• by Ryan Isley

    The NHL lockout just keeps dragging on and on and on…and may end up costing the league fans.

    Despite lockouts in both the NBA and NFL before last season, fans came back and the leagues were as popular as ever. Unfortunately for the league and the teams, the NHL is not the NBA or the NFL and will not just automatically regain all of the fan support they had prior to the work stoppage.

    The NFL was able to get their situation settled just in time for a shortened training camp and a full regular season while the NBA reduced their regular season to 66 games from 82.

    For the NHL, that won’t happen. Nor will it help. As Chris Barron wrote for MTAF on Tuesday, people are just not caring about the NHL. What the NHL needs to do is come up with a creative way to win back not only the casual fans, but their diehard fans as well.

    I think I have a way they can do just that. While I know this is an idea the NHL would never have the balls to try, it is one that is worth looking at anyway. Instead of trying to end the lockout, shorten training camp and fitting in a shortened season, the NHL should think completely outside the box.

    What the NHL should do is end the lockout, go with a regular training camp and then go straight to the playoffs. How do you have playoffs without a regular season? You include all 30 teams.

    Hear me out…

    There are 15 teams in each conference. You would make the Los Angeles Kings (West) and New Jersey Devils (East) the top seeds and award them a bye in round one by virtue of making the Stanley Cup Finals last season. For the rest of the 28 teams, they would be seeded according to the regular season standings from last season.

    That would give us these match-ups:


    No. 2 New York Rangers     vs.      No. 15 Montreal Canadiens

    No. 3 Boston Bruins              vs.      No. 14 New York Islanders

    No. 4 Florida Panthers        vs.      No. 13 Toronto Maple Leafs

    No. 5 Pittsburgh Penguins  vs.     No. 12 Carolina Hurricanes

    No. 6 Philadelphia Flyers    vs.     No. 11 Winnipeg Jets

    No. 7 Washington Capitals vs.     No. 10 Tampa Bay Lightning

    No. 8 Ottawa Senators          vs.     No. 9 Buffalo Sabres


    No. 2 Vancouver Canucks   vs.    No. 15 Columbus Blue Jackets

    No. 3 St. Louis Blues              vs.     No. 14 Edmonton Oilers

    No. 4 Phoenix Coyotes         vs.    No. 13 Anaheim Ducks

    No. 5 Nashville Predators   vs.    No. 12 Minnesota Wild

    No. 6 Detroit Red Wings       vs.     No. 11 Colorado Avalanche

    No. 7 Chicago Blackhawks  vs.     No. 10 Dallas Stars

    No. 8 San Jose Sharks          vs.     No. 9 Calgary Flames

    The first round would be a best-of-5 and could begin in the final week of March which would put the rest of the playoffs on pace to run during their regular schedule. The second round would start on or around April 10th with each round becoming a best-of-7 as usual.

    This would give fans of all 30 teams a chance to have optimism that their team could make a run through the playoffs and hoist the Stanley Cup. It would also give the NHL a chance to reconcile with fans after this work stoppage – the third lengthy lockout since 1994 for the league.

    Again – I know this is an idea that the league would never consider. But we can all dream can’t we? We just want hockey back.

    Comments? Questions? You can leave them here or email Ryan at ryan@morethanafan.net

    Ryan Isley (238 Posts)

    Sign up for the More Than a Fan Newsletter!

    This entry was posted in NHL, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

    Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.

    The MTAF Network

    Add Your Site!

    More Than a Fan Copyright

    ©2013 More Than a Fan LLC, all rights reserved. All trademarks, images, and descriptions used in the works listed on this page are the exclusive property of their respective owners. More Than a Fan is not aligned with any team or company listed, and makes no claim as being such. Questions? Please read our FAQ, and feel free to contact the webmaster for more information.

    Quick Contact Info

    Josh Flagner
    Editor in Chief, More Than a Fan Network
    Damien Bowman
    Executive Producer, More Than a Fan Network

    Designed by Common Man Design ©2013

    All code, arrangement, and proprietary IP are protected and may not be used without permission. Certain images and logos designed by Eric C. Fischer. Inspired by a template created by Andreas Viklund.

    Staff Login