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Should NHL adopt larger nets

It has become a hot button topic because of Darcy Regier going public with his desire for the NHL to increase the size of the nets.  Some people say that it's sour grapes by Darcy Regier because the Sabres are slumping but I think this is an area the Sabres organization has been pretty consistent on over the past couple of seasons.  

"It’s not about whether we’re winning or losing," Regier said. "It’s about when I watch games, it’s about the excitement. It’s a great game. Even now it’s a great game. But we’ve got an opportunity, I think an obligation, to make it more exciting.

"I don’t want to go back — no one does — to an era where we just kind of clog the game up. It’s important to create the flow and the excitement, and the skill players to have the room to demonstrate their skills."

I think everyone would agree with Darcy in that respect.  The league became boring for years and I found myself more concerned with the officiating than the actual play on the ice.  The league has an obligation to it's fans to make sure that they put a quality product on the ice and if they ever want to increase exposure in the United States they need to increase the scoring.

"Goalies have to get smaller or the nets have to get larger," Regier said. "That goalie has to get significantly smaller for the likelihood of an outside shot to go in. If we can’t make the goalies smaller, then I don’t know what other options we have but to consider making the nets larger."

The biggest issue is the goalie equipment.  It has increased considerably over the years and although the league started to limit the size two years ago it is still enormous.  If you watch some of the classic games you will see a considerable difference in the size of the goalie equipment.  There are people who suggest that increasing the nets will destroy the record book but no one ever suggested that the goalie records are tainted because of the size of the equipment.  The argument that records will be tainted and deserve an asterisk is somewhat outdated because the game changes on so many levels from year to year and especially from decade to decade.

He added that if the nets get bigger, it must be a significant increase. He argued that just a small bump would put teams into a bigger defensive shell. That’s the leading cause of the scoring dip. Coaches have begun crowding their five skaters near the net, which rids the shooters of their open lanes.

"Most goals are probably scored within 30 feet," Regier said. "So it argues that if you can defend that area and protect that area, then you’re less likely to get scored against."

I would be interested to know exactly what Regier's idea of significant is.  I think if you made it two inches wider and two inches taller you would see a drastic change in the scoring.  It would be interested to note how many pucks hit the goal post or crossbar in any given season.  

I want to know what you think about this interesting topic of increasing the size of the net.  Feel free to leave a comment in the comment section and make sure to vot in the poll.  Jason Kay live at TPS Radio on channel 111 (Sabres Weekly) and I had the pleasure of talking to him about it today for Sabres Weekly.  If you are interested in what he had to say regarding this issue feel free to listen to Sabres Weekly tonight after the game.  It will also replay in our regular spot on Thursday at 10pm EST.  The show tonight will be live at TPS Radio on channel 111 (Sabres Weekly).