As I've detailed (and lamented) before on the hallowed pages of this blog, many hockey columnists and NHL officials are convinced that goal-scoring is far too low and an increase in said goal-scoring would play a major role in attracting American fans to the league. More goals = more eyeballs, the theory goes.
With that premise firmly rooted in their minds, these columnists and officials see no better option than to simply increase the size of the nets, thus, theoretically, making it easier for shooters to get past the swollen goalies and score more goals. Which is a good thing, they say. The end-all, be-all of good things.
It's not a surprise that a league run by Gary Bettman, a former NBA executive, would favor such a scheme. In the NBA, goal-scoring is completely out of control. A typical final score for an NBA game is 129-109. Obviously, in professional basketball there are no goalies (goaltending is a foul play) and strong defense (and even the tiniest physical contact) is highly discouraged and/or penalized.
If Bettman really wants the NHL to mimic the NBA, there's really only one solution: ban goaltending. That's right, I said it. Quit screwing with the rules of the game, the lines on the ice and the size of the goals. Just ban goalies. No more Roberto Luongo, no more Martin Brodeur, no more Marty Turco. All teams would have to do is skate past the blue line, lob the puck at the net and hope no defensemen are in the way. Simple enough. We'd easily see final scores like 36-30 and 41-38, and the red light would constantly be flashing---which is a fail-safe recipe for league success, right?
Isn't that what everybody really wants?
As Greg at the Fanhouse pointed out, Martin Brodeur has quit the NHL Competition Committee out of frustration that nobody is listening to his concerns. The league should take this as an obvious sign that goalies are troublemakers and just do away with them altogether. We wouldn't have to worry about adding asterisks to the stats of any future goalies in a bigger-goal era---there wouldn't be any more goalie stats!
Dear Lord Stanley hereby officially endorses the banning of all goaltenders from the NHL, effective this coming season. There is no better way to ensure more goals scored, which is obviously an idea bigger than Jesus right now. Do it for Baby Jesus.