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Calgary, AB • Canada • 55 Years Old • Male

Today blog question is to name one thing that you hate about the NHL. Notice I said one thing; I am sure everyone could found a lot more than just one.

One of the things that bothers me with the new rules - although it wasn't that different before - is when a player is on a mini-breakaway. If a defenseman catches him from behind or otherwise makes a nice clean play to break up the scoring chance, 9 times out of 10, a phantom penalty is called. Often the defenseman has done all he can, within the rules, yet it doesn't matter. It seems in a league where they are now doing anything they can to promote offense; defensemen are paying the price more often than they should for doing their job.

The NHL had a panic attack when the lock-out ended, mainly because the team that made it from the western final was a boring Calgary Flames team - a public relations nightmare. They felt they had to get rid of the clutch and grab game to give the superstars more freedom; which I love. The problem is they over-compensated, and often misjudge a great defensive play from behind, calling it a penalty. Some great points made by spiegs, who is the Florida Panthers blogger and does a great job.


The NHL does not understand its fans and who they market to. The league consistently misses marketing to new audiences through its campaigns, and does not really respect the die-hard fans that make up the bulk of its viewership and support. Showing an aptitude for reaching out and making the league attractive would go a long way to improving its fortunes.

In order for corporation to be profitable, it must know its clientele. I find the NHL is working so hard to grab a new audience, that it is forgetting the old one. It is common-sense that the NHL must attract new viewers; but not at the expense of its most diehard fans. Any corporation knows that the best advertising is word of mouth. It is too bad that the NHL doesn't know this market strategy. A great comment by Banger, who is great guy and new moderator on the forms, and deserves it.


What's wrong with the NHL? Well I'm a huge hockey fan, so in my opinion - not a lot. I could imagine from an outsider point of view, though, that the lack of marketing and the NHL's inability to crack into major T.V. deals is holding it back.

As a fan who completely enjoys the game, it frustrates me that we have to watch playoff games at 2 P.M. Sunday afternoon because NBC has dictated that is the only time allotted. I guess it is better than nothing, but it has not gotten the NHL anywhere in terms of endearing the Americans to the game, and it frustrates the core group of fans.

We really discussed this issue during last year playoffs. Watching hockey on a Saturday afternoon is just wrong. What really irritated me was that even the Canadian teams had to play on Saturday afternoon. No hockey on a Saturday night in Canada is like not having pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving dinner. The NHL again over-compensated by trying to attract a new audience, which is fine as long as it doesn’t trample the old ones. Great job Saneopinion

Brandon Felder

I believe that the one thing wrong in hockey is the way other fans look down at each other. In my mind, it doesn't matter what team you root for, we are all hockey fans. To hear that people are supporting an existing team being uprooted is a bit disturbing to me. I supported the Penguin fans when they were in trouble, and they supported us as well. Unfortunately, there are too many fans out there that do not see it from another fan's point of view. I would never WANT a team to move from an existing NHL city. I just wish fans were more respectful to each other when it comes to off-the-ice issues. Argue, debate, and sling mud over the game on the ice, but don't forget to think how you would feel in the shoes of a Pred fan.

I could not have said it better. I have never seen so many fans kicking the Preds while they were down. I think that as NHL fans, we have to support each other in the good times and the rough ones. I like to think the hockey fans are in a different league unto themselves. That is why it is so disappointing when I hear fans rejoice over other's misfortunes. Brandon that is a heart-felt comment who is by the way is a great new blogger on our site.


Here are things I hate about the NHL: its ineffective marketing, inconsistent refs, and incompetent leadership. But as far as hockey goes, there's nothing I hate about the sport. Probably the only gripe I have is that it is a very expensive game for kids to play.

Let’s talk about the inconsistent refs. The NHL has to address this problem. The players have no idea of what is a penalty or what isn’t. The biggest problem is the inconsistent calls not from game to game but within the game. The players need to know that penalty that is called against them will be called on their opponent. A penalty for one team should be a penalty for another.

Js, I could not agree more about the expenses of letting our children play hockey. I just thought you would like to know that in Calgary they are trying to figure out ways to keep the expenses down and get more rinks for our youth. They even had a one-night summit on that topic. I just wish the NHL could get more involved; maybe help out the cities with youth hockey costs. Thanks so much for your contribution. Js is also one of the best myhockeybuzz bloggers. If you have not read some of his work, you should.

Well, there you have a great bunch of answers. Now all I have to do is get the NHL's fax number I would like to thank my friends for their help with this blog. Without them, there would be no blog.

Filed Under:   NHL RULES GAME  
September 10, 2007 10:17 AM ET | Delete
Great job Flamstr ! All these point are very valid and the promotion of the game starts with the fans. The bigger the fan base the better it will be for the league. Television networks did not like UFC for many years. The networks had to take notice after awhile though when the fan base became so huge and hungry to see it.
September 10, 2007 10:22 AM ET | Delete
Great blog once again.I love the game of hockey, but not in love with the NHLI hate the fact that most hockey players are useless at interviews and give the same answers over and over.. that is killing the marketing..We need more guys like Avery, Roenick, Hull, guys who speak thier minds and are fun to watch. Fights are gone and its come down to prescheduled fights between heavy weights trying to keep thier jobs. Hockey was fun to watch when it was a physical game, when you had to fight for every inch out there, now its powerplay after powerplay
September 10, 2007 10:39 AM ET | Delete
Thanks guys - good points all. Esp agree with JS and inconsistent ref calls. Also, comments on marketing/TV which is in disarray. ESPN irritates me to no end and they are making a mockery of their supposed coverage of all sports. But I also realize that we need hockey to be a part of that network. Unfortunately, they are continuing their relentless disdain for the NHL and appear to be trying to succeed in TV hockey genocide (for the US market, anyway).
September 10, 2007 10:43 AM ET | Delete
This is pretty nitpicky but i will go with TV presenation. ALL GAMES NEED TO BE IN HD. i repeat.. ALL NGAMES NEED TO BE IN HiDef! We all could use a bit of innovation with camera angles. How about using the view from behind the powerplay on occasion. Bottom line is that hockey isn't agreat TV sport... they need to do some things to improve it.
September 10, 2007 10:43 AM ET | Delete
NHL should have never been a 30 team sport.Less teams, less games but that will never happen
September 10, 2007 12:03 PM ET | Delete
The biggest problem is the TV coverage and ratings. The NHL has been the step child by several US major networks. It is a joke when playoff games get knocked off the air for the pre-Preakness commentary or any rerun of fishing. It is a total slap in the face to current fans and a total turn off for any potential new fan. If the NHL could actually market and sell proper (major) network coverage, then the fan base would grow.
September 10, 2007 12:22 PM ET | Delete
Although this isn't as much of a 'big picture' item like most of the others being mentioned, if I had to pick something to change, it would be the way the rule is currently written on kicking the puck into the goal. Talk about inconsistent! Everyone knows how much trouble this caused in the playoffs last year, and how it was grossly f'd up by the refs. I say either completely allow or disallow ANY goals that go off skates. Trying to judge intent in the middle of a fast moving hockey game is ridiculous!
September 10, 2007 1:22 PM ET | Delete
Thanks for everyone comments
September 10, 2007 1:24 PM ET | Delete
nice work Flames !! I would say I agree with JS about the way the NHL fails to market it's game. It is a crime. Nice post. SYF
September 10, 2007 1:34 PM ET | Delete
I dont know that I really have one thing I dislike the most. The lack of marketing is definitely a big negative for the league. Need to put more hockey commercials on during peak hours of TV, not just the channel the game is on. Another one, is the fact that the NHL has seemed to want to move a team to KC or Vegas instead of a fan hungry city in Canada. Seems crazy to me. The last thing that bothers me is the salary cap. This cap was supposed to help the small market teams. As we all can see the small market teams are putting a cap on themselves and the big market teams can spend close to the 50 million. So, the cap has no become pretty much useless.The inconsistent ref thing is a problem throughout all of sports.
September 10, 2007 1:42 PM ET | Delete
The only thing wrong with the NHL is Gary Bettman and his goofy schemes
September 10, 2007 1:46 PM ET | Delete
Great Blog! In my opinion, the one thing I think is wrong with the NHL is the sched. Finally, for the first time in his career, Sidney Crosby makes a visit to the west this year. If you can't get tickets to see him (which is likely), then you've gotta wait another 3 years to get your next chance.
September 10, 2007 2:13 PM ET | Delete
Good poll question for sure, thank you for including me. Babstar has a great point and from what I hear there will be a change after the current rotation is over to where every team will play each other at least once.
September 10, 2007 4:12 PM ET | Delete
Two words...GARY BETTMAN.
September 10, 2007 4:12 PM ET | Delete
Message Posted
September 10, 2007 5:03 PM ET | Delete
2nd Babster's scheduling comments (hope you are correct in coming scheduling change SaneOp). I've said this before but will repeat - big buzz when rarely seen teams and their players come to town. As an example, last year's Leafs game created a lot of excitement and we had a great crowd (with quite a few Leafs fans too). The league failed miserably in their attempt to artificially manufacture rivalries by imposing 8 game schedule against each divisional team. Rivalries occur for many reasons - forcing them down fans and teams throats is not one of them. Besides, if you're going to have 30 teams and play an 82 game season, then everyone might as well meet and play hockey!
September 10, 2007 5:47 PM ET | Delete
I hate the Trapezoid. It's the stupidest most useless rule in all of sports. They might as well tell defensemen they can't go in the offensive zone and only centers can go into the center ice circle. I'm all over that scheduling problem too. Another dumb decision like leaving ESPN for VS or NBC for USA.
September 10, 2007 6:15 PM ET | Delete
theses are great comments guys thanks for the comments
September 10, 2007 6:50 PM ET | Delete
I blame Belak for all that is wrong in the game today.
September 11, 2007 12:31 AM ET | Delete
The rules that hockey have are the rules and they must not change from regular season to playoffs. How in the world is a team to roster a team in the regular season and then change it in the playoffs just so they can have success ?? The league wanted to have more offense and open up the game for skilled players to play.... Look who won the Stanley Cup, and look how they done it.... The league has to stick to its guns, its ridiculous that the small skilled players can only play in the regular season because the playoffs offer to much excessive rouphing that is allowed
January 15, 2008 10:22 AM ET | Delete
1pts for losing is just down right dumb. NHL welfare that's what I call it.
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