What We Learned: Why canceling NHL games could give us the best season ever (Puck Daddy)

Hello, this is a feature that will run through the entire season and aims to recap the weekend's events and boils those events down to one admittedly superficial fact or stupid opinion about each team. Feel free to complain about it. We can all agree that there's no way the lockout ends in time for Gary Bettman's fictional 82-game full season, right? They'd have to agree to the new CBA, like, as I'm writing this, for the Nov. 2 cutoff date to be met; and even then, it might be a stretch. I know the League canceled the dates — not the games, an important distinction — through Nov. 1 on Friday. There are also rumors that when the next batch of cancellations comes, it could be larger than the two preceding it. At this point, I think I'm starting to be fine with that, because I came to the realization that a season shortened by 24 games could make for the best one ever. I decided the other day that what I'd really like to see — and I know it'll never ever happen for a bunch of reasons — is for the NHL to go to a 58-game schedule, just this once. In it, each team could play every other team in the league twice, once at home, and once on the road. In a league that loves reminding everyone about its competitive balance, what better schedule could exist than that? It solves a lot of problems about competitive balance as well. No longer would the Canucks, for example, get to beat up on Edmonton, Calgary, Minnesota and Colorado a combined 24 games a season as a means of padding their Presidents Trophy credentials while teams in the Central play their way through a 24-date divisional meat grinder. This way, all 30 teams' playing field for making the playoffs and racking up wins over the course of a season becomes as level as it can possibly be. ( Coming Up: More Alex Ovechkin threats; Pascal Dupuis is fiscally responsible; Nik Kronwall, next captain of the Red Wings?; Predators talk lockout with fans; Don Cherry high on Habs; Islanders to Staten Island; Rich Clune picks the wrong fight; getting Scott Gomez to the Flames; goalie issues for the Blue Jackets and Flyers; and a beautiful goal from the NCAA.)

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