In a recent interview on TSN 1260, TSN’s Pierre LeBrun shared his laundry list of goals that he would try to accomplish if he were the NHL’s Commissioner.
His list included changes such as: abolishing the all-star game, moving the start of the year to the middle of September and starting free agency the day after the draft. All sound like great ideas and it inspired me to compile my own list of changes that I would make if I was in charge of the NHL.
THE START OF THE SEASON
Pierre was bang on with this one. I would have training camp open on September 1st every single year and have the regular season begin no later than September 15th. Give teams a few days to get ready, have them play 4-5 preseason games and then get the season going.
This would allow the Stanley Cup to be handed out in May, instead of early to mid-June when it is now, which is hardly hockey season. It’s small, but I think September is a far more ideal time to start the NHL season.
Again, it’s another small change, but I would love to see the NHL do what leagues like the WHL do and have teams switch their home and away jerseys at the halfway point.
As a fan who goes to a fair share of games, it gets boring seeing the home team almost always wear dark and never seeing any flare from the visiting side.
I know I’m not alone in wanting to see the iconic red Canadiens jersey roll through Edmonton every few years or getting a chance to see the slick “Victory Green” Dallas Stars jerseys hit the road once in a while.
From a business standpoint, it would also make sense. Teams with third jerseys could have a dark third jersey for the first half and then potentially develop a light version of their alternate jersey for the second half. It’s a great way to generate more money off of jersey sales.
While I’m at it, I would allow teams like Nashville to use yellow as an away jersey.
NHL OFFICIALS MEDIA
Right now, you’ll essentially never hear or see NHL officials do any sort of media, which I think is a problem.
I would make the rules very strict, but I would make one of the referees available to the media after a game if they’re requested.
No questions allowed based on an officials performance or anything personal, just an opportunity for the ref to clarify a call or further explain something that may have happened. It would only create more clarity between the fans and the league, plus, seeing these refs talk in front of a camera may actually allow fans to develop a soft spot and a more personal connection which could ease the hatred towards officials.