August 12, 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. We're thrilled to have Adrian Dater, Colorado Avalanche beat writer for the Denver Post and All Things Avs blogger, contributing his list today ...
1. Eliminate the worst song in the history of arena sports: "Cotton Eyed Joe." I'm not advocating bringing in Freddy Mercury and a little "We Will Rock You" or Gary Glitter's "Rock and Roll Part II" (started at old Colorado Rockies NHL games, by the way). All I'm saying is: If I hear that goddam song one more time at an NHL arena this season, I'm going to take a sledgehammer to some game-night entertainment office one night.
2. Either make the "Three Stars" appearance mandatory for every game, or do away with it altogether. Only when the home team wins do players come out for the obligatory twirl to the fans who paid 100 bucks a seat. If you can't bother to take two seconds out of your night to acknowledge the fans in a loss, then don't bother after a win either, guys. (And visiting players never come out for the three stars, win or lose).
3. Allow goalies to be interviewed between periods on TV. Notice how that never happens? Personally, I want to hear a goalie also say, "We just have to keep taking it one shift at a time, eliminate the odd-man rushes and keep things simple" along with the rest of the forwards and D-men.
4. Ban newspaper columnists who never went to a regular-season game from coming to playoff games and making asses of themselves and their papers. True story: I was once asked by a U.S. newspaper columnist, covering his first game of the year, how many "quarters" were in a game.
5. Have the home team wear white, for god's sake. But at least the NHL has improved in the uniform dept. some in the last couple years. Gone are some truly hideous "third jersey" getups, including that one by the Dallas Stars -- the one with the logo that, depending on one's abstract perspective, looked like a hammerhead shark with a lamprey attached to the side, or an overfed jellyfish.
Adrian Dater is also the author of Claude Lemieux's favorite book "Blood Feud: Detroit Red Wings v. Colorado Avalanche: The Inside Story of Pro Sports' Nastiest and Best Rivalry of Its Era." On Wednesday, Yahoo! Sports' own hockey guru Ross McKeon offers his list.