The great debate in hockey right now is whether or not the nets should be bigger to compensate for the lack of scoring in the NHL. Forget the truth that the NHL hasn't iced a game since June of '04, move past the fact that the Collective Bargaining talks have gotten nowhere since September of '04-- we need to fix the scoring on the ice now when no one is on the ice.
Aside from that, the debate started when the Buffalo Sabres brass developed this net pictured below:
The idea was to make the nets bigger because the goalies have been getting bigger. Sports Illustrated super-imposed Roberto Luongo with a goalie from the past whose name escapes me, and Luongo took up 26% more of the net than goalie TBA. Now, that could be a cause of concern. With the NHL down an average of two-goals-a-game in about 20 season, that could be chalked up to the fact that it's more of a defensive game and the talent pool has thinned out. Not only that, but the NHL officials haven't been calling the clutch-and-grab as much as they should have. Of course, in defense of the officials, they are damned if they do call them and damned if they don't.
Back to the matter at hand though, the NHL took the "Buffalo Net" and decided to bring that to the Players and GM meeting on April 8th and 9th, as well as two of their own. This will be examined, talked about, and probably voted upon on the meeting on the 8th. Now, this idea has already been shot down by the goalies, surprise, but some others don't seem to have a big deal with the idea.
Is this idea all this bad?? Probably not. If you don't evolve, you die. It's as simple as that. With more space-aged technology and more advancement in equipment, we have seem before our eyes that this evolution is coming to a head. The big nets are just a compensations for the goalies pads and the goalies themselves are getting bigger and bigger. The goalies are also getting better. While the hard-core fans can appreciate the idea of a 2-1 game or a 2-0 game, the NHL doesn't need the hard-core fans approval because they have it. It's the casual fan who doesn't know any better that cannot enjoy the defensive NHL and wants more scoring. While it'll probably bite the NHL in the rear if it happens, they need to get new money in the business because they are losing the old money.
The fact of the matter is that people complained with the goalies started to wear a facemask, they complained with sticked started to be made out of anything but wood, and they died a little inside when all the expansion teams and some floundering Canadian teams went into non-traditional markets. There's always going to be someone to complain about the changes that go into hockey. No matter how little it is, no matter how much it won't effect the actual game play; they will still bicker. They were bitter when the useless "Rover" was taken out of the game, but that's neither here nor there.
I would say that they should try it out in the minors, but the AHL has been a guinea pig enough for the the NHL. They NHL needs to hold some exhibitions with the nets, if indeed they do vote it into law, then decide from there whether or not to use it. Then, and only then, will we see if there is more scoring chances, scoring, and better play all around. Until then, it's just a bunch of rhetoric, which is a welcome change from the rhetoric coming from the CBA debacle.
This has been ScottyWazz. Take care of yourself and someone else. PEACE!!