NHL approves new schedule format.
And only 3 seasons too late.
Honestly, I can’t figure out why they ever bothered changing it in the first place. The reason that was always floated around was that they wanted to create new divisional rivalries and strengthen existing ones, but anybody with a clue should have been able to see that they were going about it the wrong way. If you want people to anticipate rivals squaring off, you need to give them time to anticipate it. Having the Leafs play Ottawa seemingly every second or third game doesn’t make it special, it makes it routine, and if there’s one thing a rivalry should never be, it’s routine.
I’m also glad to hear that they have once again figured out that with 30 teams and 82 games there’s more than enough time for everyone to play everyone else at least once a season, rather than every couple of years like we get under the current system. Why this was ever changed is beyond me, but I’m glad it’s going to be made right.
Some people might argue that the current schedule has been good for business and in some respects it has, but how long could it have lasted? You can only see the same thing so many times before you burn out on it and don’t care anymore. I can’t speak for everybody, but whenever I look at Toronto’s schedule and see another game against Ottawa or Boston or what have you, I cringe and just think christ, not again! Everything needs variety, and no matter how good the games between certain teams are, hockey is no different.
So bring on next season, I can’t wait. it’ll be awesome to see different things again, like the Leafs crumbling in the third against a greater number of teams in front of new fans in different buildings. Woo!