I'm not sure where this thread belongs, but nontheless.
Primarly to create more room on the ice, and thereby more 2 way play:
- a player leaving the ice must fully leave the ice before his replacement comes onto the ice; hence there can never be more than 5 skaters per team on the ice at anytime.
1) create less cluter in front of the players benches and overall more space,
2) not allow players to take several steps to get into the play before the player he is replacing leaves the ice, and
3) players would have to manage there time better to prevent getting caught on the ice for too long in various situations.
In addition to creating more room, it could increase goal scoring as players would be more likely to stay out too long, when the opposing team replaces it's players. Thereby leaving a tired defender at times to face the oppositions fresh legs.
That's okay but then you kind of kill 40 second shifts because you're going to be with 2 or 3 skaters for instances in the game when a line goes off, kind of kills the single biggest aspect of the NHL game.
4 on 4 hockey would be more interesting... opens up the game, increases speed and skating/passing skills would be at a premium.
I don't think it would necessarily mean fewer jobs either... the skaters could remain at 18 players... although obviously it would likely switch towards probably 10 forwards and 8 dmen per team rather than the 12-6 mix that exists now.