Mark Wisniewski, Hoffman Estates, Ill.
With the NHL gaining in popularity since the lockout, I have a proposal that may increase this popularity even further.
All fans should be able to see all of the star players every season. In order to accomplish this, the schedule will have to increase by four games per team and eliminate the divisions, leaving only the two conferences.
Divisions are irrelevant in the overall point totals and only reward the division winners.
Break the schedule down as follows: Each team plays each team in the other conference twice per season (home and home). The remainder of the games would be played within their own conference, playing each team four times (two home, two away).
This comes to a total of 86 games instead of the current 82.
Also, eliminate the meaningless All-Star Game, but, keep the skills competition and have it rotate every season to a different arena, with no games scheduled over that weekend, as currently, with all proceeds going to an local team charity.
This still allows a mid-season break for the players.
To accommodate the four extra games, start the season a half a week earlier and extend the season one extra week. An exhibition game or two can be eliminated to accommodate these additional games, similar to the NFL's proposal.
New rivalries will be established, without affecting the current ones, while allowing more fans to see the NHL stars on a regular basis as opposed to every other season.