If anyone actually believes that if the NHL went to olympic ice it wouldn't be as exciting to watch please watch the world jrs.
It would cost millions upon millions of dollars to renovate all of the current NHL arenas to increase the size for an olympic sized rink, not to mention seating would have to be reduced and that means less money for the owners. Olympic ice in the NHL will never happen, removing the red line will be far more effective in opening up the game.
The tourney is being played on the same size ice as the NHL play on. What has been exciting to watch over the last 4-5 days for me is the Spengler Cup. They are playing on a big ice surface and although there isn't as much talent as the NHL has, the games seem to be really exciting. There is a game on Sportsnet this afternoon, actually starts in 10 minutes.
If the games are exciting with the likes of Jeff Toms, Randy Robitaille and others, then wouldn't the NHL be much more exciting with their talented players?
There would still be some good open ice hits no matter what size of rink you play on. If you know how to hit, then you'd be able to catch someone with their head down in the middle of the ice regardless.
This would as well open up the game to some smaller players giving them more room to showcase their talents. I played Junior B hockey at just 5'5 and there was one rink in our league that had an Olympic sized ice surface and that is where I played my best games.
We have the big ice. Teams can play boring unattractive hockey on it too.
You cant think of the ice size increase as a fix-all solution, it isn't.
It would limit the effectiveness of some tactics, but theyd still be effective.
There's other, better suggestions thta have been made, and those would be better.
I was watching the S E L (with big ice surface) on Sportsnet today... and I wasn't really too impressed either. Some good moments though. If the games were as up tempo as the Spengler Cup, it'd be fantastic. But I think it's just the talent on the teams that make it exciting to watch.