First of all, Happy New Year to everyone whom I haven't "seen" yet. I have been kicking around a lot and haven't had much time to hit the Buzz of late.
Now that that little tidbit is out of the way, here's the thoughts:
-It's great that the Winter Classic got a stellar TV rating. I am sure that it was Bettman's wet dream-a huge full stadium, interesting weather, and a shootout won by Sidney Crosby.
However, all of that will mean nothing if the ratings don't improve from last year for non spectacle games. The game itself, let's face it, was not exactly stellar. People tuned in to see the novelty. Hopefully the games under a roof that are of higher quality will benefit from the Classic.
-Colin Campbell....I almost feel bad for the poor guy. I admit he has a difficult job, but ignoring obvious head shots, while bemoaning others only makes him look like an idiot.
-One thing the holiday season brought me is a great reminder of why I do not watch football. I'd rather watch Joe Beninati and Craig Laughlin do play by play for a game between the two worst teams in the East Windsor beer league than see the top NFL or NCAA guys do a crucial late season or bowl game.
-I have had a few ideas to improve the game and make certain items better. These are not all new or original, and if you have read me advocating them before, sorry.
Standings system-2 points for a regulation or OT win
1 point for a shootout win
No points for a loss of any kind.
Nobody should be rewarded for a loss, and a gimmick should not provide the same standings result as a win.
Instigator-get rid of it, or tweak it. I'd tweak it thusly: If a clown like Steve Downie or Darcy Tucker runs a guy, and a fight is the result, hit THEM with the instigator. Very rarely in hockey is the guy throwing the first punch the guy that actually instigated the ruckus.
Have the linesmen simply drop the freaking puck. There is NOTHING more annoying than a guy with no power wielding the little authority he has and still getting it wrong half the time. I didn't pay $85 to see some clown that can't play drop a hunk of vulcanized rubber.
During a shootout, have the shooters take off their helmets. Give these guys more face time-as much as possible. If fans can recognize the players' faces, they might become more interested in following that guy.
Go back to one damned referee. Even if it means some things get missed, at least it will provide a consistently officiated game.
Eliminate all hard shelled protective gear for use above a player's waist...except for his helmet of course.
More stringent regulations on the size of goalies equipment, especially shoulder pads. If that poses a safety issue, then increase the size of the nets. I have long been against making nets bigger, but back in the day, goalies were 5'8" or so...now a guy that small is a back-up. The simple fact is, guys are just larger on average in this day and age.
Give me a job where I just get to go and watch games and get paid an obscenely large salary.
Find a way to have ESPN and Versus broadcasting games in the United States.
-Why the Hell did Roger Clemens make me sit through a 17 minute tape of a phone conversation that did nothing to make me believe his guilt or innocence?
-Bring back Showdown....I loved Showdown when I was a kid.
-God, I really hate football.
Anyhow, happy new years and good hockey to everyone.