Thursday, October 20, 2011

Long Line Change: Dropping Teams, Raising Age, Blowing Up

Long Ling Change is the gimmick done to talk about the stories that have been tackled in the past, which makes me not add anything more that what's already been added from the others on the 'net or not enough to actually make a separate post for.

Columbus and Ottawa Make Case for Relegation

Yes, we are young into the season, but it looks like the Columbus Blue Jackets and Ottawa Senators aren't going to get any better this season. If anything, they are really making a case to have a relegation factor put into the NHL. Sure, we won't see it because of how the affiliations work these days, but at the same time-- it's a nice idea to have if you split the divisions and make a "loser's bracket" playing for a promotion to play for the Stanley Cup.

While the idea of having a 14-team relegation league for the Ziegler Cup would be interesting-- no one will go for it. That said, with about how awful these teams have come out of the gate, you have to wonder how much longer before not only the team is blown up through trades, but the management who got them into this mess is blown up. The Senators have had issues since Bryan Murray took over as GM and the Blue Jackets have off-ice mess that seems to holds them back, as well.

It'll be a long season for the fans of these teams, but at the same time-- maybe it's going to take a horrific season to fix things for the better....or to keep extending the misery.

Bob Nicholson Wants Older Draft

The head of Hockey Canada said that the Draft age in the NHL should be upped one year to 19, rather than 18-- but would maybe thinking about an "exception" clause for 18-year-olds who dominate the CHL.

While this does come on the heels of some pretty stellar junior players coming into the NHL and making their teams at 18, I can see where Nicholson is trying to protect his leagues so that they aren't completely cropped of talent by guys making the jump a bit too early. Yet, at the same time-- it's not like the CHL would be hurting with talent as it seems to pop up constantly through they years of development.

One year may or may not make a difference, but I can understand why Nicholson wants the age limit raised-- and it could have some reason to deal with the World Juniors, as some of the better players have been taken from Hockey Canada because they stuck with their NHL squads and it could have made the different in that tournament. Sure, it's far-fetched, but it's not out of the realm of possibility to have him think about that side of things.

While it may or may not happen-- this is a debate that many people have been taking up here-and-there for a couple years now. It's just something that's going to have to be worked out in the new CBA. Personally, I think if a guy is ready at 18, then they're ready-- but it's not for everyone.

Blowing Up Teams

Stop panicking, people. This is worse than the preseason-- I mean there's some teams that deserved to be blown up (like mentioned above), but for teams in an early slump; just seems to be throwing the baby out with the bath water-- like the Canucks and Bruins. These teams will find their way, but may need to work on the chemistry and shake off the rust for the first month. While points may be lost, it's not like a season can be lost just in the first two weeks.

Things will right themselves in time. However, if it gets to US Thanksgiving and your team is still struggling-- that's when the panic should set in and meltdowns abound.

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