The NHL's absurd preseason schedule
But why can’t we dispense with maybe half of the NHL’s pre-season games?
Revenue, I know. But maybe if fans stopped showing up to pre-season games after the fourth or fifth one, the owners would be willing to get the real party started.
There are 111 NHL pre-season games this year, an average of 7.4 per team. That’s 4,440 man games. Is that really necessary to get a player prepared for the regular season?
Perhaps you've heard of back-to-back games, and the strain they can put on NHL rosters during the regular season, but how about six games, back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back?
In four different cities, no less.
Florida played in Calgary last night, plays in Edmonton tonight and tomorrow, goes back to Calgary for a game on Friday, flies to Summerside, Prince Edward Island, for a game against the Islanders on Saturday and then heads back to Montreal to play the Canadiens on Sunday.
It's very, very hard to believe that's an actual schedule for a professional hockey team, but there it is.
The Islanders, meanwhile, have seven preseason games sprinkled across North America, beginning last night with a 2-1 overtime loss to the Bruins in Moncton. Then tomorrow they're 1,700 kilometres away in London, Ont., and on Saturday head back to the Maritimes for that game against Florida.
Then they're in Long Island, New Jersey, Boston and Sunrise, Fla., in a span of six days next week.
Even the Rangers, who have to catch a flight to Europe to play two exhibition games in Switzerland next Tuesday and Wednesday, are in the midst of a string of six preseason games in a week.
Utter nonsense. Don't be surprised if the injury parade we've seen so far in training camp continues right up until the season starts, because these guys are going to be burnt out by the opening faceoff.