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  • Steve-Spindodger-Boys of Som Steve-Spindodger-Boys of Som Dec 28, 2011 1:27 PM Flag

    something for all hockey fans, owners, players to consider:

    I've come up with an innovative idea that could possibly solve all of the NHL's currents problems including concussions, other serious injuries, too much armor-like equipment causing injuries, low attendance in some southern markets, lousy teams in good markets, getting a strong U.S. fan base, speed of the game (too fast for some viewers and the ice game being too fast, causing injuries).

    Here's what the NHL should to address all these issues:
    melt the ice! Yes, melt the ice! and change over to underwater or aquarium hockey. I read an article today stating underwater hockey is a wild sport not noticed by many.

    Here's my thinking:
    melt the ice, fill the rink up with water as you would an aquarium (the glass is already in place around the goals - and where it's not, put more glass in, minimal infrastructure costs) - and let NHL players go at it as they would normally (skates optional).
    Trade in all that current hard armor equipment that causes injuries for soft rubbery/plasticy flippers, goggles and snorkels. When was the last time you heard of any ice hockey player injured by a snorkel?

    And the NHL could charge premium prices for upper bowl seats now because water magnifies, so everyone higher up have much closer views of the action. Imaging the premium fees you could charge for water-magnified advertising along the boards as well.

    The speed of play is slowed by water viscosity, so those southerners and other potential fans can now see and follow the puck and action much easier. You still get all the hits, just that now they'd be in slower motion due to water viscosity, and therefore, no doubt, lessening serious injuries of your star players. The slow motion would be easier for real time tv viewers as well.

    You'd save a ton of $$ on replacing those broken composite sticks, cause again the water viscosity reduces the effects of blatant chopping. Although being hollow, the sticks might need to be emptied periodically.

    Since the NHL is so desperate to establish a strong southern fan base, you surely would attract a huge California fan base by trading away all the current San Jose Sharks, who would do nothing but float during the playoffs anyway and replacing them with real sharks. My personal choice would be hammerheads or great whites. I bet it wouldn't be long and the NHL would have a real championship dynasty in San Jose (this also should satisfy those Bettman parity critics).

    Bettman should love the aquarium format idea because: water temperatures in Edmonton, Calgary and Winnipeg might be too cold to play in. In fact, the water may harden there. Maybe Bettman will have to move those teams to Laredo, Albequerque and Birmingham to be safe, thereby going back to his original plan of making hockey relevant in the south and eliminating Canada from the hockey equasion.

    But even this fabulous new NHL aquarium hockey format would have it's issues:
    1. players peeing in the water, discoloring it, making it tougher to see the goal. I would endorse a Delay of game penalty to the instigator.
    2. Another potential issue: holding penalties - especially if one player is out of breath. Might have to make holding a major penalty in that case.
    3. The octopus throwing tradition at Joe Louis arena in Detroit: No doubt, it wouldn't be long before some idiot would throw a live octopus into the tank. Those 8 appendages would upset the balance of the game for sure.

    So, let me know what you think. If there is enough support, maybe I'll send a message in a bottle to Gary Bettman.

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