I love hockey. I mean, I really love hockey. Probably more than Bice likes little kids. But anyway the NHL has a real problem.
The problem is that it just isn't as exciting as it could be. Think back to the days (if you are old enough) to when Gretzky and Lemieux were lighting the lamp every night probably two or three times easily. That may be a bit of an exageration, but think about the point totals that we saw in the 1980's and 1990's. While Wayne Gretzky was scoring well over 100 points season after season, the other players were doing the same. Take the 1985-86 season. Gretzky lead the league in scoring with 215 points. We may never see that kind of total ever again, but look at the next four. Lemieux with 141, Coffey with 138, Kurri with 131 and Bossy with 123. Scoring leaders today are lucky to get those totals. Last season Alexander Ovechkin led the league with 112 points.
1) The NHL needs to do somthing to increase scoring. Nobody likes to see games that end 1-0 or 2-1 for that matter. Things need to be like they were back in 1980's and early 1990's, with games ending 6-4 or 8-6 or even 10-9. That would increase intrest and popularity and it would be exciting. Somthing must be done to let the stars of the league score. The goalies are way better these days and their equipment doesn't need to be so big. The NHL could start with that.
2) Each conference should only have 2 divisions. It is rediculous that sometimes the third team that wins a division has the least amount of points than the other 7 teams in the playoffs and another decent team gets left out. This way two division winners would be the top two in the conference and after that the best teams would make out the playoff teams. This is the way it was through the 1980's and most of the 1990's and it worked out well.
3)Some teams need to relocate. This may happen regardless, but it is obvious that the NHL isn't doing well in places like Miami and Nashville. I don't doubt that hockey fans exist in those markets, but unless those teams start selling out arenas, it won't work. Canada needs another team or two. Quebec or Winnipeg would be good places to start and I am willing to bet that Kansas City or Seattle would be lucky to get teams too, but NO EXPANSION. It already hurt the league once, and it cannot happen again. But Canada needs another team or two so I would bet that the teams that could relocate would be the Florida Panthers, Phoenix Coyotes, Nashville Predators and Atlanta Thrashers. They probably all should because nobody goes to games in those cities anyway. If you watched the last Penguins game when they played in Atlanta, you know what I mean...the place was empty.