NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement:
One of the things that might make sense to add into the next CBA is a provision to allow a larger roster from the trade deadline forward and or additional NHL contract.
The argument for the first is that if additional roster players are allowed (under the salary cap) players who are injured won’t be rushed back at the potential expense to their career or long term health. Assuming the number were two additional players on the roster teams could let new acquisitions, call ups and free agent signings integrate into the system while players who are listed “day to day” or otherwise hoped to be back soon are recuperating. It is also a way for teams to integrate black aces and evaluate players heading into the playoffs for potential post season play and or trades around the draft.
The possibility of adding additional contracts, assuming they will drop back below the ceiling on July 1, allows for the signing of free agents coming out of the CHL, USHL and college. Getting those players into the fold and giving them more time to get grounded in the type of physical fitness expectations a team has can be crucial to fitting them into the system sooner. We’ve all seen the affects of “the rookie wall” or the difficulty many college players have with going from the short college schedule to the 82 game marathon that is the an NHL season is going to make serious inroads into the adjustment period of these players.
NHL Entry Draft
One of the purposes of televising the NHL Entry Draft, and plastering the prospects all over NHL.com is that it’s good marketing to give people a glimpse of the future. So why is it done so erratically, and mostly half-assed? There are a couple prospects blogging for the NHL when there schedule permits which is fantastic. But can someone explain why there are no USHL or QMJHL players? How about a video blogger? Of all the hundred or so players likely to be taken in the first three rounds, there has to be be at least one in either of those two leagues, who can write intelligibly or who’s engaging enough to be a good vlogger. The NHL needs to remember it is marketing to people across about six or seven decades, the US, Canada (yes even Quebec) and that promoting any of its development leages is good for both parties.
NHL Playoff Official Infractions
Last year the official infraction of the NHL playoffs was “too many men”. I think we were treated to more too many men calls in the first round of the playoffs last year than we saw in the entire regular season, the second round didn’t provide any let up. Judging by all the noise being made in the wake of the latest GM meetings, it looks like its set for a reprise of the leading role that made it a household name last year. It also looks like it’ll be sharing the marquee with the always entertaining goaltender interference.
Given that these are possibly the two most inconsistently called rules in the book I predict a great deal of teeth gnashing, swearing and wrath, Social media will doubtless be awash in a deluge of reactions to each call. Goaltender interference has gotten so muddied that when the Anaheim Ducks had a goal disallowed against the Boston Bruins in their most recent matchup Bruins fans were described the call as something organic and odoriferous. In common parlance when the average homer fan shows disgust for calls that go their teams way “a bad thing” for NHL officiating. By the letter of the rule it was the right call, but the rule is largely ignored, and called for things so widely scattered even knowing the rule doesn’t help anyone figure out what should and shouldn’t be an infraction.