I like to think that the NHL can improve its product fairly easily. A few tweaks to the rulebook and a marked improvement with the officials should make the league's product more watchable and understandable.
1. A hit that makes you wobbly means you're done for the night. I'm covering my bases here and saying that any hit that makes a player wobbly ends their night. This rule can be re-visited, but I always rule on the side of caution.
2. Remove the trapezoid. Good-bye dump and chase, hello controlled entries. This change back to the original rule would make the game more watchable in the long run.
3. Have linesmen drop the puck quickly. Minor, but how many centres get tossed from the face-off dot because the lineman is being a jerk? Speed up the game and let centres take more draws.
4. Treat puck over glass like an icing. This is something I see bandied around a lot and I like it. Both plays are to remove pressure and it is hard to see if the puck directly over the glass or if it hits something on the way out. Make the rule less lenient and stop having two-year-olds pointing at the glass whenever the puck goes out.
5. Call penalties tighter. Reward fast teams and call interference more regularly. I bet this also ends a lot of embellishment because the penalties are being called like the rulebook says they should be.
6. Have meaningful suspensions that don't change based on when the incident occurred. Something that happens in the pre-season is just as bad as something that happens in the Stanley Cup Final. Have the incidents equal the same amount of games; always.
7. Have a suspension guideline for offences. Include the number of times a player has faced discipline in the formula. Don't include injury into the equation because an injury does not make a play illegal, the rule book does.
8. Fire Tim Peel and Chris Lee. Please, for the sake of us all rid us of them. Derek may even like them then.
9. Allow a former goalie into the Situation Room for goalie interference calls. They know the position and should be able to determine if a goalies movement was impeded. Also review goalie interference on goals. Allowing goals to be disallowed on the basis of impediment. (Credit to Chris Boyle for the idea)
10. Allow kicked in goals. As long as the goalie isn't interfered with and the skate isn't lifted off the ice, why call back goals because the player might have moved their feet. It's a subjective call IMO.
11. Death to the Kiss Cam. Let fans watch and not be forced to kiss each other unwillingly.
12. End the anthems before games. There are more than two countries in the NHL and maybe we should just stop with all the nationalistic crap before games altogether.
There you have it; twelve easy ways to improve the NHL. Add your own in the comments section.