Wednesday, January 02, 2013
On the Topic Of 20-Team Playoffs
With word of the NHL and NHLPA possibly looking at a 20-team playoff when play finally returns leaking out-- the social media people came out in droves and questioned the audacity of such a thing, that this outside the box thinking is something that shouldn't be even considered.
Of course...it was considered since Elliotte Friedman wrote about it December 2011 and then Dave Hodge kept the idea rolling in March 2012, but that wasn't 2013 thinking!!
In any case, the idea is something that Friedman threw out about the 20 teams being grouped into one, then having seeds 13-20 playing in some kind of play-in series or sudden death game in order to join the other ten teams in the march to the Stanley Cup, Whether or not it's like the QMJHL and they do a 1 vs. 16 and say the hell with the conferences is to be decided, I'm sure. Again-- this is just outloud thinking and not set in stone as many would think.
The main ideal is to bring more revenue to the teams, which goes to the league, which then gets shared with the players. When you lose half a season, you have to find a way to get that money that you lost back in some capacity. Plus, when you look at what happened with MLB and their play-in Wild Card games-- it could be something that is right in Donald Fehr's wheelhouse.
When all is said and done, it probably won't happen, but thinking outside the box isn't a horrible thing. The more drama the playoffs bring the better it is for the game and the casual fan. Of course, the "traditionalists" will all be opposed to it, much like they were many other innovations and stuff like that. In a game that has had more changes over the past couple decade in their rules and technology than most any other sport-- the term "traditionalist" has to be in quotes or else those who call themselves that could have checked out of the game years ago.
For me, when you have 30 teams and 66% of the teams get into the playoffs makes the league look more farce-like than the lockout had us believe. The best idea is to either bring in two teams or get rid of two teams and then have four divisions, have the playoffs start with divisional play and then the two divisions in each conference play to win the conference, then to the Stanley Cup-- much like the old days of four divisions. Of course-- when you bring up expansion or even contraction-- people get all into a tizzy.
Nothing can go right for the NHL, especially not in the state they are in now. The fact of the matter is that rather than tinkering with the playoffs-- they need to have a season in order to get to the playoffs. And even after there's games-- make sure you exhaust all your research and tools in order to make sure that 20 teams in the playoffs is a great idea for the game rather than for the revenue it could bring in.