Toronto Maple Leafs: 3 Changes The NHL Should Make When It Returns

TORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 21: Mitchell Marner #16, Auston Matthews #34, and Morgan Rielly #44 of the Toronto Maple Leafs wait for play to resume against the Detroit Red Wings during an NHL game at Scotiabank Arena on December 21, 2019 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Maple Leafs defeated the Red Wings 4-1. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 21: Mitchell Marner #16, Auston Matthews #34, and Morgan Rielly #44 of the Toronto Maple Leafs wait for play to resume against the Detroit Red Wings during an NHL game at Scotiabank Arena on December 21, 2019 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Maple Leafs defeated the Red Wings 4-1. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /
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TORONTO, ON – APRIL 17: Auston Matthews #34 of the Toronto Maple leafs . (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON – APRIL 17: Auston Matthews #34 of the Toronto Maple leafs . (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

#2. Adjust the Schedule

The Stanley Cup Finals should not take place in June. No matter how much we all love hockey, it’s way too late for the NHL.

As great as it is to walk down Bay Street in shorts en route to a playoff game at Scotiabank Arena, we shouldn’t be doing this past May.

The current NHL regular season runs from October-April, followed by a two month sprint to become Stanley Cup champion. In a perfect world, the NHL regular season should start September 1st and end February 28th. Therefore you’d have 181 days to fit in an 82-game schedule, which is essentially the same as today’s schedule.

Hockey is a cold-climate sport and the Finals should take place when it’s still spring, not summer. This time-slot would also allow the NHL to make more TV advertisement revenue because they have less competition in the market.

The NHL would essentially have a three-to-four week stretch of owning the sports world by having their first round start March 1st. The only major competition with the NHL would be NCAA’s March Madness, but the majority of their games take place in the afternoon. MLB’s season opening and NBA regular season finale would not be as intriguing as playoff hockey as well.

With the NHL changing dates, we would now have a sports calendar from January-June that would allow each sport to a own time-slot, so everyone wins:

  • January: NFL Playoffs, NCAA Bowl Games
  • February: Super Bowl
  • March: Start of NHL Playoffs, NCAA March Madness, MLB Season Opening
  • April: Start of NBA Playoffs, The Masters, NFL Draft
  • May: NHL Stanley Cup Finals, NHL Draft & Awards
  • June: NBA Finals

By not competing directly with the NBA Finals, this would give a bigger spotlight on the NHL and allow them to have their championship at a better time on the calendar.