Taylor Hall has been in the National Hockey League for nine years, so he knows exactly how much of a grind the regular season can be.
And as he shared with ESPN’s Emily Kaplan, if the Devils star had his way, the NHL would seriously consider cutting a few games from the schedule.
“A 78-game regular season. It'd be one fewer game a month, basically. Maybe 76 or 78. Just dial it back a little bit. Instead of playing 15 games in March, like we do, make it 14. You'd get one more day off. I think that would be nice.”
Hall’s suggestion seems to echo that of NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who revealed near the end of the 2018-19 campaign that the league is contemplating ideas to shorten its season, which apparently include cutting the length of the games themselves.
NHL players, who are often banged up pretty good at the end of the regular season, would certainly benefit from a shorter schedule, but there are other advantages as well.
With the playoffs stretching well into June, ice surfaces tend to be less than ideal in the warmer summer temperatures. Scaling back on the length of the regular season could improve ice conditions throughout the league, which could also help to keep players healthy throughout a long, grueling campaign.
Sure, cutting the season down would put a dent in the wallets of the NHL’s 32 team owners, but with Hall and Silver speaking up, the argument for shorter regular seasons in professional sports seems to be picking up steam.
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