Sunday, April 02, 2006

20-team playoff format on the horizon

Eric McErlain at Off Wing Opinion mused today on the NHL's push for a 20-team playoff, something that is seemingly supported in a recently discovered on-line copy of the league's collective bargaining agreement. Here's Eric:

Interesting. But is it real? Remember, it's seems to be the consenus that this is an incomplete copy. It might also be the case that this is an earlier draft that has since been superceded. In any case, I'm putting out feelers to check it out.
Oh, it's real. Even if this is an early version of the document, it's still likely to closely resemble the finished product — if only because of the amount of detail we're getting here. (I learned more about hockey players' benefits than I thought possible leafing through the thing briefly on Saturday.)

As for the 20-team playoff format, well, where there's smoke, there's fire, and I've heard about more than a few rumblings from execs that this is something they're looking at. As I said in the comments over at OWO, given what's happened this year, I can see why.

After all, there are only nine teams in each conference that still have a genuine hope to make the playoffs — with nearly 10 games remaining, the other 12 teams are either out of it or extreme longshots.

That's a good chunk of unhappy owners who wouldn't mind a shot at some sort of 'qualification round' — and the extra revenue those games would bring. End of season games in a non-playoff year are also a tough sell.

I don't think an extra round is an outright awful idea, but I am of the opinion NHLers already play far too many games. This would merely add to that.


At 6:13 p.m., April 02, 2006, Blogger John said...

I don't see any problem with it. Adds more excitement to the end of the season and the 3-game format should only take a weekend.

At 6:44 p.m., April 02, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

72 game season, 2 G against each team in the other conference, and 3 against ea team in your own conference would be about right. This would nearly eliminate the strong division/weak division arguments, and the fans get to see everyteam at least once on home ice. 20 playoff teams, and start the playoffs a little earlier. I am all for it. Strong rivalries do not develope in the regular season, they are a by-product of the playoffs.

At 8:29 p.m., April 02, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Qualifying 10 out of 15 teams is going to lead to .500 if not worse teams getting a chance at the cup. Why reward bad to average teams with a playoff spot?

If I am reading this right, teams from 9 thru 12 will be in the Playoff Qualification Round? Why should a team that has lost more games then it has won be awarded a chance to play for the cup?

A word to unhappy owners, work harder to put a better team on the ice. You got your salary cap to ‘level the playing field’, if your team isn’t in or very close to the top half of the conference they don’t deserve a cup run. I also hardly think that a team that goes 36-46 is going to bring in any extra people the last 10 games just because they are going to make the Qualification round.

And what is this, the League has an option to institute a Playoff Qualification Round?
Why an option? Why not just do it? What factors are considered when exercising this ‘option’? If it isn’t done this year and next year you have either the Caps or the Penguins sitting in 12th place, you know what’s going to happen.

Either do it or don’t.
I say don’t.
Its not broke so let’s not try to fix it.

At 8:52 p.m., April 02, 2006, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Mike, teams seeded from 7-10 would take part in the qualification round. 11th and lower would be eliminated.

Even still, I agree that some 'unworthy' teams will still get a second chance. In the West, for instance, Los Angeles has been downright awful for a while now, but they would qualify for this 'second season.'

At 10:37 a.m., April 03, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the correction. I have never been good with documents written in lawyer speak. Guess I have been watching a little too much Trailer Park Boys lately.

So if they did this 7th and 8th ranked team would not be guaranteed a playoff spot anymore. Interesting, but I still don’t like it.

At 4:02 p.m., April 03, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess those who don't remember history are doomed to repeat it. Back in the bad old days of the 80s, when 16 out of 21 teams qualified, the last month of the season dragged on forever. Teams with 60 points were qualifying for the playoffs, and others who had their spots long since wrapped up were resting guys all over the place down the stretch. The quality of hockey in late March was miserable, and the "playoff race" had all the excitement of an April baseball game between the Devil Rays and Kansas City. Some of the Bambi vs. Godzilla matchups in the first round weren't much better. This is the one good thing the NHL has done in the last number of years (resist the temptation to expand the playoffs), and now they are going to screw that up also...


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