I've been playing a lot of Fifa 09 lately, and I always enjoy the Premier League.
Futbol (soccer to youse guys) is interesting in how passionate small cities and towns can get. Imagine packing in 50,000 to see FC Queens play Brooklyn United. It will never happen here but it happens everywhere else.
The other interesting thing that happens over there is League Play vs. Cup Play and I wonder if that wouldn't help the NHL.
Sure, go ahead and play out your ridiculously long season chasing your Stanley Cup, but what if you took the season and made it better, while keeping teams interested and adding some international flavor to the game.
I propose Stanley Cup play and Sponsorname Cup play.
In the Stanley Cup play it will be the NHL as you know it. The only change is that only eight teams will make the playoffs. That's right, I said eight. You had better win your division or at least the one wild card.
Now the argument comes from the teams that will be hopelessly behind on January 1st.
These teams will have a second (and maybe third) life. The Sponsorname Cup. Once a week, teams will play in a separate tournament that does not count in the Stanley Cup standings. Yeah, I just added even more games.
I also propose we open the Sponsorname Cup up to international teams. Let some teams from the Kontinental Hockey League in Russia. They too start their season in September.
A little Moscow Dynamo vs New York Rangers on January 1?
Yeah the travel is a bear but you could have a few teams make the trip for Sponsorname Cup. If teams can play preseason games in Europe, then I'm sure we can figure that out.
A quick World Cup (Soccer) type first round and then eliminations. Play one cup game every few weeks. You might not win the Stanley Cup but at least you'd have something to play for.
Have I thought all this out, no. You chime in and help me work the idea.