On the radio in Toronto last week, Elliotte Friedman and Nick Kypreos spoke about what the league could use as a “hook” to bring the fans back.
Kypreos said that this situation is far different than it was coming out of the last lockout, “In 2004 we had new rules. They are going to have to pull something out of their sleeve.”
Friedman said that the league would have to offer NHL Center Ice for free “at the very least.”
In terms of changing the playoffs, Kypreos says that the league has floated the idea of Wild Card spots which would include four more teams (two from each conference) making the playoffs and byes in the first round.
He adds that it would create more revenue but be a tough thing to throw on the players who could end up playing three games in four nights.
In general, Kypreos said “I don’t think there is enough ass-kissing” that the league can do.
Ken Campbell writes at The Hockey News that one thing the NHL should mandate that teams aren’t allowed to raise ticket prices for at least two years. Campbell writes, “after what they’ve made their fans endure, that’s the least they could give back.”