Every time the discussion in hockey turns to potentially making the ice surface bigger, thereby giving players more room to create, the response is that NHL owners would lose millions in revenue from the number of seats on the glass they'd have to remove to accommodate such new rink dimensions.
But what about an idea that could increase the number of seats in an arena when it's set up for hockey?
Enter Los Angeles Kings head coach Darryl Sutter. He's got an idea.
Having played 406 NHL games and coming from one of hockey's most famous families, Sutter has seen plenty of rinks in his time and how they've changed over the years. There is one thing that baffles him, however, about the modern day rink setup: what's the deal with penalty boxes?
In Sutter's eyes, he thinks they serve no purpose and if his AEG bosses are listening, he has an idea to make them some extra cash.
“Still, it amazes me that’s what they call it – the penalty box. Like, what is that, the ‘penalty box?’ They should take the penalty box out, because you think about how much time there actually is sitting in the penalty box now, it’s about 12 minutes total a game, right? 12 minutes. It used to be they had a guy with a suit, and if you got a penalty, and you got a penalty, that guy sat between you, right? Now they have two boxes. You go to the box. It’s like Steve McQueen, right? They should sell those seats…there are so few penalties now. Why don’t they just say, ‘OK, you’ve got to sit on the bench,’ or, ‘You’ve got to sit on their bench for two minutes.’ I don’t get that. They’ve got like four guys sitting over there, and room for like six other people to sit. They’re the best seats in the house, right at center ice. Like, if it was a football game, then that’s the best seat. I don’t get that [any] more. Really, it’s like a three-penalty-team a game now. Why do they that make that deal? Why do they get that big place for there?"
It's not a bad idea, and NHL owners love themselves some money. A penalized player can just sit on the bench for the duration of his punishment. Want to try and sneak onto the ice before your penalty time is up? Double minor!
We can totally see a presentation regarding this coming up at the next Board of Governors meeting.
As Sutter finished up his penalty box speech, he did what any other man firm in his convictions would do. He dropped the mic.
“When you think about it, I’m probably right for once.”
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