On Sunday, September 15th, the Columbus Blue Jackets will open up their preseason play against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The remainder of the seven preseason games will be played until the 26th of September, giving the team 11 days to get used to the daily grind of the rigorous NHL schedule again, and build a 23 man roster. Is that too many though? Is it really necessary to play eight preseason games to be prepared for the regular season?
I understand that the preseason is about final configurations to a teams 23 man roster, but don’t you think they already know who is in and who is out. All offseason the GM and coaches are running through different line orientations, matching up defensive partners, and creating a back-up plan for the unexpected injuries. There has to be a solid game plan going into the eight game preseason, so how much can really change?
Take a look at the NFL, four preseason games, and their teams have twice the amount of players to evaluate and form a roster with. So should the NHL adopt the philosophy of the NFL and have less preseason games? I say yes, why not. This would also allow the NHL to start two, maybe three weeks earlier and could lead to the Stanley Cup Final being played in late spring instead of summer. Weird? Did I just get rid of one of the criticisms of the NHL…..take notes Gary Bettman.
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