August 04, 2008
Every weekday in August, Puck Daddy presents "5 Ways I'd Change the NHL," in which a cross-section of sports media and hockey personalities offer solutions, suggestions and absurdities to remake the League to their liking. First up is columnist Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times ...
By Helene Elliott
1. I'd make every NHL team roll ticket prices back by 15 percent in the middle-range and "cheapest" seats. It's not fair to make people choose between paying their rent/mortgage and going to a game. Too many teams are pricing themselves out of the reach of their most loyal fans.
2. I'd make every team play every other team at least twice a season, once home and once away. The NBA does it. Why can't the NHL? Everyone should get to see Alexander Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby and the defending Cup champion -- whoever that might be -- at least once every season.
3. I'd work out a deal to put the NHL back on ESPN. Versus just doesn't cut it. Yes, it's available in more places than it was initially, but it's still impossible to get on too many cable systems and in hotels and bars.
4. Two words: cage match. I'd put Brian Burke and Kevin Lowe in a locked room and let them go after each other. And sell tickets on a pay-per-view channel. Winner gets the loser's next first-round draft pick. And then make them stop sniping about each other.
5. Tell Gary Bettman, "You know what? You served your purpose but you've now outlived it. Here's a nice pension. Time to step aside and let Bill Daly run things."
So there ya go ...
Helene Elliott is a sports columnist for the Los Angeles Times, and in 2005 was voted the winner of the Elmer Ferguson Award, becoming the first female journalist to be honored with a plaque in the Hall of Fame of a major professional sport. On Tuesday at noon: Deadspin Editor Emeritus Will Leitch.