas in the NHL. It won't be for another 15-20 years before the NHL has another opportunity like that again.
I have always preferred the NA style of play and small ice , but the time has certainly come to enlarge the playing surface . There is just not enough room for all the people on the ice including the officials .
I had not attended an NHL game since 1981 in Toronto until a couple of seasons ago when I attended one and after watching it and seeing how the players absolutely had no room to do anything... did I realize that the players had outgrown the ice surface and had very little time or space to accomplish anything . It was like watching guys play in a phone booth !
One can argue that we would lose the intensity of playing on a smaller ice surface but ask anyone who has followed any of the rivalries in the World Juniors or Olympics and tell me that it is not intense or exciting . With parity in the NHL and division rivalries abound the excitement would still follow with an increase of 2 feet all around the ice surface .
One can argue about money but...taking out 1 row of seating would not matter as all they would have to do is just charge a bit more for the first row in the next level and so on and so forth as they go higher thus nullifying any losses . It is very doable...and every team could do the same . The only added costs would be to the fans and if the product is better...they will pay .
I think if we did something like this we could add a lot of small skilled guys who just never get the chance because of their size disadvantage . The games would be faster and much more exciting !
One of the hardest things to change might be getting every rink in NA to be able to do this as most of the rural rinks barely can pay the lighting and electrical costs to keep their rinks up as it is right now . Our local arena had to install a windmill just to cut down it's own electric costs every Winter .
I love the idea guys...sure hope that it happens...as I'm tired of seeing guys concussed because they have run out of highway and the ditches are dangerous !
Personally one of the things I love most is that the NHL is not a beauty contest. That can be left to the NBA and KHL as far as I'm concerned.
Bingo. I LIKE the NHL the way it is. I don't want to "open up the ice"; I like that hockey is a gritty, hard fought game.
Plus, it's not as if we haven't had two 60 goal scorers in the past four years. When was the last time we'd had one? The game isn't exactly cruel to the skill players. The playoffs are tighter, especially this year. That's one of the greatest things about our sport; the playoffs actually are a different brand of play. Can't say the same of any of the other sports, IMO.
I live in Europe and one of the things I want here is actually NHL sized rinks. Might remove some beauty, but not as much as you'd think. Game is more intence on smaller surface and the really skilled players will find their moves no matter what. This is what actually makes them as skilled as they are. That players become bigger and faster is nothing to complain about... Just a natural development I suppose
i know it's just one opinion, but i am interested and put a lot of stock into how a person in europe sees the north american game. i was for enlarging the rink until i saw this. conceptually, making the rink bigger would make the game more exciting allowing the skilled players more room to maneuver. but maybe that's not actually the case. i'd like them to give it a shot, though. just as a test. were the games the rangers played overseas last fall played on international or nhl sized rinks?
Like many, I think the increase in size and speed of the players would make it a good idea to SLIGHTLY enlarge the rink to compensate. However, I have seen hundreds of games on the international rink. While theoretically it gives the skilled players more room, in practice teams pack in their defenses into a shell and the game is much more skating and passing around the perimeter looking for an opening. Above all it is boring. This is the law of unintended consequenses at work here, and I much prefer the North American style and rink with just a small alteration.