With the NHL currently on hiatus, and it appears as though it will be staying that way for a while, I figured now would be a great time to look at some interesting ways that the NHL could change and in my opinion, improve.
Some of them are mild, some are wild, and some are straight-up weird. But really, what else are we going to talk about over the next few weeks?
To make sure I get the most out of this, I’m going to break this up into three parts. This is part three and it will focus on some fringe parts of the NHL that I’d like to change. It’s small, but they’re some fun ideas. Part one was all about on-ice ideas and can be read HERE. Part two was about off-ice ideas and can be found HERE. It’ll be fun and I hope you enjoy my ideas and if you don’t, well that’s what the comment section is for! LET’S DEBATE!
I’m a bit of a jersey nut. I own way too many and I love watching what teams do with alternate jerseys and things like that. I would also love to see the league change up the fact that the home team wears a dark jersey while the visitors wear white all the time. I would like to see that change.
The WHL has a system where they change halfway through the season and the home teams begin wearing whites and the road teams start wearing dark jerseys. There are a few reasons why I think the NHL should be doing this:
- It would allow fans to see all the different colours of the league. As someone who attends a lot of Oilers games, I wouldn’t mind seeing the Blackhawks in their red sweaters roll through Rogers Place once in a while.
- It would allow teams to get more creative with their third jerseys and have a white option that could be used more frequently. This is something that the Edmonton Oil Kings currently do and with the rumours of the Oilers releasing a new white jersey for next season, now would be a great time for them to wear it on home ice more.
- Even merchandise sales would go up if teams would have a “dark” set of shirts, jackets, and such before releasing a “light” set for the second half of the season.
I’d also like to see the league relax their stance on white/dark jerseys. I think it would be cool to see teams both wear coloured jerseys on nights when they wouldn’t clash. Why couldn’t the Maple Leafs wear their blue jerseys when they play a team like the Red Wings in their red uniforms? It would create a pretty cool spectacle. Same thing for a team like Nashville. They could wear their yellow jerseys more often since they would rarely clash with another team.
There are some great sweaters in the NHL and I think they could do a better job of making the on-ice product look better by getting more creative in what teams can wear.
RELAX THE DRESS CODE
In the most latest NHLPA Poll, over 70% of players voted in favour of a relaxed dress code on game days, similar to the NBA’s. This one seems like a no-brainer to me. If players want to wear a suit for their brief walk from the bus to the locker room, then they should feel free to do so. But if players want to show their personality a little bit more and get flashy with their game day apparel, then they should be allowed to.
It would create dynamite social media content and could help players grow their brands and become more likeable to fans. If players don’t want to stand out and draw attention to themselves, then they don’t have to it, but it gives the option for some players to show their personality a little bit more and I think that’s a big positive for the league.
MORE WATCH PARTIES
I remember back in 2016 there was a big issue about how the NHL restricts how many watch parties teams can have during the playoffs. There was a report going around that ahead of game seven of the conference finals between the Penguins and Lightning, the league told the Lightning that they couldn’t host another viewing party. There was a rule that teams could only have one watch party per series because their TV partners didn’t want their numbers to be affected.
I believe it’s been relaxed now, but the NHL really should be promoting the hell out of these events. It’s basically a license to print money when a team is on the road during the playoffs. In fact, the league should step up and do this with more road games during the regular season. It would only help grow the fan base and create more of a party atmosphere around an organization, even when the team isn’t playing in their home rink.
The NBA has an official 2k league and I think the NHL should step up with their own as well. It’s another opportunity to grow the game. This is low on my list because it’s not something that I’m overly passionate about, but I think it would be neat to see how the NHL could develop an e-sports version of its league. If you want to grow the game to a younger audience, this is a fantastic way to do it. If a kid loves the e-sports version, then it’s really a matter of time until they become a life long fan of the real thing.