By Mark Sienkiewicz aka roaddogg02316

How do I feel about the current NHL as it stands right now? I have my good points and some of my points others might not agree with at all. I would say at that at this point, it is in a pretty decent state. There are 30 teams in the league and all would appear to be doing well. Although I don’t have full financial numbers (not sure I’d quite understand a lot of the details, nor would I care), I’m sure there are teams doing overly well, those breaking even and then those others who are probably struggling to just make it by. Maybe even those teams who are in the wrong area to pull in the fans they need.

 

At this time, the league is really dominated by top notch goalies and that is the reason why we find scoring is down. We all have our part of the game we love I’m sure. Whether it be a goalie making an amazing save or a skater pulling off an amazing move to stun the goalie. We also have those that love to see a good scrap here and there. All the different aspects of the game have been changed it would seem. Great goalies, the league being more strict on penalties and scorers having to try their best to get the puck past these premier goalies. It is definitely all about putting on a great show for the fans. Because without fans, there would be no league. Or so I like to think.

 

The location of teams seems pretty spread out, but I’m sure the research has been done so that teams are where the fans are. Although I’m sure some teams don’t have the fan base that statistics would show they are capable of. That’s why it is just research, nothing is guaranteed. I know plenty of people who would like to see another team in Southern Ontario and also hockey back in Quebec City. Whether this will happen I haven’t the slightest idea. It all depends if a team is willing to move and take that gamble that the new location will draw more fans, and we all know more fans means more profit.

 

I would say that there is no room for expansion in the league. 30 teams is probably pushing it as it is with the talent level. With more teams, it would weaken the talent level to a point that the league wouldn’t want. To me, it would seem that each team in the league has their fair share of stars, semi-stars and guys just filling roster spots. To expand would spread the league’s talent too thin I would imagine. It’s nicer to see a team with a few stars working together to power that team. Then you have the other guys who also do their job and give the best they can to the team. Upon any expansion you would also probably have guys who you wouldn’t dream of every making an NHL team. It might also defer talent away from lower leagues and force those lower leagues to struggle.

 

If it weren’t for the lower development leagues such as the AHL and ECHL there would be no NHL. Sure, there are those chance players who can go right from juniors to the NHL but that to me is a risk. I’d rather see them move up the ladder and progress. Personally I am an AHL fan as I like to see the up and coming talent. These players work hard to get to the premier league. So if the NHL talent was spread so thin, it would not be as appealing for me to watch.

 

I do have my opinions on how things are, which others may not agree with. Would I like to see a more physical league? Yes. Will that happen? Probably not. I personally like to see a rough and rugged game. The league these days seems to be more about scoring. Well let me rephrase that, attempting to score, because the goalies in the league are just so dominant. The physicality of the game pretty much got ruined by the goons who decided to go out there running around making cheap shots. The NHL is definitely far from the old days when players could police themselves. A day where physicality and scoring could coexist… Unfortunately that is not the case anymore these days. It’s either one or the other. So the league has been forced to crack down on how physical you can be. The league is forced to police everyone with an iron fist pretty much. As of today I believe there have been 39 suspensions. That is up very much from in past years when you might see a handful per season.

 

 

Am I happy with how the NHL is at this point? Yes and no. I honestly dislike seeing an all out scoring fest or a goaltending showcase. I’ve been known to just stop watching a game when it is all about the scoring or goaltending Maybe because I enjoy a good fight here and there which really changes the momentum of a game. I like to see close games where it comes down to OT or a shootout. Will I continue to watch the league? Of course. Can it only get better? You would really hope so.