Monday, June 11, 2007

Expanding the net

When members of the old guard NHL general managers predict that larger nets are going to be reality someday, you take notice.

Ottawa's John Muckler predicted on Monday that it's just a matter of time before it happens.

Nashville GM David Poile and Buffalo's Darcy Regier are spearheading a drive for the larger bowed nets to increase scoring. That the GMs agreed to continue discussion indicates they are serious.

7 Comments:

At 10:00 AM, June 11, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The NHL keeps making band-aid solutions, without getting to the heart of the problem. Here are 2 suggestions of mine, each of which the NHL will never undertake:
1) just like baseball, get rid of the composite sticks. Make every player go back to wood sticks. Once that is done, you can then regulate the size of goaltending equipment, because they don't have to contend with 105 mph slapshots. Hence, scoring should increase.
2) STOP, JUST STOP the expansion talk. This league is about 6-8 teams to big as its is. Expanding by another 2 teams would only further dilute an already thin talent pool. Most teams in the league are already only 1 line-deep. If we add more teams, we are essentially adding another 30 AHL players that do not belong. These are the types of players that are slowing down the game, and making it unwatchable.

Ah, but who am I to talk.....Bettman only wants to hear about the bottom line.

 
At 10:41 AM, June 11, 2007, Blogger Doogie said...

Oh, for the love of Christ, can we drop the damned big-net theory? Even-strength scoring actually INCREASED this year. A drop of 0.2 GPG is not a sign of the fucking Apocalypse here, and I'm tired of the insinuation that it is. The people that think more goals necessarily equals better hockey must be very easily distracted by the shiney stuff on the scoreboard, because that's as superficial an approach to the game as it gets.

 
At 11:26 AM, June 11, 2007, Blogger El Brucio said...

Anonymous:

1) Goalie equipment is regulated, and was reduced 2 years ago, but I'm not against your composite stick ban idea.
2) For the last time, expansion hasn't diluted the talent pool from the 21 team league at all, because the talent pool has greatly increased. A study on the exact, real number of Canadian players in the league pre- and post- expansion will show you there are actually less Canadian players now than there were in 1990-91. Given the increase in real numbers of many European hockey players becoming available since that year, and the increase of population in Canada, as well as population and grassroots growth levels for hockey in the US since then, the NHL is much more talented now than in 1990-91. Those 30 AHL players would've been NHLers back then given the number crunch.

That's not an argument for expansion, it's just diffusing the talent dilution theory. Expansion should only be done into solid markets and I'd like to see a roster size decrease (but no 4 on 4) so that the star players, and best conditioned athletes, play more minutes. I'd also like to see a reduction in games played, but that won't happen.

As per nets... if you're going down this path, I don't understand changing the actual shape of the goal itself. No one has bothered explaining why we need to change the shape of the net at all.

While there is some (I'm being generous here) logic to increasing the net size due to players getting larger, the same logic can also be applied to making the rinks bigger (which just leads to more perimeter play). It's just not increasing excitement. We need more odd man rushes, not point shots that find their way into the net.

 
At 12:28 PM, June 11, 2007, Anonymous big net is dumb said...

I would agree with the wooden sticks and goalies who actually look like hockey players instead of marshmellow men.

There's no need to mess with the size of the net. Regulate goaltender equipment but keep them safe.

This would actually be better, you could see more athletic saves like Brodeur still makes, rather than guys with huge pads.

 
At 6:12 PM, June 11, 2007, Anonymous Baroque said...

I'll bet that going to wood sticks would decrease the expenses for the teams, too. Somebody in the office of each team has to cringe whenever a pricey composite stick shatters into little carbon splinters.

And the goalies are still huge. I think Brodeur actually uses pads a little smaller than he could have according to the rules, because he does want the extra mobility, especially when skating and handling the puck. It's more fun to watch a goalie who can skate instead of a mobile wall.

I don't want expansion until the teams the league ALREADY HAS are healthy. Even if it doesn't dilute the hockey talent, it dilutes the interest--I don't see all the teams in the league as it is, don't add two more teams I will never see (or replace two of the teams I see now with the expansion teams). Fix what is broken first, then start a new project.

 
At 6:28 PM, June 11, 2007, Blogger J. Michael Neal said...

I'll bet that going to wood sticks would decrease the expenses for the teams, too. Somebody in the office of each team has to cringe whenever a pricey composite stick shatters into little carbon splinters.

Doubtful. I don't know the story in hockey for sure, but I'd bet that the stick manufacturers comp the sticks to the team, or each player individually, as part of endorsement deals. This is certainly the case for bats and gloves in baseball.

This rule change, which I wouldn't be opposed to, either, would probably cost the teams. Equipment companies are likely to spend less money on advertising if they can't tout how Player X is using their new, high-tech stick.

Lord knows it would help tennis to go back to wooden rackets, but it ain't gonna happen.

 
At 10:54 PM, June 11, 2007, Blogger Stan the Caddy said...

I'm not convinced that expansion hasn't diluted the talent pool and there's no doubt that adding two more teams would bring into the league too many lesser talented players than it needs. There's WAY too many one line teams out there already

The day they change the size of the nets is the day I stop watching. It'll hurt, and I may need to medicate, but I don't like to be disrespected every year and still give them money. That would be the last straw. As Marty put it, "you don't need more goals, just more scoring chances."
And maybe a few more acrobatic goalies. Giggy might be a great goalie but, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Making the net bigger just means he'll improve his positioning.

While there is some (I'm being generous here) logic to increasing the net size due to players getting larger, the same logic can also be applied to making the rinks bigger

Logic has never been the NHL's forte.

 

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