Monday, December 03, 2007

Fore-going too much change at the NHL meetings

Must think hockey, must think hockey!

With surf of the Pacific crashing ashore and the holes of Pebble Beach beckoning, last weeks meetings of NHL executives did not produce any large scale change to the direction of the game. No ice breaking declarations and no major shift in the dynamic of the game.

From larger nets to smaller pads, both of which seem to be an item that always come up for discussion and just as quickly get table, goaltenders can once again rest easy that all is well in their empires.

An increase in the salary cap yet again will make for a few more millionaires around the NHLPA table next season and a tweaking of the schedule, means that the stars of the east may actually meet the stars of the west more frequently than the current convoluted array of games allows for. Though that may come with an increase on regular season games on the schedule for next year (not exactly everyone's favourite thought, when perhaps a reduction in the regular season might help to make it more meaningful.)

In fact as far as the players are concerned, they seem inclined to go to a more expansive schedule of 30 home and home matches between the conferences by the 2009 season, a sure fire winner for fans in Western Canada, who have been feeling a little left out over the last few years of schedule making.

The two days of discussion had all the high drama of a gimme putt on hole 18, with the participants well aware that hole 19 is where all the fun begins.

From the meetings:

National Post—NHL Meetings Notebook caretakers against overhauling the game
Newsobserver--Back to the future
Globe and Mail-- Hockey minds debate bigger nets and a beefed-up schedule
London Free Press-- The inevitable next step is an 84-game schedule
Winnipeg Sun--Status quo for NHL
LA Times-- Board won't fiddle with rules
Yahoo Sports-- Change of pace

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