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Rule Changes To Improve NHL

Oct. 14, 2023 at 11:58 a.m.
#1
Former NHL Executive
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I've been. Thinking lately about some potential rule changes that could be interesting and increase entertainment/viewership.

1. Changing the Salary Cap

I would advocate moving towards a system that mixes what the league currently has with what exists in European soccer. In European soccer under Financial Fair Play the max spending of clubs is a % of their revenue. As we all know the NHL's cap is a % of total league revenue split evenly amongst all teams.

So how to combine them? Have some revenues count as team specific and some as league specific. So TV rights are league revenues, NHLShop.com sales are league revenues, league sponsors are league revenues, ticket sales are 50/50 league and team revenues, team sponsors are team revenue.

What this should result in is a salary cap that allows teams like NYR, TML, MON, etc to spend more than teams like Arizona but not WAY more. So instead of everyone having a $85M cap. Arizona's could be $75M and Toronto's could be $95M.

Why do this? (i) it will incentive teams to grow their own markets, (ii) there will be less cap circumvention trades with small market teams, (iii) this will help small markets by increasing league revenues if bigger teams are in the cup finals and there is larger TV revenue, (iv) it lowers the bar for small market teams. Every team isn't expected to win a cup anymore so smaller markets can get big storylines and press around their run to the playoffs, their cup run. We've seen this work with Vegas to attract fans and money. Even Arizona or Buffalo fans are thinking of winning a cup that's what Betman told us any team could do. Imagine if the amazing goal of the Sabres was to just be the underdog that finally broke the streak and made the playoffs. They could have prime time games all season and grow their fanbase. The Salary Cap being equal robs fans of those stories.

So there is my salary cap proposal the cap is 50% of league revenues + 50% of team revenues so.

2. Changing the power play. Here are a few suggestions

A) Penalty ends on a SHG. This would encourage way more teams to play their top forwards while shorthanded.

B) PPG don't end a PP. This would again when combined with the suggestion above make PKs more aggressive and reward good PPs and high skilled players.

C) Scoring on a Delayed Penalty does not negate the PP.

3. Overtime

A) Change to a 10 minute 3 on 3.

B) Remove the shootout.

C) Remove the rule that you lose the 1 point for an OTL if you pull your goalie and the other team scores. Would love to see more coaches pull the goalie for a 4 on 3 and risk it in OT.

Standings

A) change the points to 1-2-3 system to encourage teams not to play for a draw in regulation.

Schedule

A) remove the "every player in every rink" mandate. Teams should play those in the other conference one time per year instead of 2 (alternate home and away each year).

B) make the additional 16 games a year all inter-divisional games so teams can face their own division rivals at least 5 times each season.

Playoffs

A) Let teams pick their playoff opponents. So let's say Boston finished #1 in the East and Atlantic like they did last year. They should get to pick their opponents
They can pick either #2 Atlantic, #3 Atlantic, #1 Wildcard, #2 Wildcard. I'd last year they got to pick between Tampa, Toronto, Florida and Islander who would they pick? Then the #1 in the Metro would get to pick between the #2/#3 in the Metro and the remaining wildcard team. If both wildcard teams were picked it would be 2v3 if a #2 or #3 from a division is picked the remaining team gets to pick their opponents. So if Boston picked Tampa and Carolina picked NYI then Toronto auto gets Florida but if Carolina picked NYR then Toronto can pick between NYI and Florida.

This would reward to places in the regular season more and create more drama around the playoffs and motivation for those lower teams.


I've got more ideas but will leave it at this for now. Thought?
Oct. 14, 2023 at 1:23 p.m.
#2
Bedard23
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1. Pretty dumb salary cap rule because it’s completely unbalanced towards the small market teams as they’ll have less money to spend and as well know in professional sports: Money Talks

2. The reason why the powerplay ends once the team with it scores is because it’s too overpowered to have the powerplay continue after the team scores, no way that system ever returns

3. So you want ties back? Well I’m going to tell you ties need to be abolished in every North American sports league

4. The current schedule system is fine the way it is

5. That completely destroys the point of having playoff seeding and the top seeds will just pick the lowest seed in their conference regardless so there’s literally no point in the rule
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Oct. 14, 2023 at 9:11 p.m.
#3
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"Imagine if the amazing goal of the Sabres was to just be the underdog that finally broke the streak and made the playoffs. They could have prime time games all season and grow their fanbase. The Salary Cap being equal robs fans of those stories."

This argument doesn't make any sense. The Sabres had a run at the playoffs last year...while there WAS a salary cap. If the big market teams have an easier time retaining star players under a flexible cap that doesn't help smaller market teams. THAT is what would rob fans in smaller markets.
They can make it work in association football because THEY have relegation which keeps the season interesting for teams with less resources that can't keep up with the big spenders. That concept would be interesting in north american hockey, but it's just not logistically possible.
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Oct. 16, 2023 at 2:53 p.m.
#4
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Quoting: IconicHawk
2. The reason why the powerplay ends once the team with it scores is because it’s too overpowered to have the powerplay continue after the team scores, no way that system ever returns.

I kind of like the idea. I think maybe the best hockey was played right after the '04 lockout when they were calling more penalties. They removed all the clutching and grabbing and fast, small, creative offensive players had the space to show off their skills. The pendulum swung back towards the slower game after only a few years but allowing the full time for the PP could incentivize teams to take less penalties and open up the game agian.

Quoting: IconicHawk
3. So you want ties back? Well I’m going to tell you ties need to be abolished in every North American sports league.

Something has to change with the way the NHL does OT. 3v3 hockey isn't real hockey. Shootouts aren't real hockey. And you can't subject players to long 5v5 overtime games throughout the season.
Oct. 16, 2023 at 3:02 p.m.
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Quoting: Bflo_Soldier
I kind of like the idea. I think maybe the best hockey was played right after the '04 lockout when they were calling more penalties. They removed all the clutching and grabbing and fast, small, creative offensive players had the space to show off their skills. The pendulum swung back towards the slower game after only a few years but allowing the full time for the PP could incentivize teams to take less penalties and open up the game agian.


Something has to change with the way the NHL does OT. 3v3 hockey isn't real hockey. Shootouts aren't real hockey. And you can't subject players to long 5v5 overtime games throughout the season.


Both of them are still real hockey, hate to break it to you, both of them have a bigger emphasis on the skill of players than normal 5v5 but they're very much still hockey
Oct. 16, 2023 at 4:01 p.m.
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Quoting: A_Habs_fan
Both of them are still real hockey, hate to break it to you, both of them have a bigger emphasis on the skill of players than normal 5v5 but they're very much still hockey


A 3-point shooting contest isn't real basketball. A home run derby isn't real baseball. Running a qualifying lap isn't real racing.
These are certainly games based on specific aspects of a real sport, but you cannot tell who is the best at a sport by holding a contest to determine who excels at a niche skill derived from that sport.
Oct. 16, 2023 at 4:55 p.m.
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Quoting: Bflo_Soldier
A 3-point shooting contest isn't real basketball. A home run derby isn't real baseball. Running a qualifying lap isn't real racing.
These are certainly games based on specific aspects of a real sport, but you cannot tell who is the best at a sport by holding a contest to determine who excels at a niche skill derived from that sport.


What part of 3v3 Hockey is a niche skill, because it's literally the exact same sport with 2 less players and there's no one who is on a team because they excel at 3v3
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Oct. 16, 2023 at 7:23 p.m.
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Quoting: A_Habs_fan
What part of 3v3 Hockey is a niche skill, because it's literally the exact same sport with 2 less players and there's no one who is on a team because they excel at 3v3


It's a completely different game that hyper-focuses on almost exclusively speed and possession.
Oct. 16, 2023 at 7:23 p.m.
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Quoting: A_Habs_fan
What part of 3v3 Hockey is a niche skill, because it's literally the exact same sport with 2 less players and there's no one who is on a team because they excel at 3v3


It's a completely different game that hyper-focuses on almost exclusively speed and possession.
Oct. 18, 2023 at 4:22 p.m.
#10
Bedard23
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Quoting: Bflo_Soldier
I kind of like the idea. I think maybe the best hockey was played right after the '04 lockout when they were calling more penalties. They removed all the clutching and grabbing and fast, small, creative offensive players had the space to show off their skills. The pendulum swung back towards the slower game after only a few years but allowing the full time for the PP could incentivize teams to take less penalties and open up the game agian.


Something has to change with the way the NHL does OT. 3v3 hockey isn't real hockey. Shootouts aren't real hockey. And you can't subject players to long 5v5 overtime games throughout the season.


The only thing you’re incentivizing with that powerplay rule is flopping which is something absolutely no one wants to watch

If the offenses/defences aren’t going to solve who wins then it should come down to the goaltenders
Oct. 19, 2023 at 1:08 p.m.
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Quoting: IconicHawk
The only thing you’re incentivizing with that powerplay rule is flopping which is something absolutely no one wants to watch

If the offenses/defences aren’t going to solve who wins then it should come down to the goaltenders


In the first sentence, you're fundamentally arguing against the concept of penalties at all. Because having penalties incentivizes flopping.
I'm not sure what you mean to convey in the second sentence. Sorry.
Oct. 29, 2023 at 8:15 p.m.
#12
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Quoting: Rajvinder
I've been. Thinking lately about some potential rule changes that could be interesting and increase entertainment/viewership.

1. Changing the Salary Cap

I would advocate moving towards a system that mixes what the league currently has with what exists in European soccer. In European soccer under Financial Fair Play the max spending of clubs is a % of their revenue. As we all know the NHL's cap is a % of total league revenue split evenly amongst all teams.

So how to combine them? Have some revenues count as team specific and some as league specific. So TV rights are league revenues, NHLShop.com sales are league revenues, league sponsors are league revenues, ticket sales are 50/50 league and team revenues, team sponsors are team revenue.

What this should result in is a salary cap that allows teams like NYR, TML, MON, etc to spend more than teams like Arizona but not WAY more. So instead of everyone having a $85M cap. Arizona's could be $75M and Toronto's could be $95M.

Why do this? (i) it will incentive teams to grow their own markets, (ii) there will be less cap circumvention trades with small market teams, (iii) this will help small markets by increasing league revenues if bigger teams are in the cup finals and there is larger TV revenue, (iv) it lowers the bar for small market teams. Every team isn't expected to win a cup anymore so smaller markets can get big storylines and press around their run to the playoffs, their cup run. We've seen this work with Vegas to attract fans and money. Even Arizona or Buffalo fans are thinking of winning a cup that's what Betman told us any team could do. Imagine if the amazing goal of the Sabres was to just be the underdog that finally broke the streak and made the playoffs. They could have prime time games all season and grow their fanbase. The Salary Cap being equal robs fans of those stories.

So there is my salary cap proposal the cap is 50% of league revenues + 50% of team revenues so.

2. Changing the power play. Here are a few suggestions

A) Penalty ends on a SHG. This would encourage way more teams to play their top forwards while shorthanded.

B) PPG don't end a PP. This would again when combined with the suggestion above make PKs more aggressive and reward good PPs and high skilled players.

C) Scoring on a Delayed Penalty does not negate the PP.

3. Overtime

A) Change to a 10 minute 3 on 3.

B) Remove the shootout.

C) Remove the rule that you lose the 1 point for an OTL if you pull your goalie and the other team scores. Would love to see more coaches pull the goalie for a 4 on 3 and risk it in OT.

Standings

A) change the points to 1-2-3 system to encourage teams not to play for a draw in regulation.

Schedule

A) remove the "every player in every rink" mandate. Teams should play those in the other conference one time per year instead of 2 (alternate home and away each year).

B) make the additional 16 games a year all inter-divisional games so teams can face their own division rivals at least 5 times each season.

Playoffs

A) Let teams pick their playoff opponents. So let's say Boston finished #1 in the East and Atlantic like they did last year. They should get to pick their opponents
They can pick either #2 Atlantic, #3 Atlantic, #1 Wildcard, #2 Wildcard. I'd last year they got to pick between Tampa, Toronto, Florida and Islander who would they pick? Then the #1 in the Metro would get to pick between the #2/#3 in the Metro and the remaining wildcard team. If both wildcard teams were picked it would be 2v3 if a #2 or #3 from a division is picked the remaining team gets to pick their opponents. So if Boston picked Tampa and Carolina picked NYI then Toronto auto gets Florida but if Carolina picked NYR then Toronto can pick between NYI and Florida.

This would reward to places in the regular season more and create more drama around the playoffs and motivation for those lower teams.


I've got more ideas but will leave it at this for now. Thought?


Ahh the Toronto fan crying about the cap screw everyone but the big markets or teams with owners who this is a toy for. How about getting guys more worried about winning than getting max dollar. When you're top 3 guys make over 40% of your cap you can't put a good enough team around them to win. (That 40% is now it was even higher as percentage when they were signed . Manage your cap better Toronto.
This also again seriously drives up salaries making it harder for lesser revenue teams become better driving down their revenue making it a truly uneven playing field
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Oct. 29, 2023 at 8:16 p.m.
#13
Hakuna Matata
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Edited Oct. 29, 2023 at 8:22 p.m.
Quoting: Boltsbeathabs
Ahh the Toronto fan crying about the cap screw everyone but the big markets or teams with owners who this is a toy for. How about getting guys more worried about winning than getting max dollar. When you're top 3 guys make over 40% of your cap you can't put a good enough team around them to win. (That 40% is now it was even higher as percentage when they were signed . Manage your cap better Toronto.


Making things about the Leafs only despite the fact other teams are mentioned. So what if the person's a leaf fan anyone can make suggestions concerning hockey

Classic hater talk lul

This was just someone trying to make suggestions on how the NHL could improve even though the suggestions werent the best.

Lets not go making about us as we be now charging rent for people blabbering about things not concerning them alone as in the end every competitive team would love extra cap space
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Nov. 15, 2023 at 11:51 a.m.
#14
Leafs going to Leafs
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Change the OT playoff system to continuous 3v3... Think about how fun it would be to see 3v3 in a G6 where a team has their back against the wall, the crowd would be on the edge of their seats during those moments...

Also, have the team chose whether they'd like a 4v3 or a 5v4 PP... Could see some teams implement some interesting strategies and could mean taking a penalty to bottom teams with less stars that much more painful... For a 4v3, one guy would hop the boards from each team and the other would come from the box

Every team (minus the teams who made the conference finals), gets an even chance at each pick from 1-28; Would get more parity in the league and make teams think twice before trading 1rst and would prevent teams from tanking
Nov. 15, 2023 at 3:27 p.m.
#15
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Quoting: Leafsfan98
Change the OT playoff system to continuous 3v3... Think about how fun it would be to see 3v3 in a G6 where a team has their back against the wall, the crowd would be on the edge of their seats during those moments...

Also, have the team chose whether they'd like a 4v3 or a 5v4 PP... Could see some teams implement some interesting strategies and could mean taking a penalty to bottom teams with less stars that much more painful... For a 4v3, one guy would hop the boards from each team and the other would come from the box

Every team (minus the teams who made the conference finals), gets an even chance at each pick from 1-28; Would get more parity in the league and make teams think twice before trading 1rst and would prevent teams from tanking


Ideas 1 and 2 I'm fine with but what is that 3rd one, that kills all rebuilding teams, teams would have 0 incentives to suck and you'd have a 32 team slugfest to make the playoffs which I don't think the NHL has the talent to pull off, the NHL arguably already has the best parity of all NA major sports, we don't need more
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Nov. 15, 2023 at 9:18 p.m.
#16
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If you want to incentivize smaller markets to invest more…than you would allow them the higher upper limit (ie, Arizona at $95m and Toronto at $75m).

If you want a league with 6 teams, because it’s the only time your franchise can win a cup, you push for punitive measures on smaller markets (for being small)
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Nov. 15, 2023 at 9:39 p.m.
#17
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1. Reform LTIR so that a portion remains against the cap.

2. Allow teams to manage short term cap difficulty by allowing small overage to carryover

3. Focus on consistency between regular season and playoffs….should not be two sets of rules.

4. Expand overtime periods to 20-minutes, 3v3, max 2OT in regular season (goals during 3v3 come 3x pace of 5v5…won’t be many double OTs)

5. Same for playoffs.

6. End the “draws blood” standard for double minor high sticking. Replace with any contact to face.

7. Consider a weekly waiver window (as opposed to daily). allow teams emergency roster moves intraweek.

8. End the CHL rule for playing in AHL. There is no reason a drafted 18- or 19-year old shouldn’t be assigned to AHL if club wants him there (call it the Wright rule)

9. Eliminate the trapezoid rule (aka the “Brodeur rule”).

10. Consider any rule changes that open up the ice. The league will grow with speed, skill, scoring.
Nov. 15, 2023 at 10:06 p.m.
#18
Leafs going to Leafs
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Quoting: A_Habs_fan
Ideas 1 and 2 I'm fine with but what is that 3rd one, that kills all rebuilding teams, teams would have 0 incentives to suck and you'd have a 32 team slugfest to make the playoffs which I don't think the NHL has the talent to pull off, the NHL arguably already has the best parity of all NA major sports, we don't need more


I'm just saying it would be more fun to see 6-7 teams in each conference competing for a playoff spot instead of 3-4 total...

And you could still stack up draft picks and 1sts in a rebuild... Just makes every 1sts that much more valuable IMO
Nov. 15, 2023 at 10:21 p.m.
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Quoting: Leafsfan98
I'm just saying it would be more fun to see 6-7 teams in each conference competing for a playoff spot instead of 3-4 total...

And you could still stack up draft picks and 1sts in a rebuild... Just makes every 1sts that much more valuable IMO


I would argue it makes the opposite, no team would value 1sts because it could be anywhere from 1-28, also there are already more than 3-4 teams in each conference competing for the playoffs, there’s usually about 5, maybe 4 or 6 depending on the year, still “competitive” by the time the playoffs roll around
Nov. 16, 2023 at 8:03 a.m.
#20
Leafs going to Leafs
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Quoting: A_Habs_fan
I would argue it makes the opposite, no team would value 1sts because it could be anywhere from 1-28, also there are already more than 3-4 teams in each conference competing for the playoffs, there’s usually about 5, maybe 4 or 6 depending on the year, still “competitive” by the time the playoffs roll around


Meh, it's just and idea that hasn't been implemented so who knows whether it would work or not
Nov. 16, 2023 at 11:19 a.m.
#21
More Finns More Wins
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In decreasing order of sanity:

1. Use the 3-2-1 points system to reward regulation wins.

2. Remove the trapezoid. Let goaltenders play the puck anywhere in their own half. If you don't like it, don't dump the puck in!

3. Decide top 16 picks using the Gold points system, to encourage teams to always try and win, while still ensuring that the worst teams get high picks to get better.

4. 10 minute 3v3 overtime in the regular season, if there is no winner, it's a draw and both teams get one standings point. You can't make it much longer than 5 minutes without resurfacing the ice in between but I think that 10 would be fine.

5. Teams can retain salary on any number of players, so long as the total retained salary is less than 12.5% of the salary cap.

6. Allow performance bonuses in all contracts, not just 35+ and those coming off of injury. Normal rules apply and you can still get hit with cap penalties in the next year if you go over.

7. ELC maximums scale with draft position, with first overall eligible for up to 5MM/year, and the maximum for each subsequent pick being 1MM/year or 95% of the previous pick's maximum, whichever is higher. Also, ELCs can no longer apply to players 23 or older.

8. If a player is on LTIR from any point prior to the trade deadline up until the end of the regular season, they are ineligible for the first round of the playoffs.

9. Penalties in (regular season) overtime become significantly shorter but are played 3v2. Two-man advantage becomes 4v2.
Nov. 16, 2023 at 6:59 p.m.
#22
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Quoting: Hurricanes_WPG
8. If a player is on LTIR from any point prior to the trade deadline up until the end of the regular season, they are ineligible for the first round of the playoffs


To be eligible for the playoffs any player with over 100nhl games must be on an active roster (doesn't have to play) for the final game of the season. Rookies and black aces most AHL callups would be exempt and it would prevent Kucheroving.
Nov. 16, 2023 at 7:03 p.m.
#23
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Quoting: Rangsey
To be eligible for the playoffs any player with over 100nhl games must be on an active roster (doesn't have to play) for the final game of the season. Rookies and black aces most AHL callups would be exempt and it would prevent Kucheroving.


Need to be more specific that this. Cause what if someone gets injured the 1 week before the playoffs?
Nov. 16, 2023 at 8:06 p.m.
#24
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Quoting: Hurricanes_WPG
In decreasing order of sanity:

1. Use the 3-2-1 points system to reward regulation wins.

2. Remove the trapezoid. Let goaltenders play the puck anywhere in their own half. If you don't like it, don't dump the puck in!

3. Decide top 16 picks using the Gold points system, to encourage teams to always try and win, while still ensuring that the worst teams get high picks to get better.

4. 10 minute 3v3 overtime in the regular season, if there is no winner, it's a draw and both teams get one standings point. You can't make it much longer than 5 minutes without resurfacing the ice in between but I think that 10 would be fine.

5. Teams can retain salary on any number of players, so long as the total retained salary is less than 12.5% of the salary cap.

6. Allow performance bonuses in all contracts, not just 35+ and those coming off of injury. Normal rules apply and you can still get hit with cap penalties in the next year if you go over.

7. ELC maximums scale with draft position, with first overall eligible for up to 5MM/year, and the maximum for each subsequent pick being 1MM/year or 95% of the previous pick's maximum, whichever is higher. Also, ELCs can no longer apply to players 23 or older.

8. If a player is on LTIR from any point prior to the trade deadline up until the end of the regular season, they are ineligible for the first round of the playoffs.

9. Penalties in (regular season) overtime become significantly shorter but are played 3v2. Two-man advantage becomes 4v2.


1, 2, 6, maybe 3 if implemented right seem fine
Nov. 16, 2023 at 9:23 p.m.
#25
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Quoting: Rajvinder
Need to be more specific that this. Cause what if someone gets injured the 1 week before the playoffs?


Don't put him on LTIR if you're expecting him back for the playoffs. "Day to day" is still on the roster.
 
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