1) I read with amusement the ideas that Pierre LeBrun published this morning. He goes on to list "10 ways for NHL to recover from lockout". Now, I generally like his columns. He actually knows the game, and attempts to analyze situations with the fans perspective in mind. However here I believe he 'jumped the shark'. Why? Simply, BEFORE we can discuss ways to improve things, we have to have something to 'improve'!! Until there is a tentative deal in place any other discussions are pointless. For the damage is already done BUT will be FAR worse if the entire season in cancelled and possibly be light years worse if the stalemate goes to the courts and next season appears to be in jeopardy as well. All those things are still plausible, so its VERY premature to have this discussion.
2) Now, as for the suggestions, some are decent.
- We like his 20 year CBA idea. Would give the NHL necessary stability to recover.
- The suggestion that we feel would have the LEAST possibility of coming to fruition is the 'European expansion' idea. We have discussed this here before 5 years ago. http://newfaux.blogspot.com/2007/10/european-expansion.html We were pessimistic that this could happen then, and my opinion on the matter hasn't changed. Read that post to see why.
- Realignment within the 30 current teams is a no brainer. Its over due as it is.
- I don't like the idea of adding playoff rounds. 16 of 30 is fine. More playoff teams would further make the regular season appear meaningless as it was when 16 of 21 teams made it 20 years ago
- Make the "Center Ice" package Free. Abso-Dam-lutely! Great idea Pierre! We'd make it free for 2 seasons. One for each lost season!
- His 'World Cup idea in mid season sounds great now, but GM's/team owners probably wouldn't be all too happy with the prospect of losing a star player(s) during a playoff run. The Olympics every 4 years is barely tolerable to many. However I am going to say we would be All for such a tournament!
- His other ideas of making the free agency period coincide with the draft and having all teams together on trade deadline day wouldn't get the average fan excited here in the states. Yes, it would be huge in Canada, but that's not where the NHL would need to repair its damage as much as the non traditional markets its attempted to grow in the states the past 2 decades