Plan Z, or
let’s call the whole thing off and start from scratch
The All-Star Game:
Make it the first game of the season. First weekend of October. Let the players pick the teams. Let the fans pick the MVP. Done.
The Regular Season:
58 games. What?!?! Yes, two games against every NHL team. Home and away. All of a sudden everyone has the same travel schedule issues. Perfect.
Oh, and the games are worth three points each. Three points for a win in regulation. Two points for a win in overtime. One point for a win in a shootout. No points for losing. How’s that for urgency? That’ll encourage plenty of effort.
But you worry about not having enough games? The secret is having more games that matter. Add in some tournament hockey.
The North American Cup:
Every professional team in North America enters a single elimination knock-out tournament that stretches from the beginning of October to late March. Including the NHL, AHL, IHL, and other minor professional leagues that accounts for about 128 teams. If you like the thrill of upsets, this could be big. Like the FA Cup on ice.
The European Challenge Cup:
Eight teams each season play a two-group round robin, followed by a knockout table. Two NHL teams each year (NA & Stanley Cup Champs?) join the best from Russia, Sweden, Finland, etc.
The Stanley Cup:
It is perfect. The only change will come from the new regular season having everyone play everyone. Divisions and Conferences don’t matter now. Top 16 make the Stanley Cup playoffs. Simple.
How do you like them apples Gary?