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What if the NHL went to 4 on 4 permanently?

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01-02-2013, 08:22 PM
  #51
Dontdive
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Predatorbill View Post
I don't understand why this thread isn't closed.
Why would it be? Is it because the mere idea offends your purist sensibilities?

Look, even though I started this thread, I don't pretend I would prefer what's being proposed here. But that's because I'm a hockey purist, too! I don't mind low scoring, defensively minded games with few shots on goal... at least if it's made up for by other aspects like fast skating, hard hitting, and so on.

But I think a lot of potential hockey fans are turned off by low scoring games, and that this is hurting the popularity of the game. And a lot of times a low scoring really is simply boring, this made more likely during the long grind of the regular season.

Going 4 on 4 would be an easy way to (probably) fix that. The potential loss of NHLPA jobs means it will almost certainly never happen, but the basic idea is still worthy of discussion.

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01-02-2013, 08:44 PM
  #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Predatorbill View Post
I don't understand why this thread isn't closed.
Generally the 'idea' threads which get shut down are ludicrous; recent examples include making hockey 3 teams with 3 nets and forcing teams to play all 7 playoff games in a series. This idea while unfeasible in the near future at least has merit.

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01-02-2013, 08:52 PM
  #53
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It would be like the days of Roller Hockey International where they played 4 on 4 the whole game.

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01-02-2013, 09:13 PM
  #54
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Originally Posted by leeaf83 View Post
Generally the 'idea' threads which get shut down are ludicrous; recent examples include making hockey 3 teams with 3 nets and forcing teams to play all 7 playoff games in a series. This idea while unfeasible in the near future at least has merit.
And notice when 4 on 4 does occur due to penalties how much more excited the fans in the stands get? And how many more fancy plays we see, as there's less rigid "system play" stifling creativity?

In theory, doesn't this show that to at least a lot of people - including many of the paying fans in the stands - that 4 on 4 is better?

I'm not saying it is for certain - but I think it could be argued that way, at least.

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01-02-2013, 09:24 PM
  #55
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Originally Posted by sully1410 View Post
It would be dumb, and then four on four would not be as interesting.
But hold on to your horses when it gets to 3 on 3!!

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01-02-2013, 09:30 PM
  #56
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I'd support 4-on-4 play because today's hockey players are huge, fast cyborgs compared to the players of decades ago. The profile of a typical hockey player has changed and the rules have not. Basically, 4 of today's players fill up as much space as 5 of yesterday's players.

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01-02-2013, 09:51 PM
  #57
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Originally Posted by Hot Water Bottle View Post
I'd support 4-on-4 play because today's hockey players are huge, fast cyborgs compared to the players of decades ago. The profile of a typical hockey player has changed and the rules have not. Basically, 4 of today's players fill up as much space as 5 of yesterday's players.
Yeah and the purists here don't want to discuss that.

The game is not the same as when Bobby Orr could do so many end to end rushes through entire teams and score.

Nowadays, the lower end players are closer to the top end ones due to massive conditioning improvements and "system above all" type play, that makes it tons harder for those kinds of fancy plays to occur.

It's just my personal opinion, but I think that's a bad thing....

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01-02-2013, 09:59 PM
  #58
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Not totally against the idea. Would be a bit weird at first, but could grow on people. Players are definitely bigger, faster, and stronger than in the past. Some expansion of the ice surface is the most probable solution, but different ideas are always good.

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01-02-2013, 10:04 PM
  #59
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Then I'd stop watching.

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01-02-2013, 10:33 PM
  #60
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Originally Posted by craigcaulks View Post
I am sure there were purists that hated the idea of adding the forward pass too. Or names and numbers on jerseys. Goalie masks, etc. Still, that doesn't help defend the idea that 4 on 4 would work.
Where did I defend it?

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01-02-2013, 10:37 PM
  #61
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It wouldn't be called hockey anymore.

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01-02-2013, 10:38 PM
  #62
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Originally Posted by Legionnaire View Post
What? Before the NHL even started? You're talking about changing a major sports league and there were hardly such things 100 years ago.
I didn't argue for or against the idea of going to 4 on 4. But the NHL has made rule changes that have impacted the game one way or another.

Forward passing, offside, icing, etc.

All probably causing a large stink by purists. "Ruining the game!" they probably all said as they kept on watching anyways.

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01-03-2013, 06:46 AM
  #63
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Originally Posted by mind_the_gap View Post
It wouldn't be called hockey anymore.
Why not? When you go to a pickup game and only 8 guys show up, do you say, "Sorry boys, we can't play hockey today. Time to play 4-Man Shinneyball?"

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01-03-2013, 07:50 AM
  #64
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Originally Posted by Dontdive View Post
I often hear from announcers about how when it's 4 on 4 (skaters) due to penalties, the game becomes much more exciting, with a lot more opportunities to show fancy moves, and a lot more scoring chances.

Now I know this would offend a lot of hockey purists out there to go 4 on 4 permanently, but let's not forget hockey used to have even one more skater than it does now (the rover position). It was eliminated and I don't think I've ever heard anybody saying we should get it back. Somehow the game survived, then.

In other words, I don't think the number of skaters we have now is necessarily some sacred number that could never possibly be tampered with.

And whether or not you think the game would become better or worse - how about more popular, even if the change is otherwise not worth it? Would the (likely) increased scoring lead to more fans in the southern US, for example? This is obviously a separate debate, but related enough to keep as part of this thread.

Just throwing this all out there. I think it's worthy of debate, at the very least.
I wouldn't care, that is as long as they got all new uniforms, team names, league and called it the Not Hockey League, then fine. Olympic size Ice sounds a lot better to me. I know it would take time, but just make it that every new arena has to have Olympic size ice and every team has to convert by 2033.

Enforcing the penalties would also help, they have started to get away from it again, the playoffs last year pretty much sucked for everyone but Kings fans and the Flyers Penguins series.

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01-03-2013, 10:12 AM
  #65
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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
Why not? When you go to a pickup game and only 8 guys show up, do you say, "Sorry boys, we can't play hockey today. Time to play 4-Man Shinneyball?"
True but its usually a garbage game that leads to less team play and more about just skating up and down the ice. Its a one and done game like tennis.

How about a league without goalies? Hitting the crossbar will make for more stats and a nice noise for NBC???

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01-03-2013, 10:25 AM
  #66
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It's an interesting idea and I'm all for the game evolving, but I'm not sure how taking one player from each side off the ice is going to add to the entertainment in anyway that 5 on 5 can't.

Also, sure there will be more room to skate but is it a fact that scoring would increase?

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01-03-2013, 10:57 AM
  #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hot Water Bottle View Post
I'd support 4-on-4 play because today's hockey players are huge, fast cyborgs compared to the players of decades ago. The profile of a typical hockey player has changed and the rules have not. Basically, 4 of today's players fill up as much space as 5 of yesterday's players.
Yet there are no actual problems associated with this development.

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01-03-2013, 11:13 AM
  #68
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Originally Posted by #66 View Post
True but its usually a garbage game that leads to less team play and more about just skating up and down the ice. Its a one and done game like tennis.
Well yeah, in a pickup context that's true, but it's still hockey.

The exact same criticism about reducing team play was made when they eliminated the rover. It took very little adjustment before teams figured out passing schemes with 1 fewer offensive player -- the difference was they had 1 fewer defender clogging up the middle of the ice, so they could move the puck into scoring position more effectively and the game became more attractive overall.

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01-03-2013, 11:31 AM
  #69
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Better idea: Make it 18 vs. 18. Much more exciting.

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01-03-2013, 11:32 AM
  #70
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Originally Posted by gifted88 View Post
It's an interesting idea and I'm all for the game evolving, but I'm not sure how taking one player from each side off the ice is going to add to the entertainment in anyway that 5 on 5 can't.

Also, sure there will be more room to skate but is it a fact that scoring would increase?
This. But what if the NHL went to 1 on 1 permanently. NHL could be a 150 team league, and the player association wouldn't have to worry about it. NHL could get more revenues because there would be more active franchises. Five times more jobs for goalies as well, and their value in the game would rise to a new level. And still you could be sure that the scoring would increase massively.

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01-03-2013, 11:34 AM
  #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dontdive View Post
Yeah and the purists here don't want to discuss that.

The game is not the same as when Bobby Orr could do so many end to end rushes through entire teams and score.

Nowadays, the lower end players are closer to the top end ones due to massive conditioning improvements and "system above all" type play, that makes it tons harder for those kinds of fancy plays to occur.

It's just my personal opinion, but I think that's a bad thing....
fancy plays & end to end rushes = hockey?

It is but a part of it....personally I don't mind the hitting, the tactics, the fighting or even a well executed cycle every now and then.

fancy plays and end to end rushes = figure skating.

Anyone out their willing to double their lutz?

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01-03-2013, 11:38 AM
  #72
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Originally Posted by Ceremony View Post
Better idea: Make it 18 vs. 18. Much more exciting.
Couldn't happen. The owners wouldn't want to pay the player costs, and it would mean that the players of AHL and ECHL and so on should be taken in to the NHL. That would mean lesser talents on the ice and the fans wouldn't want that.

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01-03-2013, 11:42 AM
  #73
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Right about one thing is the players are bigger and faster today so that shrinks the ice but 4 on 4 all the time, NO WAY! They should make every rink owner increase the rink size to a standard 100 X 200 Olympic sheet. Take the $$$$ from expansion money to help owners with the cost.

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01-03-2013, 12:49 PM
  #74
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Originally Posted by FanSince2012 View Post
How about if they just have 4-on-4 in OT?
Why not stay with 5-on-5 for the entire game including OT?

Is there another sport that changes the rules during the course of a game?

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01-03-2013, 01:34 PM
  #75
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Is there another sport that changes the rules during the course of a game?
College football OT.

Is there another sport that removes players from the field on a regular basis (PPs)?

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