Memo to the NHL: It’s time to spice up the preseason slate

Nick Alberga
8 months ago
The NHL needs to find a way to revamp its preseason format.
For starters, there’s no question it’s way too long. That said, there’s no sense complaining about that because I don’t think that’s changing – for a variety of reasons – anytime soon.
To be honest, my major gripe is with the scheduling. It’s become so boring and unoriginal. While I understand that geography is a big-time factor this time of year, under no circumstances – pandemic be damned – does anyone want to see teams – preseason or not – play each other three times in a row. And I don’t care if it’s exhibition.
What’s this guy going on about, you ask?
Over the span of the next eight days, the Leafs will play five times to conclude their eight-game preseason slate. The next three contests are against Montreal, then they’ll play the customary two in a row against Detroit to wrap things up. Yawn. Tuning in for these games has become a chore. That said, I can’t help it. I want to see how the team looks.
Furthermore, for good measure, guess who Toronto’s playing in the regular season opener on October 11th? If you guessed the Montreal Canadiens, you win a free poutine on me. Seriously, this feels like a beer league schedule when you’re rotating between the same three teams for five months. Is there no way to spice things up? In an era of variety, we’re being subjected to the same dinner and dessert night after night after night. And damnit, I love pizza and ice cream just as much as the next person, but I appreciate variation from time to time, too.
Truth be told, I’m probably one of the very few annoyed by this, but if we’re going to continue along with the lengthy preseasons, I implore the league to make some much-needed changes.
Is it October 11th yet? Ugh.

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