With the NHL's Research and Development camp a week behind us, I have come to realize that what I feel is the most pressing issue in the NHL was not even addressed.
Once again, it is time for me to bitch about overtime games being worth three points while regulation games are only worth two. This time I have a little different take on the subject as a result of what was done at last weeks camp.
One of the more popular experiments at the R and D Camp was the addition of five minutes of three on three hockey after the initial five minutes of four on four play in order to avoid as many games being decided with a shoot-out.
There was also a piece where the goalies would change ends for overtime in order to bring the "long change" into play which historically has led to more scoring in the second period of games. This move would also be done to cut down the number of shoot out games.
While I like both of these suggestions, I feel that changing the points system to three points for a regulation win and a 2/1 split of points in overtime and shoot-out games would bring more of what fans desire into the game than anything else and it would require no on-ice changes.
As it currently stands, when a game is tied past the 10:00 mark of the third period, you see many teams act like a turtle and suck back into a defensive minded, low risk scheme, in order to get to overtime and take home at least a point for evening's effort.
The Predator's Barry Trotz is a brilliant tactician and is the master of shutting down the opponent, not only at the end of the game, but also in overtime because he likes his chances in the shoot-out with Pekka Rinne in net.
Conversely, if all games were worth three points, and a team was playing a conference rival, a completely different mindset would exist at the same 10:00 minute mark. With a chance to put an extra three points on a lead over an opponent or the chance to make up three points in the standings, you would see the equivalent of playoff hockey as the clock wound down in a tie game.
This would kill two birds with the same stone. You would have fewer games decided in a shoot-out and you would see the addition of playoff-style hockey throughout the season.
While I think it is a great idea, I don't see it being adopted simply because the league likes the fact that the current system rewards mediocre teams and allows them to stay in the hunt for a playoff slot further into the season. Gary Bettman has repeated this reasoning each time he has been asked in recent years.
This week's change in the tie-breaker rules to not include shoot-out wins was merely an appeasement to folks that think as I do and is a clear signal that nothing of substance will change in the point totals any time in the near future.
Unfortunately, the NHL is missing an opportunity to bring more action into the game and have fewer games end up being decided in a one-on-one skills competition.
Tweet-Up Tonight at The Sounds Game...
Please join a group of us going to the Nashville Sounds game tonight. I have been talking to the Sounds and they are a bit baffed about the Tweet-up concept and aren't used to such a loosely tied group coming together for a game.
They are perfectly clear on how to see 25 tickets to one person who will give them to everyone else, but are devising a plan for everyone to show up and buy tickets and then sit together. I should hear back with answers by noon today and will post the info at the Twitvite site as well as on Twitter. If anyone has additional questions, feel free to contact me.
In Pred Nation...
The Predators announced the signing of Taylor Beck to a three-year, entry level deal yesterday.
The Preds site has Tom Callahan interviewing David Poile after the Patric Hornqvist signing. According to Cap Geek, Hornqvist will make $3 million the next two seasons and $3.25 million in 2012-13 for a cap hit of $3,o83,333 for each of the three years.
Chris Burton continues the player's series at On The Forecheck with a look at Marty Erat.
Section 303 has the news of another installment of "Bumps and Bruises" at Zanies. Last year's event was a huge success. I'm sure tickets will go quickly.
Ryan Porth's five fantasy breakout players includes a Predator. Guess who.
Paul McCann checks in on the Hornqvist signing and several other issues.
SBN Tampa has a post about last week's Twitter episode with Dan Ellis and others. It looks like Codey from Section 303 is now the poster child for the abused fan.
The AHL schedule was released yesterday and the Milwaukee Admirals have a back-end loaded home schedule, playing only six games at home in the first tow months. Here is a PDF of the full slate.
Early yesterday there was a false rumor started with this post claiming that a second Kovalchuk contract has been rejected. By the end of the day, Gary Bettman and Bill Daly confirmed that only the structure of a deal was discussed but no formal contract had been presented.
Chris Wassel has his take as the Devil's Examiner.
Puck Daddy reports that the KHL is still courting Kovulchuk and Dmitry Chesnekov confirmed that possibility on The Program Radio show last night with Chris Wassel.
Elliotte Friedman has some interesting thoughts on the CBA and Bettman's hammer.
Around the NHL...
Liz Mullen broke the news that Donald Fehr had agreed to accept the head of the NHLPA late yesterday on Twitter. This is the second big hockey story in a row where she was the first to report.
The hiring of Fehr sent shock waves through the hockey community and it was no accident that it was announced while the whole hockey world was in Toronto at the Summit. Betman threw down the gauntlet with the Kovalchk rejection and this is the NHLPA's response. Bettman vs. Fehr will be a match of two of the most ruthless negotiators in the sports world and the real possibility of a lockout looms in the summer of 2012.
Puck Daddy looks back at a few items in Donald Fehr's past that led to the premature end of the baseball season in 1994. Fehr will have his work cut out for him as the NHLPA is very fractured at this point and the escrow payments are killing many of the players on the lower end of the spectrum. Mirtle has more at the Globe and Mail.
The NHL national television schedule was released and the Predators have only one game set, that being at the Bridgestone center on Thanksgiving Eve. Steve Lapore at Puck The Media has all the breakdowns and will have further analysi today. He is the unmistakable leader on all things media in the NHL.
Willie Mitchel signed with the Kings to help solidify their blue line and the Lightning signed Randy Jones and re-signed Steve Downie.
On RLD Radio Tuesday Night, Matt Reitz was a guest and we discussed the potential signing of Mitchel by the Kings. Here are his same thoughts in a post.
Damian Cox has a criticism of the World Hockey Summit not having more NCAA involvement. Ex-NHLPA head, Paul Kelly should have had a voice at the shindig.
Tapeleg agrees with Gary Bettman for a change on his "mixed bag" reference at yesterdays session of the summit.
Canucks Hockey Blog has the video of Gary Bettman's talk yesterday at the summit in Toronto. They also have a good recap of Day three's activities. Mirtle has some interesting banter from Brian Burke in this post about NHL Olympic participation.
There has been an addition of an AHL/NCAA doubleheader on December 30 at CONSOL Energy Center before the Winter Classic.
Here is a Q and A with Greg Sansone, the head judge for The Scores Drafted 2 contest. If you haven't voted lately, click on The Schwartz's picture above and vote again.
Intent to Blow leads us to the second consecutive day of having a Kyle Wellwood comment. It appears now, he will work for food. That might cost more than the NHL minimum. #KyleWellwoodIsSoFat
Odds and Ends...
Where would you think the worlds largest traffic jam would be? It is in China, between Beijing and Inner Mongolia and stretches for 60 miles.
The Cash for Clunkers Program is now showing it's longer term effects with used car prices soaring 30%.
Here is a different, easy to use site for tracking satellites that is much easier to use than the one I have used in the past. The International Space Station should be easy to view tonight for folks in Tennessee.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass