I love hockey. But not the NHL. And here is why.
10. Rule changes. While I do like the elimination of two line offsides, this nonsense with the "trapezoid" and the sudden inability of two players to look at each other crosseyed without getting a penalty is comical.
9. Endless power plays! Because of rule number 10, it seems like wwwaaaayyyy too many games get decided by the guys in stripes. That's not hockey. I don't know what sport that is, but it isn't hockey. How about some 5 on 5 action?
8. The shootouts I hate them. I know some people like them, but what was wrong with having ties? The penalty shot might be "the most exciting moment in hockey" (TM), but not if it happens 50 times a week.
7. Crappy music College hockey is not immune to crappy rock/pop music (Schneider Arena, anyone?) or repetetive music ("Hail to the Victors"? Again?!), but the NHL has descended into the same level as the NBA with this silliness. Less piped in music, more ORGANS. And more to the point, we probably shouldn't be drowning out crowd noise.
6. Horrible horrible officiating Did anyone actually think that letting the refs make more calls was a good idea? Hockey is a tough sport to officiate. Do we really need to make it harder?
5. Continuing to allow Jeremy Jacobs to own a team No explanation needed, I would think.
4. Over expansion I feel like Abe Simpson, but there are too many teams in too many cities where no one cares about hockey. Please eliminate ten of them.
3. ESPN Most of the NHL's wounds are self inflicted. But the move of the general public away from ice hockey was accelerated by ESPN and their bloody idiotic programming options. Aside from pissing me off with their lame "Spygate" obsession and hiring some of the dumbest people to ever pick up a microphone (I'm still waiting for the Yankees "dynasty" to win a trophy this millenium, you ignorant nimrods), ESPN continues to promote lame idiocy like the NFL draft, the World Series of Poker, and - my personal favorite - the short lived series on Barry Bonds. Ugh. Why do we put up with this excrement?
2. The NHL is stupid Season crippling strikes at critical times? Check. A total lack of discipline - should we really allow the Flyers to attempt to kill opposing players in every game? - Check. Horrible labor and management decisions? Check. Insane television contracts? Check. The list goes on.
1. Cup winners I'm not snobbish enough to say that fans from Tampa Bay, Carolina, and Anaheim SHOULDN'T see their teams win a cup, but it would be nice to see a team from the North - especially Canada - win one of these things for once. Obviously, the NHL can't do a blessed thing about this, but one of these years, the league has to luck out and have a Canadian champion and/or a champ from early expansion or the Original Six. Right? I don't think it creates a ton of interest when teams the average person has never heard of are winning this thing.
There you go. No suggestions, just complaints.