I Despair for the Survival of Our Species

im-with-stupid.jpgThe NHL’s general managers are meeting this week. Instead of weighty issues like getting better TV exposure in the US, or figuring out a way to keep players from “un-retiring” two thirds of the way into the season, the game’s best and brightest are…debating the size of the net (again). Because the old 4′ by 6′ is so totally old-fashioned.

Ostensibly, the goal is to increase scoring by making the nets bigger. Even though they legislated away the mattresses that Patrick Roy used to strap to his legs, there is some sentiment that goalies’ equipment is still too big, preventing an untold number of goals from just pouring into the nets, thereby sucking millions of fans away from NASCAR and the NFL and into hockey’s creamy and waiting bosom.

Sometimes, you hear something stupid. OK, that’s not so unusual. Sometimes, you hear something really stupid coming from someone who you would think, by virtue of the position to which they have risen in life, would know better. And you wonder: how have humans survived the millenia with idiots like these in the gene pool?

And I’m not talking about your garden-variety mongrels, morons and hicks. No, we as a society need those people to work at carwashes, buy all those generic cigarettes, and round out the casts of daytime talk and “court” shows. But people who are actually in charge of things…I’m absolutely gobsmack, as our pals across the pond are wont to say.

Say you make the nets a few inches wider. How many goals does that add? Well, it probably means that shots that now hit the post would theoretically go in. How often does that happen? Once a game, maybe? And, of course, that assumes that the reason that shots that currently hit the post are due to shooters trying to get around massively oversized goalie pads and not, say, just being crappy shooters. You probably see 10-15 shots a game that hit goalies squarely in the chest, from hockey players who shoot at the net like I shoot at deer: aim at the middle, close your eyes, and pray. Why don’t we ban goalies from having chests? Then all sorts of goals would go in!

The other big issue the GMs were tossing around was a so-called “Tkachuk rule” or “Weight rule” to prevent teams from trading UFAs at the deadline and then re-signing them in the offseason. The gang over at St. Louis Game Time has already done a bangup job of describing how wrongheaded this is. I would just point out that re-signing Tkachuk and Weight after renting them out didn’t exactly propel the Blues to the top of the NHL heap. It seems like this is a solution in search of a problem.

At first I was surprised that the people running the league could be so dim. But then I remembered listening to ex-GMs like Mike Milbury, Neil Smith and John Ferguson, Jr. providing “analysis” on hockey broadcasts. Suddenly, the fact that a fast, physical, emotionally intense sport like hockey can’t crack the US sports consciousness was not so inexplicable.

Keep tinkering with those goalie pads, boys. You’ll get it right one of these days.

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12 Comments

  1. No swearing? That’s kooky talk!

    I don’t know who you really are, but we will find out what you did with the real LeNoc and there will be consequences!

  2. For serious, that was pretty low key LeNoc. I always expect fire and brimstone type of angriness.

    Because I am me, I don’t think the net should be fucked with. It’s suited us just fine all these years. And then they want to make it bigger. Will this be like when Pam Anderson got her implants in, then out then in again? If that made sense.

  3. Give the teams the freedom to vary rink size between the current size and the olympic size. Let’s go back to the time when not all the rink’s were standard, so if you want to build a small and fast team that plays on wide-open ice (like the old Montreal Canadians) then you can. If you want to build a team full of bullies and fuckers that play on smaller ice (like old Philadelphia Flyers…wait, they’re still fuckers…damn you and your concussions Simon Gagne…), then they can.

  4. I second the “no fucking with the net” sentiments. It has suited us just fine and will do so as long as goalie pads aren’t, as you say, mattresses. And a post from leNoc without swearing seems…odd. Maybe someone got him a month’s worth of Xanax into his system last night?

  5. The cursing will return. I promise. But I had to dial it down here, because when I let myself go I started literally foaming at the mouth. Ruined two keyboards.

  6. @LeNoc:

    http://www.thinkgeek.com/computing/input/5a7f/

    You might want that with your foaming and such.

  7. Jesus Christ, LeNoc, that’s not anger, that’s rabies! Stay where you are!

  8. “At first I was surprised that the people running the league could be so dim.”

    Really? This is from the league that brought you the Mighty Ducks, glow pucks and the Vs network. Brett Hull was right, the NHL still is a garage league.

  9. You’re right, Brad. Sometimes I wonder, when I hear these crackpot ideas, if these guys watch the same game I do.

  10. Jesus Christ, LeNoc, that’s not anger, that’s rabies!

    Does this mean we have to cut off his head? I don’t wanna do that…

  11. @Domi:

    No if my geek knowledge serves me correct: you off the heads of vampires. Those who are rabid just need to be shot and put down.

  12. Hockey is dead if the size of the net changes. Dead to me at least. Shameful…


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