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Project MLH - Major League Hockey


Suigi

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I've been batting this idea around in my head for a while:

What if Gary Bettman shuts down the NHL completely, and starts up a new league with a salary cap?

I came up with MLH, for Major League Hockey.

I figured that the league needs to be trimmed, and trimmed badly.

24 teams in two conferences, four divisions.

Out of those 24 teams, the Original Six and the surviving Second Six teams get automatic entry. Those that have won Stanley Cups get consideration.

Otherwise, it's time for you guys to make the case for inclusion.

Listed below is a TENTATIVE list of the 24 teams I'm going to (re)invent for Project MLH. Teams with an * are the ones under fire, and those with two *s are new teams altogether, or revived franchises.

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UPDATED JAN26/05

Boston Bruins

Buffalo Sabres*

Calgary Flames

Chicago Blackhawks

Colorado Avalanche

Dallas Stars/Renegades/WildRunners*

Detroit Red Wings

Edmonton Oilers

Los Angeles Kings

Milwaukee Admirals/BlackIce** (gonna borrow fizzjob's logos if it's the B-Ice)

Minnesota Wild/NorthStars*

Montreal Canadiens

New Jersey Devils*

New York Rangers

Ottawa Senators*

Philadelphia Flyers

Pittsburgh Penguins

Quebec Nordiques**

St. Louis Blues

Tampa Bay Lightning*

Vancouver Canucks*

Toronto Maple Leafs

Washington Capitals*

Winnipeg Jets**

So, this is where you guys come in.

Have I left out a team that should be there (I can hear you Bolt-heads screaming already)?

Should one of the teams on the list be relegated to Triple A?

Let me know, and know why!

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Well You have to include Ottawa--it's a Canadian game--you need them in there.

But I'm not sure Halifax would support it--but maybe they could...

And I'm certainly not sold on Cleveland.

You could put in San Jose to take the place of the Seals/Barons.

Leaving for Cleveland was more because of Finley giving up, and noone in Northen Cal wanting to take over his mess than anything else--and I'll always have a soft spot in my hockey heart for the Seals-and their unis-except the last style, and Suitcase--my second favorite goalie to never win a Cup...

I can see axing Anaheim when you have LA...

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ok... the dallas stars aren't included? but the cleveland barons ARE included?

do you realize that the cleveland barons flopped so much that they eventually merged WITH the stars, to become the same team? the seals/barons joined the north stars and become one team... then they moved to dallas, where they've SEVERAL division championships, in both the central and the pacific, plus 2 trips to the stanley cup, 1 championship, and have sold out approximately 98% of total capacity at home... including a sellout streak that lasted from 1998 to 2003...

maybe i'm just biased, but to throw away a CURRENT, SUCCESSFUL, NHL team, to bring back several failed markets.... yeah, texas has hot weather... but texas IS a hockey state. (in fact, texas has more professional hockey teams than any other state in the union.)

if you're looking for teams to cut, or replace, i'd recommend adding dallas, and getting rid of the IceBreakers, because that name is ECHL-level... very bush-league.

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seriously... the owners should just round up a bunch of adequate replacement players, young and old... take out the redline, or blue line for that matter... make it 4 on 4... OT shootouts... experiment w/ other rule changes... and just have fun w/ it... it would be a an exciting / entertaining product in the meantime, giving the owners much more leverage, especially if they can get a decent turnout.

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seriously... the owners should just round up a bunch of adequate replacement players, young and old... take out the redline, or blue line for that matter... make it 4 on 4... OT shootouts... experiment w/ other rule changes... and just have fun w/ it... it would be a an exciting / entertaining product in the meantime, giving the owners much more leverage, especially if they can get a decent turnout.

get rid of the blue lines?

yeah, nothing says exciting hockey like having shane doan literally standing in front of the opposing goalie for the entire game, waiting for that break-away pass.....

how about they just come to a labor agreement that's fair to both sides, and don't ruin the game that we've all grown to love, by giving us pro beach hockey rules?

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ok, at least the red line though ! it would make for a wide open game... end to end, as it should be... not this NJ neutral zone clutch and grab. Now I know why Mario complained so much~

if anything, allowing 2 line passes would make the game LESS free-flowing.

teams would be more conservative in defending, to make sure they don't give away that one pass that will burn them.

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I understand what you're saying, but there's much more room to pass, and much harder to defend all that space... so, what it does is open the ice up... either that or have 4 on 4...

or go with billy smith's ideas, and don't come up with cheap "increase the offense" rules.

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that's like saying the NFL should never have instilled the forward pass...

it's not "cheap"... it's just logical / evolution~ and would be beneficial to the sport as a whole. Indeed, there's something to be said for tradition... but some things are just neccessary, especially when hockeyr really NEEDS the HELP...

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that's like saying the NFL should never have instilled the forward pass...

it's not "cheap"... it's just logical / evolution~ and would be beneficial to the sport as a whole. Indeed, there's something to be said for tradition... but some things are just neccessary, especially when hockeyr really NEEDS the HELP...

actually, it's nothing like the forward pass...

it's more like the recently anti-defense rules the NFL put in, because the colts thought the pats were cheaters.

and look what that did. in 1 year, we've already gotten to the point where i don't believe a cornerback is worthy of a first round pick anymore, because it's harder and harder to be a true shut-down cornerback.

and why was this added? just to add more offense.

why aren't there ever any rules to add extra defense to sports? because we've got terrible attention spans, and if they don't score ever minute, we fall asleep?

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I am going to take the side of the purist here, because I am one. The only changes I would want to see are MAYBE regular season shootouts after OT, and smaller goalie equipment.

Shootouts will bring you a wider audience, People will be interested in a game with a definite finish. All this stuff with no touch icing and eliminating the red line. Think of it this way. What if the NFL, in an effort to increase offense, made it first and 8 instead of 1st and 10. Doesn't seem like that huge of a thing, just like these rule changes, but add it up over the course of a game. A season.

As for the goalies. If you want to increase offense, make the net attainable. Goalies used to look like players with extra padding on them. Now they look like galapagos turtles. They are all fatter than me! Narrower leg pads, shorter blocker, smaller glove. Shave an inch off the stick. Let's see what happens then. I think it will bring the offensive balance you seek.

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2cents.jpg

Ouch, take it easy on the goalies. (I have an idea let?s make the skaters the lightest composite sticks that will increase the speed of their shots and be more accurate and at the same time reduce the goalies equipment??..How about this, not let the keeper play with the puck behind the goal line?..Let?s take the whole stick away, that would be even more exciting?) I love the game just how it is, the only thing I would like to see changed is the amount of teams, and possibly the size of the ice. The talent is too spread out.

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2cents.jpg

Ouch, take it easy on the goalies. (I have an idea let?s make the skaters the lightest composite sticks that will increase the speed of their shots and be more accurate and at the same time reduce the goalies equipment??..How about this, not let the keeper play with the puck behind the goal line?..Let?s take the whole stick away, that would be even more exciting?) I love the game just how it is, the only thing I would like to see changed is the amount of teams, and possibly the size of the ice. The talent is too spread out.

in all honesty, the only things i'd like to see would be small details.

1) 5-on-5 10 minute overtime... people complain about too many ties, and i can understand why. it's hard to pot that extra goal with only 5 mins to do so...

2) touch up offsides. if you aren't part of the offensive play, you can be offsides a little... just get onside before you get into the play (similar to how they have the too many men on the ice penalties... you see 7 or 8 players on the ice per team at a time during a change... it's no problem unless someone gets into the play before their counterpart is on the bench). simple as that. that keeps the game flowing with less faceoffs, but it also keeps the reasoning behind offsides calls in-tact.

3) get rid of stick-curve regulations. they were included because banana curves made the puck rise too quickly, which lead to too many injuries, back in the days of maskless goalies (and even poorly masked goalies... masks didn't really become effective until the 90's). this may not be a huge change, but if the puck is less predictable in it's release off the stick, that would add to game, without risking injury, like originally intended with that rule.

4) get rid of the instigator rule, or at least relax the definition of it... too many times, i've seen a player stick up for an injured teammate, and get ejected for it. the intent of the rule is to keep your tie domi's from starting fights with your paul kariya's, to gain an advantage with the trade-off... if a marchment or tucker takes a shot at your player, you should be able to drop them right there, without fear of ejection... this would also cut down on cheapshots, i believe. if you're going to get ejected either way, what are you going to do? drop the gloves, and fight like men? or sneak up behind them, and pull a bertuzzi?

5) use the REAL billy smith suggestions... not the watered down AHL version. it may look weird at first, but i know ads on the boards looked weird at one time too. 6 feet thick lines on the ice. it makes the ice bigger, without making the ice bigger. it's genius.

also, i don't understand why everyone wants goalies to stop playing the puck... most rule changes seem to be for added offense, but new jersey, and dallas, teams with puck handling goaltenders really use that puckhandling goalie as an offensive weapon. they start the play up the ice, so the defensemen only barely skate into the defensive zone. it keeps powerplays moving, with less icing-time. it really increases powerplay production.

how come when bobby orr and paul coffey could handle the puck better than any defenseman ever, they were celebrated as revolutionaries, and unique talents, but when martin brodeur and marty turco can handle the puck better than any goalie ever, they try to inforce rules to restrict it, because it's "unfair".... well, boston had the only bobby orr... they had a completely different set-up that they could throw at you, that you didn't know how to defend... and they were the only team that could do it. what makes this different? let goalies play the puck in their own zone... you keep taking away their crease, and letting anyone and everyone use the crease as their own personal skating rink... why not let the goalies at least handle the puck, if they're so inclined?

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(I have an idea let?s make the skaters the lightest composite sticks that will increase the speed of their shots and be more accurate and at the same time reduce the goalies equipment??..How about this, not let the keeper play with the puck behind the goal line?..Let?s take the whole stick away, that would be even more exciting?)

I hope everyone got this as sarcastic.

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also, i don't understand why everyone wants goalies to stop playing the puck... most rule changes seem to be for added offense, but new jersey, and dallas, teams with puck handling goaltenders really use that puckhandling goalie as an offensive weapon. they start the play up the ice, so the defensemen only barely skate into the defensive zone. it keeps powerplays moving, with less icing-time. it really increases powerplay production.

how come when bobby orr and paul coffey could handle the puck better than any defenseman ever, they were celebrated as revolutionaries, and unique talents, but when martin brodeur and marty turco can handle the puck better than any goalie ever, they try to inforce rules to restrict it, because it's "unfair".... well, boston had the only bobby orr... they had a completely different set-up that they could throw at you, that you didn't know how to defend... and they were the only team that could do it. what makes this different? let goalies play the puck in their own zone... you keep taking away their crease, and letting anyone and everyone use the crease as their own personal skating rink... why not let the goalies at least handle the puck, if they're so inclined?

Maybe it's because Bobby Orr was wearing the same equipment as the other skaters on the rink and Marty Brodeur doesn't? Perhaps it's because if Orr played the puck, you were allowed to hit him just like you'd be allowed to hit a forward, but if you intentionally hit Marty no matter where he is on the rink, it's a penalty?

I'm against taking away a goalie's right to play the puck. But if he's going to act like a skater, he should get treated like one. If a goalie's going to play the puck outside of his crease, any player on another team should have the right to check him as if he was a regular skater.

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