One of the biggest issues surrounding the NHL this season is the steady decline of goal scoring rates league-wide.
Ten years ago, the league average hovered around 6.05 goals per game. This year that average is down to 5.28. As a league desperate for increased mainstream popularity, it's no wonder the NHL is concerned about it.
Those are practical, reasonable ideas. But they aren't fun. So we ran the other direction and came up with seven ideas to increase goal scoring that are completely bonkers and perfectly unreasonable.
The designated sitter
This is obviously inspired by Sean Avery.
After that incident, the NHL installed the "Avery Rule" and made those sort of distractions illegal.
But to increase goal scoring, we're going to eliminate that rule and double down on Avery's shenanigans. Each team gets a sixth skater called the designated sitter. Offsides doesn't apply to him. His only role is to stand in front of the opposing goalie all game and bother the hell out of him.
He can use whatever distraction he feels is necessary. He can push him, tickle him or hold a boombox blasting "What Does The Fox Say?" for 90 minutes. Whatever works.
"Hunger Games" hockey
In "The Hunger Games," each of the contestants surround a huge pile of weapons and supplies in the middle of a large field. When the games begin, everyone rushes to the pile to grab weapons first. It's a bloodbath.
So let's apply that to hockey! Before the opening faceoff, referees will place one set of goalie pads and a pair of skates at center ice. When they blow the whistle, the two opposing goalies will have to run (barefoot, duh) and grab as much equipment as they can. Anything goes at center ice, by the way.
Whatever they end up with is what they wear for the rest of the game. (Both get mandatory helmets. We're not savages.) If your team's goalie is tenacious enough you could be shooting at a netminder without any pads.
Look how that ended for Tyler Seguin!
The scoring touch rubs off on everyone when your team leads the league in goals. https://t.co/VNUWLdwqch— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) November 18, 2015
Replace the nets with pro soccer nets
It'll make defending along the end boards a little more crowded, but think of the snipe space.
The Bettman Doomsday Rule
This one is simple. For every shutout recorded, Gary Bettman gets another year added to his contract as commissioner. That way you guarantee at least one extra goal per game when a goalie lets one in purposefully to avoid that grim scenario.
The other side affect here is it would destroy fan-player relationships. Imagine how quickly Canadiens fans would demand a Carey Price trade. Pekka Rinne would be run out of Nashville with pitchforks and torches.
The bright side is Ilya Bryzgalov would have a chance to return to the league with open arms!
Doughnut hole pucks
This works on three levels. First, good luck stopping something that small whizzing by your head at 90 miles per hour. Second, how will goalies even see the doughnut hole on the ice? You'd have to rely on your sense of smell, and even then the doughnut holes would need to be freshly baked. And finally, goalies wouldn't need helmets anymore! Since when have doughnut holes caused head injuries? Never, that's when.
"But Pat, won't the goalies just want to catch the doughnut holes with their mouths?"
Yes! So let's make that worth two extra goals for the goalie's team. Boom. Feast away.
@travisyost Puck on fire so goalies are afraid to touch it. Goalies also coated in gasoline.— Andrew Berkshire (@AndrewBerkshire) November 20, 2015
I'll be honest, this tweet is the inspiration for this article. It's absolutely perfect. Nothing provides more incentive for goalies to avoid saves like the threat of incineration.
And don't worry. If the goalie catches on fire he can douse himself with the Gatorade bottle on top of his net.
No more goalies