I posted this as a comment in one of the topics in the forum, but I felt it was long and detailed enough to post as my blog as well;
First of all....I would make no major changes to the game itself....maybe just eliminate the instigator penalty.
Some of you guys are arguing that owners would lose too much money expanding the ice surface........ummm.....why the hell do we want this anyways? the ice is fine, leave it alone.
I would eliminate the shootout and along with it the point system. I would institute a 20 minute 5-on-5 overtime after regulation. If there is no winner the game ends in a tie, thus the W-L-T system.....no there won't be an OTL category.
There are a few things off the ice that I would change. The first thing is moving the age for eligible UFA status to 32 instead of moving it younger as it is going now. I'm sick of all the player movement....stick with a team, if you want to leave they'll trade you. All players younger than 32 will be RFA's. If teams want to sign offer sheets thats fine, so long as teams are compensated....I'm sure Sabre fans will understand where I'm coming from. Unfortunately the NHLPA would never go for this...so on to PLAN B....
Have 2 trade deadlines.....the deadline for players in the last year of their contract is January 1st. The deadline for players with multiple years left on their contract will be March 1st. I'm sick of this rent-a-player crap thats steam rolling out of control. I hate how a team like the Nashville Predators forms chemistry and identity in the regular season and then when the playoffs come around, suddenly Peter Forsberg is on the team. Stop this, its unhealthy for the game...my rule will solve this problem.
Back to the UFA....because I'm sick of the movement of talent on July 1st. I can understand signing pieces to the puzzle, but I hate having franchise players jumping around the league...this should only be done through trades not free agent signing. Since the NHLPA won't go for my increasing the age of eligibility....we'll show them the money. Allow any NHL team to give a signing bonus of up to 25% of the amount of the new contract up front to a player that re-signs without having it count against the cap. Again....this signing bonus can only be offered by the team re-signing the player, meaning the player had to have been under contract with the team the previous year. This will encourage players to stick with their teams. Of course if teams no longer want their players, they are free to go.
As for relocating teams....I don't really care. If cities insist on keeping their struggling franchises then so be it, let them die there, and when they've had enough they can call it quits instead of always making the league look like the bad guy.