An item for the bad idea pile
Not only do fans deserve to see all of the league's stars at least once each season, the teams deserve a better competitive shake. And for the benefit of all involved, it needs to be fixed, sooner rather than later.
A lot of ideas have been tossed around lately as to how to make that happen. Here are mine:
The first step is to expand the schedule to 86 games.
I'm afraid I didn't have a chance to read any further.
The NHL schedule desperately needs to be shortened by at least 10 games, and preferably more. If I had my way, the NHL would play 70 games, the AHL around 64 and kids in Canadian junior hockey would play fewer than 50. It's utterly absurd how much hockey has been crammed into the October-to-June period in the past decade or so, especially considering that a large group of those junior-age players are supposed to be in high school on a full-time basis.
The story of a guy like Steve Begin, who never finished high school, is all too common among hockey players, and that's a big reason why, as a group, they're ridiculed by people like Tom Benjamin for being uneducated and inarticulate. Hockey has a system that works against them being otherwise, as in the main, it's only those kids deemed too small or not good enough who play a lower tier of junior hockey and go on to U.S. college hockey.
The percentage of NHLers with a university education is terribly low, and I suspect that the numbers of those who have a high-school diploma are also a lot lower than most would think.
I'm off on a tangent here, but I think it's an important one. As much as I like 'lots of hockey', it's a physical game that just doesn't lend itself to the 100-plus game schedule championship teams are required to play.