Some of the following would obviously require legal work, approval of the NHLPA and other unions and will not be popular with all. So please don't respond with, "The NHLPA would never agree to that"...I know, this is just my own thoughts and what not.
First of all, adios to the shootout. It's a gimmick and a joke that the NHL uses it to settle games that can make or break a playoff berth. Hockey is a team game. Guys like Mike Komisarek are just as important as guys like Jussi Jokinen-Hell, more important. I understand that some people hate tie games, and will call the sport a competition, but resolving a game with a gimmick that includes only a small part of the actual competition solves nothing.
For fans that miss the shootouts, I have another idea: NHL Showdown 2.0. After each game, each team gets to choose 5 shooters. They each shoot against the opposing goalie, and stats are kept. At the end of the year, awards are given to the best shooters and goalies, with donations made to the players' favorite charities.
Keeping in line with that, wins would be worth 2 points. You get nothing for a loss or a tie. The point is to win, and if you fail, you get no reward. Games tied at the end of regulation go to a 10 minute, 4 on 4 OT. After that, they end, tied or not.
Second, There will be a World Cup every four years, in non-Olympic years. It will be a joint presentation of the NHL and IIHF, and held after the season of all interested leagues. There would be NO break in the NHL schedule for the Olympics.
Third, All Stars Rosters will be chosen by a committee selected by the commisioner's office. This would be comprised of GM's, Coaches, players and Broadcasters. Fan voting would be allowed, but would only make up 50% of the total score for electing players to the team.
Fourth, The NHL/NHLPA would have to agree to a luxury tax system. The salary cap would be abolished. A luxury tax threshold would be established at a number that would be determined by an independent arbitrator based on an agreed percentage of league revenues. Teams whose payroll was above that level would be taxed at a 250% rate, with the tax money going into a fund to be shared by the lower revenue teams. The caveat being that all money from luxury tax MUST be spent on team payroll(Hockey executives and coaches included in this amount).
There would also be a salary floor, to be determined by the same arbitration process.
Fifth, there will be ONE on-ice referee at games. The power of linesmen would be increased so they could call infractions behind the play(at least blatant ones). Far too often, having a two referee system means a poorly or inconsistently called game.
The goal is uniform enforcement of all rules. If it's a penalty at the 10 minute mark of the first, it is a penalty with one minute left in the third of a one goal game.
Fifth-A, All suspensions that are not automatically enforced will be decided by a committee agreed upon by the BOG. This will be a 5 person panel made up of former executives, coaches, players and league personnel.
Sixth, Goodbye East and West. Hello Campbell and Wales. Also, goodbye Atlantic, Southeast, et al...Hello, Norris, Smythe, Patrick, Adams, Gretzky and Howe.
Seventh, Contraction and relocation would be considered in a multi-point plan. The key considerations being team revenue, attendance, location and closeness to other NHL markets, stability of the marketplace over an extended period of time and historic contributions to the league and history of hockey.
No Canadian or original six team would be contracted or relocated.
Eighth, To ensure the widest possible audience is reached, an agreement with ESPN would be struck to not only televise NHL games, but also to guarantee coverage of a minimal level on the network's showcase program, Sportscenter.
All NHL games would be required to be broadcast in HD.
Ninth, Every NHL arena would have at least one section of low priced, "family" tickets for sale for every game.
Tenth, Teams would not be allowed to change their uniforms more than once every ten years.