Monday, January 22, 2007

Are They Persistent or Just Thick?

While I am on record as saying that I don't agree with every single change the "new NHL" came out with at the end of the lockout, I think going to the well of "tradition" as your basic excuse to discount change is more than trite when we're talking about the NHL here. Yet that's exactly what Larry Brooks does every time a change is suggested.

Considering some of what is said in the article, it looks as if bigger nets are only a matter of time in the NHL. For years people were calling for the gimmick before they finally got it last year. Now the calls for bigger nets are following the same path. I have to agree with Brodeur, 9-8 isn't an interesting hockey game. Yet the marketplace has spoken and fans want to see offense, offense, offense. Whether it is in the NBA, NFL, MLB, MLS, or NHL; they want to see offense.

This is why the NFL makes pass defending so difficult, you used to be able to basically tackle a receiver at the line of scrimmage, but now if you breathe on him wrong it is an automatic first down. This why the MLB looked the other way on steroids. This is why the MLS had a gimmick of their own when they started the league. Though the best laid plans of mice and men often don't turn out as expected.

Remember when the NBA brought their three-point line closer to the basket? That caused a DROP in scoring as all sorts of hacks were jacking up three pointers and missing them badly. The NBA moved the line back to where it was and has officially done away with calling charges underneath the basket. Though traveling in the lane is still only rumored to be against the rules.

Should the NHL go to bigger nets? I don't think they should. I think Brodeur is right again when he says lets see how all of these changes effect the game before making new ones. And as I said, I don't believe that 9-8 counts as an interesting game but I'm clearly in the minority.

So when the NHL goes to their bigger nets, I won't sit here and decry the vanishing "tradition" of the game. The NFL moved their goalposts from the goal line to the end line in 1974. Western Civilization survived and the NFL continues to grow by leaps and bounds. So could Ol' Lar tell us just what he thinks of mandatory helmets for players and the two referee system, as they are not a part of the grand and glorious fourth place and ignored early tradition of the NHL? And while he's at it, I demand which Union Thugs feed him all of his information and what if anything they are paying him to continually attack Gary Bettman.

Finally, did you hear very much about the much ballyhooed "Take Back The NHL Protest" from this Saturday? I admit to being preoccupied but I can't find anything on Google news with Take Back the NHL or NHL protest in the search boxes. D.C. SportsChick made a mention of seeing two signs at the game on Saturday (which was two more than I saw). I think it is safe to declare this thing a royal flop. This is Waterworld territory here. Either the Ultimate Fighting On Ice (UFOI) fans have given up and don't care to "protest" the changes (we can only hope) or contrary to the beliefs of some, the internet doesn't spread the word as much as they like to believe. After all, The Venerable Off Wing Opinion interviewed the fearless leader of the protest and gave it coverage. But only two signs visible in the Phone Booth?

Anyway over on Hockey Fans Unite we're treated to an obscure article written by an obscure writer. If you've read Larry Brooks or anything else from the UFOI fans you've already read this re-hash of an article. And so I'll only re-hash what I've said before, we tried it your way and it failed. The NHL has to tear itself down and run off the UFOI fans before it will be able to get the casual fans that have ignored the NHL because they don't like UFOI.

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