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Thursday FTB: How hockey can be more like other sports

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Be more like basketball? Pfft, get on our level.

Washington Capitals v Philadelphia Flyers Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images

The past year or two has seen an influx of people talking about how the game of hockey, specifically in the NHL, should adapt to be more like basketball. The idea is that basketball is a more popular sport, it has huge stars that get tons of attention. That all may be true, but I say all you plebs focusing on the NBA and crazy trades lack ambition.

Let’s talk some REAL change, taking some ideas from all other sports.

Oh, by the way, I’m not listing these as individual options. I mean that hockey should adopt ALL of them at once. Go big or go home, cowards!

(US) Football:

  • Hail mary — basically stretch passes, but there are no more offsides. Pass it from behind one net to the other with seconds left in the game for some last second madness!
  • Defensive blitz — all five players and the goalie on a team swarm and tackle a puck carrier. No interference.
  • Safety — one defenseman stays in his own zone, waiting to intercept those hail maries.
  • Specialized offensive and defensive teams — when one team gets the puck back they swap out to have all their offensive stars, and the other team gets all their defensive players on.

Soccer/Footy:

  • Throw ins — when the puck goes over the boards the other team sends a player to get it and play resumes when he throws it back on the ice.
  • Yellow/red cards — when a player takes two regular penalties, they’re tossed from the game.
  • Penalties committed close to the net are an automatic-penalty shot — fuck your bench minors.
  • Only three player changes per game — all other players stay on the ice all game.

Baseball:

  • Defensive shifting — wait, no, let’s not do this.
  • No salary cap — the low-hanging fruit rule
  • Inning limits — your goalie gets pulled according to “analytics” after half to two-thirds of the game.
  • Relievers — you have specialized goalies come in to close out the game.

Auto Racing:

  • Mandatory skate changes every X minutes — with pit stops instead of benches
  • All players use same equipment for fairness — no more different brands or types of equipment
  • Players on ice have radio to bench/coach — and is aired on the broadcast to the public
  • Pace skater — when a player gets hurt, a slow skater comes out as pace skater until he’s back up to speed.

Other:

  • Goal judges — each goal gets rated by three judges for quality score (Russia and French judges need not apply)
  • Tennis fouls — players call their own fouls at lower levels
  • Biathlon — if you shoot at and miss the net you have to skate a lap before returning to play
  • Rugby — you can only pass backwards. That conflicts with the hail mary passing rule you say? Get creative! You just turn around and backpass down the length of the ice.

Okay, I think that’s enough for-

Sigh...

[Deep breath]

Video Games:

  • Players released — when a player is cut, released, or just not re-signed they are sent into the woods. A team who wants to have them on their team must go into the woods with another player to find and battle them, and catch them in a ball before they can sign them to a contract.
  • Player development — a player looking to improve their skills has to spend 100 hours grinding the same annoying quest to collect 10 feral hog pelts to level up and spend their skill points accordingly.
  • Among Us — each team has one “imposter” player that secretly works for the opposition where they can turn off lights or sabotage the rink, but if they’re caught between periods by the other team they’re kicked out of the arena.
  • Fortnite — I dunno, players can build towers and shit.
  • DLC — teams can spend extra over the salary cap to get extras for their team, such as being able to have prospects practice during the off-season without other GMs crapping their pants.
  • Microtransactions — teams can pay extra to just win games.

This is a monstrosity I have created. But I have no regrets.

ONTO THE LINKS

European Report: Last call before the juniors head to Alberta | by Katya

Semyon Der-Arguchintsev is the Leafs 14th ranked prospect | by Scott Maxwell at TLN

Meet Maple Leafs draft pick Roni Hirvonen: Patient and skilled on ice and water | by Joshua Kloke at The Athletic

The Ilya Mikheyev movement is heating up into a hardy stew.

AROUND THE HOCKEY WORLD

A year after his tweets changed hockey, Aliu says NHL should do more on diversity and inclusion | by Salim Valji

Lightning re-sign Mikhail Sergachev to three-year, $14.4M deal | by Sportsnet.ca

Good news for the PWHPA and their upcoming Dream Gap Tour in 2021.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to give problems to Team Canada warming up for the WJC

Speaking of junior hockey, the court case involving the CHL and minimum-wage continues.

Lou gonna Lou. Now we’re just waiting to see what Tampa Bay player has a sudden career ending injury.

Have a great Thursday everyone!