This Is Not Hockey

Brian WaughCorrespondent IDecember 28, 2008

The young men from Kazakhstan do know what they signed up for with the IIHF    under-20 Championships. They have little to no hope of a medal unless they still pass for the Participant medal, like the the ones they give out in grade school.

Sunday afternoon's loss to the gold medal-defending Canadians, 15-0, was a score that actually was better than at least one NFL score the same afternoon, by two points.

There are 10 teams in this tournament that is two too many. It was changed by the money grubbing powers to be at the IIHF under the guise of allowing the lesser, smaller countries to play with the bigger countries like US, Sweden, Canada and Russia and the rest. The idea would be to have two teams qualify from the "B" tournament played in the fall each year.

To add insult to injury to the teams like the former Soviet states like Kazakhstan, the goal differential is a tie breaker, so it is fill the net till the final whistle.

That is not anyone's hockey.

Wait, maybe it is the IIHF's.

See, if you reduce the tournament to it's rightful size of eight quality teams, there are no longer 32 games to be scheduled. Hence, there are no longer 32 games worth of gate receipts to count and fold.

There is a solution—it is really clear. The schedule can still be re-jigged to handle 32 games even with eight teams and the result is two-fold. There are more close exciting games with no more blowouts, and the IIHF gets to count and fold its money.