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A Victory For The Hockey Purist

The NHL's 30 GM's have given a resounding thumbs down to the idea of awarding teams 3 points for a win.

I for one, applaud the common sense of the decision.

"Because it's a terrible idea," Anaheim general manager Brian Burke said Wednesday as three days of GM meetings wrapped up. "That's why it didn't have any support."

The league's GMs liked the idea enough at the February 2004 meetings in Henderson, Nev., to include three-point wins on a list of recommendations for the board of governors. The NHL lockout put everything on hold and when hockey resumed with drastic changes, such as the shootout and the elimination of the centre red line for two-line passes, the three-point win didn't make the cut.

Whatever support that existed for it three years ago is now gone.

It might have alot to do with only 37 fans supporting it!

"I was actually a proponent of the 3-2-1 points system a few years ago," said Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland, meaning three points for a win in regulation time, two points for an overtime/shootout win and one point for an overtime/shootout loss.

"But since then we've seen these great races and I think it's working just fine the way it is now. Our fans like it."

To be honest, the way it is now, doesn't seem all that right to me either. The point given for overtime and shootout losses, just blurs the actual standings of teams and gives the illusion of parity.

Colin Campbell, the NHL's director of hockey operations, says the game needs a breather from the constant change.

"It's time to establish continuity, you can't keep making changes," he said. "Let' s not confuse the fans."

No kidding Colin, what was your first clue?

The original idea of going to three points came from European soccer, which adopted the three-point win system in the 1980s and credited it with opening up the game. That's a notion Burke, for one, rejected Wednesday.

All hockey fans who follow European soccer, raise your hand. Okay Boris, you can put your hand down now!

"They tried this in British soccer and everything I've heard is that it didn't make a difference," Burke argued. "Teams would get ahead and then would shut it down.

"I think our system is pretty darn good," he added. "I think our game is good, I think our points system is good, our fans are just finally learning to understand it. And now we're going to change it? It's just dumb for me, it's just dumb."

In fact, aside from tweaking the instigator rule on Tuesday and making modifications to video replay, this week's meetings were more about philosophical discussion about the game than actual change.

"I think we've had too much change of late," said Devils GM Lou Lamoriello. "It's a good game, let's enjoy it,"

Said Burke: "We made some radical changes when we came back from the work stoppage. The game is faster, the game is better, and the game is more entertaining. If something ain't broke, there's no reason to try and fix it."

What falls under the category of "Ain't Broke" is just getting harder and harder to define. I think the accent has to be on the officiating once more. Without a major announcement claiming that a shift of focus has occured, I have found that in this present season, officiating has been terribly inconsistant. it is almost as if a secretive mandate was passed without notifying certain majot principals, including half the officiating crew of the league.

Infractions that seemed to be called obstruction during the 2005-06 season, are now being given leniency. A tolerance by period protocol has re-entered the games, confusing players to no end. In certain games, the officiating is deftly strict in the first 20 minutes, only to slip and give way to free for all's by the game's end.

The bottom line is that officials are consistantly inconsistant from game to game, and fans are in the dark as to the proper standards of infractions.

It's time the NHL drops all facades and tells fans exactly where the bear shits!

Source, opinion EOTP.