So says John Rolfe of Sport Illustrated.
I think part of the NHL’s problem is schedule. It is almost June ferchrissakes!
I recall when the Stanley Cup would be decided by the end of the first week in May. Now it seems it is almost the 4th of July when they hoist The Cup for a skate around the rink. I used to be glued to the set for the playoffs, but now I’d rather be outside. It stays light here at this latitude until 9 PM this time of year. By the time the finals roll around, it will be light until after 10 PM. I don’t even think of turning on the tube once the rains (mostly) cease and sun comes out.
Hockey is a winter sport, it starts in the first week of October, when the air starts to chill. It SHOULD finish sometime between tulips & daffodils and the closing of the lifts at Mt. Baker. But instead, they’ve created a system to milk the maximum revenue out of the playoff process.
It is backfiring on them.
After the disaster of the 04/05 non-season, they made a lot of rule changes to improve the game, with a strong focus on speeding the game up. They are calling the interference, and the clutch & grab. Now let’s speed up the playoff please!
Drop the first round and half the number of teams eligible. Get it all done in the month of April, and wrap it up by the end of the first week of May.