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My suggestions for putting more flow(offense) into the game.

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11-11-2003, 09:17 AM
  #1
DanStewartFC
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My suggestions for putting more flow(offense) into the game.

I have put alot of thought into this and I believe there are two changes that could be put into the game to add offense and flow.

First, since the average NHL player has grown from around 5'11" 185 Lbs fifteen years ago to about 6'1" 203 Lbs now we need to create more room for them on the ice. I suggest adding one and a half feet to each side of the rink (three feet in total) and one and a half feet to each end of the rink (three feet in total). The Width is pretty simple but the length should be divided as such. Six inches more room in each offensive zone and two whole feet in the neutral zone to help build up speed for the rush. This transformation would be simple to implement in all NHL arenas because the first row of seats measure roughly three feet. All they would have to do would be pulling out one row of seats all around the ice surface and extend the boards.

Second, because the size of the skaters has increased, common sense says that the size of goaltenders would also increase. With that in mind I propose that they make the nets just a little bigger. How many times during a game have You seen a shot ring off the post? All those shots off the posts and crossbar could be turned into goals and add more excitement to the game. I'm not talking about extending the nets by 6 inches or anything like I have heard before but a marginal increase would more a world of difference. I suggest extending the posts out one and a half inches each way (totaling three inches wider) and raising the crossbar one inch higher.

These small changes would not change the face of the game. Any comments?

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11-11-2003, 01:59 PM
  #2
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i say take out the fight instigater rule.
if your getting hooked,held slashed ect. you can give them a shot and "fight it out" with out putting your team down.
after a while teams WONT be so quick to hook ,hold,slash the stars because if they do they might be spitting teeth before the games over.
thus a quick fast free flowing game and some extra fights for more fan pleasure

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11-11-2003, 02:36 PM
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You'd have to compensate owners somehow for the loss of revenue in suggestion #1. If nothing else they'll resort to increasing ticket prices.

As for #2, I'm against increasing the size of the nets. I feel this is the wrong approach to adding excitement to the game. It's not so much the lack of scoring that's the problem IMHO, but the lack of quality scoring chances. Increasing the size of the nets would make it easier to score, true, but it would mostly mean a few more low-percentage shots going in. OTOH, I believe that if you give some of the skilled forwards today the time and space to make a play, they can score on the current net, despite the tremendous goaltending equipment. It's just that there's very few such chances in the NHL these days.

Adding a few inches of net is a band-aid solution rather than attacking the root cause of the problem.

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11-12-2003, 10:24 AM
  #4
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I've toyed with the idea of 4 on 4 even strength to open up the ice more. I think it would leave enough variable and options that it could change the game for the better in some cases. Not sure though, as it's only a theory. On powerplays, if you have a two man advantage it'd still be a 5 on 3, not a 4 on 2. You'd never have fewer than 3 players on the ice for your team.

I am not that knowledgeable on defensive schemes and the sort, but I wonder how the trap would adapt to such a scenario and if it might help in some regard to get past the trap.

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11-12-2003, 01:11 PM
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Just out of curiousity, what does this have to do with the business of hockey?

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11-12-2003, 02:31 PM
  #6
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How about something really radical -- calling the game like the rulebook says?

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11-12-2003, 04:09 PM
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Here are my thoughts:

1. Changing the net sizes is not a good idea. Goalies have trained for 18-40 years with a certain size of nets, and changing that will cause a huge disruption, especially for the most technically sound goaltenders.

2. 4-on-4 hockey. This would speed up the game significantly, and I think it would make hockey a lot of fun to watch...but maybe this could fly in the WHA or something...not the NHL. If they move to this format, what happens to roster sizes...drops to 8 forwards, 5 d-men, and a goalie? That's 5 players per team who will have previously had NHL contracts that no longer do. That's like laying off 150 workers, and that's definitely not going to fly with the NHLPA, even if it does increase the salaries for the guys who stay in the league, which it most definitely would.

3. Shootouts - lets get it done already. Something like this makes hockey more exciting for the fans, which I think would cause a tremendous increase in the NHL's marketability. That will likely result in the league being more attractive as a TV asset, and it provides "shootout stars" with a tremendous individual marketing opportunity. In playoffs, I think they need to stick to an overtime format; maybe after 2 or 3 overtimes you go to a shootout...that's a value judgement there.

4. Making the rink larger. Again, and idea that may make hockey more exciting, but it's just not going to fly because of the effect on revenues, and the costs of expanding the rinks and re-configuring seating arrangements...especially since a lot of teams have relatively new buildings.

5. The biggest hindrance to 'firewagon' hockey these days appears to be the "clutching and grabbing." I've never played high level hockey, but from what I've heard, getting rid of the instigator rule may have an impact on this. If so, lets get rid of that rule!

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11-14-2003, 05:37 PM
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KungFuPenguin
You'd have to compensate owners somehow for the loss of revenue in suggestion #1. If nothing else they'll resort to increasing ticket prices.

As for #2, I'm against increasing the size of the nets. I feel this is the wrong approach to adding excitement to the game. It's not so much the lack of scoring that's the problem IMHO, but the lack of quality scoring chances. Increasing the size of the nets would make it easier to score, true, but it would mostly mean a few more low-percentage shots going in. OTOH, I believe that if you give some of the skilled forwards today the time and space to make a play, they can score on the current net, despite the tremendous goaltending equipment. It's just that there's very few such chances in the NHL these days.

Adding a few inches of net is a band-aid solution rather than attacking the root cause of the problem.
First, let me say I completely understand you. Only because I understand your thoughts do I feel I have a GIVEN RIGHT to say, "I disagree with you." I am not going to necessarily counter anything you said, but expand your point-of-view regarding the argument.

Now, allow me to philosophize.

This is a great issue. What makes this a great issue though? Because in order to UNDERSTAND it's impact, we must throw away our current UNDERSTANDING. We must constantly form new UNDERSTANDING because the issue constantly changes. We regard our UNDERSTANDING of the issue as COMPLEX and HARD TO COMPREHEND because it is COMPLEX and HARD TO COMPREHEND. Whenever you discuss something truly great, it changes the way you look at it every time you look at it. That is THE definition of greatness.

Now, allow me to try and give you a new way to look at altering the nets.

The scoring area side-to-side determines what the goalie can do. The less side-to-side area, the closer together the posts are, the easier it is for a goalie to move side-to-side. Additionally, the easier it is for the goalie to get behind the net, such as to stop the dump-n-chase strategy. The easier this activity becomes, the more time the goalie has to handle the puck, the more effective the goalie becomes stopping the dump-in strategy. Additionally, the closer together the side-to-side area becomes, the further out a goalie can come out to cut off shots and take away angles. And the goalie would require less skill to come out, since just coming out in itself reduces a scoring chance dramatically, regardless of the goalie's understanding of positioning. The goalie can then concentrate on using a top-and-bottom strategy, focusing on eliminating the five-hole and anything over the glove or blocker. The guessing-game between goalie and the offense is a 1-2 probability equation. "Heads, you win. Tails, I win." The goalie's crease also becomes smaller, putting the goalie in greater danger of being knocked down and possibly injured. Finally, rebounds have less percentage chance of going in the closer together the posts are. This is especially noteworthy considering the honest increase in the size of goalie equipment, enabling goaltenders to use their padding more intermittently with their glove and stick.

If the scoring area side-to-side increases, several things happen. The more side-to-side area, the further apart the posts are, the harder it is for a goalie to move side-to-side. Additionally, the harder it is for the goalie to get behind the net, such as to stop the dump-n-chase strategy. The harder this activity becomes, the longer it takes to get to the puck, the less time the goalie has to handle the puck (if they are even fast enough to get to it at all), the less effective the goalie becomes stopping the dump-in strategy. Additionally, the further apart the side-to-side area becomes, the more committed a goalie has to be to cut off shots and take away angles. The more committed a goalie is to stopping the shot, the more vulnerable he is to a great pass. This vulnerability to great passing arguably enhances skillful play (Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky proved that a perfect pass is rarely a botched score no matter who's stick the puck ends up on, so the size of the net is arguably not an issue in putting it away; such an example is intended for the preceding argument). Scoring chances would go up, and if your counter-argument to this suggestion is that unwanted unskilled goals will go up, then you must reason logically that highly demanded skilled goals will go up along with it. It is hard to see otherwise! And the goalie would undoubtably require more skill to come out, since just coming out in itself requires excellent positioning to achieve the desired objective of decreasing a scoring chance dramatically. Let alone the reflexes necessary to get in position to stop the centering pass. The goalie then has to be concious of eliminating the five-hole especially, and anything along the ice like a low hard slapshot. The guessing-game between goalie and the offense is a 1-2-3-4-5 probability equation. The goalie's crease also becomes larger, putting the goalie in lesser danger of being knocked down and possibly injured. Finally, rebounds have a higher percentage chance of going in the further apart the posts are. Most rebounds are not deposited very high if they are right in front of the crease (and hockey knowledge tends to suggest rebounds so close to the net are because the goaltender is "soft" and perhaps has a weak glove). This is, again, especially noteworthy considering the honest increase in the size of goalie equipment, which is enabling goaltenders to use their padding more intermittently with their glove and stick. Goaltenders would have to practice their glove and stickwork much more.

I think that was a zero-sum description of the argument. I disagree with you because the description of the argument suggests you are wrong. No offense. Feel free to add to the argument.

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11-14-2003, 05:45 PM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by degroat
Just out of curiousity, what does this have to do with the business of hockey?
Well the suggestion of widening the ice has an impact in the business of hockey.

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11-14-2003, 05:57 PM
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Brain Hemorrhage
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard
Here are my thoughts:

1. Changing the net sizes is not a good idea. Goalies have trained for 18-40 years with a certain size of nets, and changing that will cause a huge disruption, especially for the most technically sound goaltenders.
I do not know many goaltenders who are really amazing technicians. People made a big stink about J-S Giguere being so greatly improved technically. Lies. The simple fact is J-S Giguere had horrible coaching and he is not a wonderchild at stopping pucks with 'Jedi Mind Trick' puck control abilities. There are maybe five pure and true technicians in the game today, starting with The Master Martin Brodeur. I am sorry, but the fact of the matter is all the great goaltenders have the same assets: anticipation, ability to see through screens, ability to communicate to the defense, and either a great glove hand or a spine that is rumored to be a slinky.

I honestly think the worst thing that could happen to a goaltender is to have free agency become more NFL-like, and the defensive pairings constantly changing year-in year-out. I know even when I play hockey nowadays I play better when there are guys I know in front of me. That comfort level gives me the freedom to move side-to-side, behind the net, and push them out of the way if they're screening me unintentionally. They also know how/where I tend to give up rebounds depending on the shots. Martin Brodeur has been quoted as saying he feels his defensive pairings and his familiarity with them and vice versa are "crucial" to his play.

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11-14-2003, 06:05 PM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Love
Well the suggestion of widening the ice has an impact in the business of hockey.
Any time you discuss a change in the product you are selling, you are dealing with MANAGEMENT DECISIONS.

MANAGEMENT DECISIONS = BUSINESS DECISIONS.

It's really that simple. Really. No... REALLY.

Ever watch that movie with Tom Hanks where he wishes he was a grown up and then one day he is, and he gets the job working at the toy company? His job is to discuss what we're essentially discussing now.

I hope you won't ask again what this has to do with the business of hockey. I got scared

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11-14-2003, 06:16 PM
  #12
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The instigator rule does not have to be dropped, per say, but it needs a change so the game can be policed more by the players than by the officials.

I think the offensive zone on the power play needs to be increased, in all reality. We need another offensive zone added to the game, somehow, as a bridge between the blueline and center ice. There could then only be a certain number of players per team in this zone. It could be called The Restricted Zone. Somewhat similar to European rules for basketball (the weird shaped "paint" area).

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11-14-2003, 10:52 PM
  #13
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Originally Posted by Brain Hemorrhage
I think that was a zero-sum description of the argument. I disagree with you because the description of the argument suggests you are wrong. No offense. Feel free to add to the argument.
Fair enough. A widening of the nets would yield more goals of every kind, including dazzling passing plays as well as garbage rebounds. Point well taken.

I still feel, however, that such a strategy is "cheating" rather than attacking the real problem. If skilled players were allowed to play their game with no clutching and grabbing, no interference, not getting hooked down from behind or physically held up by their less skilled opponents, a couple of inches more or less of net would be a secondary matter. Skaters today have benefitted greatly from advances in equipment and training; given enough decent scoring chances, they can and will score. While widening the nets would possibly increase the number of scoring chances some, going by your description, it would seem to do so more by exposing weaknesses in goalies rather than promoting skill and offensive flair in skaters. I find this only marginally better than simply upping the percentage of perimeter shots and rebounds going in, which is the other effect of such a size increase.

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11-15-2003, 08:17 AM
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KungFuPenguin
Fair enough. A widening of the nets would yield more goals of every kind, including dazzling passing plays as well as garbage rebounds. Point well taken.

I still feel, however, that such a strategy is "cheating" rather than attacking the real problem. If skilled players were allowed to play their game with no clutching and grabbing, no interference, not getting hooked down from behind or physically held up by their less skilled opponents, a couple of inches more or less of net would be a secondary matter. Skaters today have benefitted greatly from advances in equipment and training; given enough decent scoring chances, they can and will score. While widening the nets would possibly increase the number of scoring chances some, going by your description, it would seem to do so more by exposing weaknesses in goalies rather than promoting skill and offensive flair in skaters. I find this only marginally better than simply upping the percentage of perimeter shots and rebounds going in, which is the other effect of such a size increase.
have you ever watched the islanders/oilers dynasties of the 80s? the goalies clearly had less padding and a skilled player like bossy could destroy one of these goalies, as he did many times.

as it stands now the art of goaltending has become whether or not you can win a three-ot game; how pathetic. was i the only one laughing/losing their mind watching giguere cheat his way to a near cup, while brodeur won b/c, well, he's brodeur? more equipment also slows a goaltender down, just look at my islanders garth snow. so widening the posts doesnt just expose weaknesses in the goalkeepers skill, but as well their hoices in the equipment bag.

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11-15-2003, 08:29 AM
  #15
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what i would do;

move the creases closer to centerice three inches each.
move the bluelines closer to centerice six inches each.
edit: take out the redline.
move the side posts out one puck length on each side.
measure goaltender equipment from the knee up length-wises and top-middle-bottom width-wises
remove the seamless glass that has 'no give' from all buildings
make the rink size semi-adjustable, such that if an owner wants to experiment independantly with resizing the rink, he can, but only by choosing between one of three sets of dimensions
have four off-ice officials similar to the nfl; have only one on-ice official -- five officials watching five-on-five hockey.

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11-16-2003, 04:58 AM
  #16
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My point is simply that while a focus on disadvantaging the goalies may bring a certain increase in offense, focusing on the rules and the way the game is played would be a much more effective apporach to adding more excitement to the game, rather than simply upping the number of goals scored.

Also, the methods are not mutually exclusive. A more restrictive limit on goaltending equipment seems like a fairly easy change to implement, and will probbly happen, but it won't do anything to counter the highly effective trap schemes that rely on the extreme leniency of today's refereeing for their defensive success.

My only fear is that any "band-aid" implementation such as a widening of the nets or super-restrictions on goaltending equipment will lead to short-term success and more goals scored, which will hinder any attempts to correct the bigger issue -- the lack of offensively oriented play.

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11-16-2003, 02:59 PM
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KungFuPenguin
My point is simply that while a focus on disadvantaging the goalies may bring a certain increase in offense, focusing on the rules and the way the game is played would be a much more effective apporach to adding more excitement to the game, rather than simply upping the number of goals scored.

Also, the methods are not mutually exclusive. A more restrictive limit on goaltending equipment seems like a fairly easy change to implement, and will probbly happen, but it won't do anything to counter the highly effective trap schemes that rely on the extreme leniency of today's refereeing for their defensive success.

My only fear is that any "band-aid" implementation such as a widening of the nets or super-restrictions on goaltending equipment will lead to short-term success and more goals scored, which will hinder any attempts to correct the bigger issue -- the lack of offensively oriented play.
Ooh, very good point. I could not have made a better counter-argument to my own argument. Well done, Jedi.

1] One of the things that makes the trap so effective is that it is used to close-out games.

2] One of the things that reduces the need for offensively oriented play is, without question, the W-L-T-OtL format. While the W-L-T-OtL format may be better than the W-L-T format, both formats are pathetic because there is no sudden death element in hockey. No one enjoys a tie game. They may enjoy the overall play in a tie game, but no one enjoys the actual tie. Now, if a shootout format was inserted, you better believe teams like the Minnesota Wild and New Jersey Devils would be handicapped by teams like the Colorado Avalanche and New York Rangers, who each have 5 sure players who can beat a goalie on a penalty shot. This would at the very least cause the Wild and Devils to focus on adding a few more skilled players as opposed to lethargic maulers like Mike Rupp with no stickhandling skill. However, I understand that in Europe adding a few more skill players hasn't changed the dynamic any, since they are by and large finesse over there.

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11-16-2003, 03:53 PM
  #18
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Ooh, very good point. I could not have made a better counter-argument to my own argument. Well done, Jedi.
Thank you, Mr Kenobi.

I wouldn't mind shootouts during the regular season, but that's another discussion altogether. Your Europe example only illustrates my point further: even big rules changes such as an increase in ice size and removal of red line offsides will not effectively combat trapping -- only a true crackdown on obstruction will.

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11-16-2003, 06:58 PM
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Yes but how do you crackdown on it when BOTH Refs looking at a penalty miss the calls, i.e. the other night with Tootoo LEAPING at Radek Martinek, deserving of a game misconduct. I mean, here's my thinking:

1) Many people are too concerned with "Keeping the Records"; i.e. they are afraid if scoring increases too much that Wayne Gretzky's record will go to a lesser hockey player

my reply; who cares. jim brown is the greatest rb of all time to many but he's fourth on the list and falling

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11-16-2003, 07:29 PM
  #20
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What about;

* minimize the role of the center line
* move the blue lines 2 feet closer to center ice
* eliminate the two-line pass rule completely
* insert a three-line pass rule
* Give whistles to the officials whose job it is to call off-sides, and let them enforce obstruction penalties in the neutral zone
* Move the creases back towards the boards 3 inches at each end of the ice to promote more shot angles and keep play from slowing down behind the net


Something I have also wondered for a long time now is why can't the NHL take advantage of the "blurred puck/puck on fire" technology FOX Sports brought in several years ago and put it towards something productive? My idea is that there has to be away to install sensors in the nets such that the sensor will only trigger WHEN THE PUCK AND ONLY THE PUCK crosses the goal line. The cost of the technology would off-set the cost of the employees hired to manage the siren, and over time it'd be cost-conducive as well.

Also;

* Regular season games need shootouts.

Reason: I'm one of the guilty Islanders fans who're no longer season ticket holders. But why should I be. I don't want to go to one out of every other game, and have one out of every other game I end up going to end in a tie. That means I basically paid for only 10 games. Sorry, but ties really piss me off. None of my friends like ties either. We also cannot seem to get into the overtime much... know it's only five minutes and knowing the golden rule of hockey is it's incredibly hard to score in the first and last minutes of a period, that gives usually only three minutes for both teams to score. Sorry, as a fan I have to say that's not sexy.

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11-18-2003, 05:13 PM
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cup4Wings
I have put alot of thought into this and I believe there are two changes that could be put into the game to add offense and flow.

First, since the average NHL player has grown from around 5'11" 185 Lbs fifteen years ago to about 6'1" 203 Lbs now we need to create more room for them on the ice. I suggest adding one and a half feet to each side of the rink (three feet in total) and one and a half feet to each end of the rink (three feet in total). The Width is pretty simple but the length should be divided as such. Six inches more room in each offensive zone and two whole feet in the neutral zone to help build up speed for the rush. This transformation would be simple to implement in all NHL arenas because the first row of seats measure roughly three feet. All they would have to do would be pulling out one row of seats all around the ice surface and extend the boards.

Second, because the size of the skaters has increased, common sense says that the size of goaltenders would also increase. With that in mind I propose that they make the nets just a little bigger. How many times during a game have You seen a shot ring off the post? All those shots off the posts and crossbar could be turned into goals and add more excitement to the game. I'm not talking about extending the nets by 6 inches or anything like I have heard before but a marginal increase would more a world of difference. I suggest extending the posts out one and a half inches each way (totaling three inches wider) and raising the crossbar one inch higher.

These small changes would not change the face of the game. Any comments?
No chance of owners taking out expensive seats to increase ice surface.
Put the nets back and make the neutral zone the way it was in the 80's. Adding space where you cant score (behind nets) never made sense to me.

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11-19-2003, 06:38 AM
  #22
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Originally Posted by HockyHead
No chance of owners taking out expensive seats to increase ice surface.
Put the nets back and make the neutral zone the way it was in the 80's. Adding space where you cant score (behind nets) never made sense to me.
I like that idea too. Owners could easily make-up the difference from one less row of seats by just adding a 2% increase to the remaining lower bowl seats. If Owners get on board with "fixing" hockey I think it could be an easy sell. Just my opinion.

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12-02-2003, 05:02 PM
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KungFuPenguin
How about something really radical -- calling the game like the rulebook says?
It would work, if "work" were defined as "increase diving tenfold".

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