Terry Fraser, Sellersburg, Ind.
The NHL should be commended for being the most proactive of the major sports in changing their product to add entertainment value and competitiveness.
However, there are four further suggestions for improvements that would ensure the NHL's continued growth.
1. Award three points for a regulation or overtime win and only two for a shootout win. This would add more value to a win earned in regular play.
2. Reduce the legal size of goaltender equipment. While everyone wants to ensure goaltender safety, it's ridiculous that these guys show up looking like the Michelin Man. Reduced equipment size would result in more goals, which makes the game more exciting.
3. Continue to support the growth of the game by doing whatever necessary to support and keep teams in important American markets such as Atlanta and Phoenix. For the NHL to secure a national TV contract, you need to illustrate that key television markets are covered. The NHL needs to get their product off of the Versus network and onto the ESPN networks and continued effort needs to be made to educate and expose the sport to a broader American market.
4. Continue to experiment with changes that improve the flow of the game and offensive production. The suggestion to make a team being called for a penalty to have to take the puck out of their end is a good first step. An easy rule change that makes total sense.