Wednesday, December 06, 2006

New scheduling scheme

The NHL governors are meeting about the cap, but they are also talking about tweaking the schedule. Apparently they want to cut the number of interdivision games (currently 8) and increase the interconference games. Since the Sharks are in the Pacific division, it would seem reducing the number of interdivision games would benefit them, but I kind of like playing the Ducks 8 times, the games should be great. Certain scheduling tweaks can have two teams playing each other several times in a short period of time, but so what? That's what a series is all about, when the memories are fresh.

But what I don't like about the NHL schedule is that each team doesn't play an entire division each year. This year for the Sharks, it's the Atlantic. No Canadiens, Senators, Bruins, Maple Leafs, or Sabres this year. I like the symmetry of each team playing every other. Rumors are some teams are pissed about not getting butts in the seats to see Ovechkin or Crosby because some teams never play 'em, but I don't care about that. With 82 games in a season and 30 teams, every team should play every other at least once.

So here's my proposed schedule, which will never fly. Mostly because it reduces the number of games in a season, and as I may have mentioned before, I don't think there's a single time in history when a financially stable league reduced the number of games. Games mean revenue. More games mean more revenue. Anyway, I would reduce the number of interdivision games from 8 to 5. One benefit is less games, the other is that with an odd number of games, there will generally be a demonstrable 'series winner'. Then I would include one game against the 'missing' division. This would reduce the overall schedule by 7 games, from 82 to 75, a nice round number. So what about it, NHL? Maybe this will keep the playoff from going into June.

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