I know the news is all about free agency this week...but the pre-season schedule was also released (at least for the STARS, and, I assume everyone else?). As I was perusing the 7-tilt set, my mind began to formulate a plan for more inter-conference play...ultimately leading to more exposure and growing the fan base for this great game. I came up with two excellent baby steps...
(1) All pre-season games should be against the opposite conference.
Although the stars of the NHL play less during the pre-season, they play far more than the stars of any other sport in their pre-seasons. This would give the fans a preview into the upcoming season for a team they may not see all year. It allows the players a chance to see a team they may not see until the Cup Finals. Also, it likely generates higher attendance for the pre-season games.
(2) Instead of playing 8 games each against division rivals, only play 7...then play the 4 extra games against the opposite conference.
First and foremost, this creates a winner to the season series between division rivals. Again, this allows for even more exposure to the opposite conference...for both the players and the fans.
Maybe I had too much sippy sauce...I mean...how can anyone be thinking of schedules when so many free agents are about to hit the market?