|This is not an optical trick. The NHL ice surface is very narrow.|
In today's Toronto Star, sports columnist Dave Feschuk writes on an issue dear to my heart...
Bigger ice in NHL arenas? It’s a conversation worth having: Feschuk
While the NHL’s unlikely to ever move to international size ice surfaces, there is an appetite for some amendments to the current standard.
His piece opens up with...
"Sometimes it seems like an unstoppable NHL cycle. As players get bigger and faster, time and space shrinks."
While I agree with the writer, I don't think this is a recent 'thing'. Even as a kid when I was watching National Hockey League action, back when NHL players were relatively "bigger and faster" than their previous generation, I was often frustrated by the sheer lack of ice surface; then and now, the standard being 200' x 85'.
My blog on the issue from April 28th, 2008...
NHL RINK SIZE MATTERS
I opened up with...
"Getting back into watching the odd period of NHL ice hockey reminds me that the league must increase the ice surface size... These have been the dimensions for years, which only reminds me that I was saying the same thing in the early 1970s!"
Brian Burke, former general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, and now in that capacity with the Calgary Flames, has it right when he states, as recounted by writer Feschuk, that he would like to see 90- to 92-foot-wide rinks.
The same dimensions I mentioned in my earlier blog posting...
"I'm not suggesting the playing area should be increased to Olympic or International specifications (200' x 98.5') but I think an extra five to seven feet in the width measurement is essential."
Toronto Maple Leaf forward James van Riemsdyk says he likes the 90-foot-breadth used in the arena at Boston University. The man speaks some sense. He is not alone. But as much as there are people in the National Hockey League who would like to see a change to the larger ice surface, many of them doubt that the league will change: "Owners" do not want to lose the strip of premium-priced seats lining the boards.
The NHL has to grow (up). It's living in the dark ages.