NHL Season Just Right

Lisa BoychukSenior Analyst IJune 6, 2008

Here is a question I have for all NHL fans: 

Is the length of the season (including playoffs) in need of an increase, a decrease, or no change at all?

I have heard arguments from all angles, but never enough evidence to convince me to change my own personal opinion - leave it alone.

First of all, we have those wanting a longer season.  Of course, anyone who truly loves to the game will never argue against this one.

The NHL is seriously considering extending the regular season from 82 to 84 games.  This would mean two more opportunities to meet against the opposing conference, which rarely happens.  Two games could also mean missing or making the playoffs.

There have also been suggestions of leaving the regular season schedule as it is, and allowing 10 teams to make the post-season.  This would add a couple of weeks to a season, making it a similar end time as that during the Olympics (late June).

Secondly are those voting pro to a shorter season.  They would like to see the regular season down to 78 or 80 games.  Some are getting bored of playing the same time in their own division eight times.

The NHL actually is going to make a return to six games inter-division.  Hockey lasts longer than any other sport, almost 9 months.  It would allow expansion if they ever decide on it.

They would also enjoy changes to the actual game itself.  A new idea gaining popularity is of wanting the playoffs to introduce the shootout since some match-ups are too long.

Why don't we just leave it as it is?  If viewers are down it's because in the U.S. their isn't many options for watching the games.  If ticket sales are low it's because they're too expensive.  The never-ending overtime is what makes us love playoffs (besides the beards).  As the saying goes, why fix what isn't broken?