I wrote a column for TribLive.com about how to fix the NHL. The league won't consider any of my changes, let alone make them. But it's nonetheless a delightful piece. To read it, click HERE.
Among my ideas:
Ten teams in each conference make the playoffs. Use the NBA’s play-in format with seeds 7 through 10 in each conference. No best-of for the play-in; everything is single-game. It’s an exciting opening to the post-season.
Allow me to add a P.S.:
The NHL should rotate the playoff system among three formats. Once the play-in is complete and there's eight teams left in each conference, use one of the following:
*Stay in the division for the first two rounds, like now. Assign the play-in survivor with the least points to the division that has the first-place team with the most points. The other play-in survivor goes to the other division.
*Assign the play-in survivors the same way. The playoffs' first round crosses over between divisions. For example: First place Metro vs. fourth place Atlantic. Second place Metro vs. third place Atlantic. First place Atlantic vs. fourth place Metro. Second place Atlantic vs. third place Metro. The first- and second-place teams get home ice for the first round. Make a bracket: First place Metro/fourth place Atlantic winner vs. second place Atlantic/third place Metro winner. First place Atlantic/fourth place Metro winner vs. second place Metro/third place Atlantic winner. After the first round, home ice is determined by most points.
*Forget the divisions. Seed 1 through 8 using the whole conference. High seed keeps playing low seed.
Rotating would keep the playoffs fresh. It would be fun.
The NHL needs fun. The just-completed playoffs weren't very entertaining. After the first round, they were mostly crap.