Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

No Tweaking Allowed


James Mirtle (correctly, in my view) thinks that the league is searching for more goals (and fewer shootouts) in Brendan Shanahan’s “Let’s Test Some more Gimmicks” circus currently playing itself out in Toronto:

While most of those taking part were reluctant to classify the exercise as a search for more goals, the rule “rationales” given to media had “will potentially lead to more offence” next to many of the tweaks being tested.

Several involved making power plays even more valuable, with penalized players serving the full two minutes and penalty killers called for icing the puck.

I did not think the league needed more goals when dramatic changes were made following the lockout and I don’t think the league needs more goals today. But even if I did believe the game needed more offense, I certainly would not do it by increasing the value of the power play.

The league should be doing everything they can to reduce the influence of the officiating if only because they seem incapable of improving it. A recent book (Scorecasting) made a fairly compelling argument that referee bias was the most important factor in the home ice advantage. Does anyone want hockey officials to have more influence over the game? If Shanahan really wants to improve the product, he should seek ways to make the game easier to call fairly. Improving the officiating would improve the game.

The league may be “reluctant to classify the exercise as a search for more goals” that’s what it appears to be even though that is not really a problem. Player safety is clearly a problem but only a few of the “tweaks” address that problem.

Improve the officiating. Make the game safer. Leave the rest of it alone. Tweak no more.

Postscript: A caveat to “Leave the rest of it alone.” I’m perfectly willing to dump any number of the stupid changes previously wrought in the Bettman era. Examples include the shootout, the trapezoid, and the non-hooking penalties.

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5 Responses to “No Tweaking Allowed”
  1. flip says:

    Hockey is art. So PM is an arts fan, but is picky.
    I think in the future the league will permit bear hugs for teams down by 2 goals or more. It would be nice to get intermission video replay for 1st and 2nd period contact (let the rest be violent), and turn any uncalled majors into minors that start at the start of the next period. Giving an extra point is retarded. It is supposed to be exiting at the end of the game. BBall fouls and free throws ruin it. NFL timeouts are boring. Let the home team pick before game whether OT or shootout if not killing the shootout. Alternating powerplays like the CVFL takes turns is good. A one minute 5-4 each. 4-3. Then 3-2. Then 2-1.
    Plastic microchips are getting good enough a player could have a radar installed in visor that lights up when an approaching player. Or LEDs on boards flash when approaching body check, controlled by an assistant checking coach. I don’t like fixes. The first Pitts-TB game was garbage; I could’ve played for Pittsburgh crosschecking and holding TB. And the 2009 playoffs non-calls on the Canucks were a joke. BTW: Boston had Ryder on their fourth line and Canucks had Oreskovitch. Canucks were not playoff team 5-5. Sedins need a power forward. Trade Burrows, Edler, 5 1st Rd Picks for Byfuglien. I remember a game against the Wings in 2004 where wings were up 3-0 and the GWG was when the ref kicked the puck to Vancouver. Didn’t help them against Calgary and Kipper’s butterfly. I hate blackouts and paying for CBC.

  2. flip says:

    …I have an international hockey ranking formula I’d give away in return for ads or columns that mention my favourite companies, charities or University research departments.

  3. sv says:

    sounds like some kind of hockeybuzz acid trip.

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