If I Was Commisioner of The NHL

Zac HerrContributor IMay 16, 2009

WASHINGTON - MAY 11:  U.S. President Barack Obama waves goodbye to guests after welcoming members of the University of North Carolina men's basketball team to the White House May 11, 2009 in Washington, DC. The North Carolina Tar Heels are the 2009 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I national champions. A basketball fan, Obama picked the Tar Heels to win in his March Madness bracket.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

If I was commissioner of the NHL, I would make some changes.

There aren’t that many things I would change, but there are some particular things that bug me. I would want to change the amount of teams getting into the playoffs, the length of the playoffs, and the drafting process.

According to the NHL, 16 teams get into the playoffs every year, which is equal to half the league getting to play in the postseason. When you have over half the league getting into the playoffs, the importance of the regular season is nullified.

Why should a team that was below average the whole season get a chance at the Stanley Cup? Hockey may be a game that has the most flukey and lucky goals, but that doesn’t excuse the enormous amount of teams in the postseason.

Occasionally you have teams like the Anaheim Ducks that knock off a No. 1 seed, but Yahoo Sports recently stated that only eight number eight seeds have won their opening round playoff series since 1994.

With such a low percentage winning their series, only 26 percent, the NHL could be better served eliminating the eight seed and giving the top seed a bye.

The length of the postseason is also much too long. By the end of the second round, a whole month will have passed. The postseason lasts about two months in total, according to the NHL.

How can you expect a fan base to expand if the season lasts a total of nine months, including the playoffs? Many fans whose team does not get in lose interest quickly in the playoffs because the whole thing blurs into a very long extension of the season.

The last thing I would change is the drafting process. I would limit the draft to only five rounds so that it could be broadcast on primetime TV like the NFL draft. Who wants to sit around for eleven rounds of a draft?

If there weren’t eleven rounds in the draft, the draft could actually become more relevant in today's society

Overall there isn’t that much I would change with the game, but the things I do want to see change are big things. Just think how big the NHL could become if it made small changes to big things.