Almost all of these changes that are aimed at increasing offense and "excitement" also seem like they are going to widen the gap between the good and bad teams. 1. 20 Team Playoffs Seeds 7-10 now will play an extra 3-5 games before the real 16 team playoffs begin. I like the extra hockey, but it also IMO puts those teams at a disadvantage to the 1-6 seeds who are basically given a "bye" week. The 7-10 teams will be more fatigued and at a higher risk for injury. Could the Ducks or Canes have made it to the Finals with more fatigued and/or injured players? 2. Shootouts This is a game for goal scorers only (and 2 goalies). Is it fair for a team who can afford to have 5 slick forwards be given an almost automatic advantage and extra point over a team who can only afford 3 or chose to ice a more defensive team? How likely is an upset in a shootout? 3. Smaller Goalie Equipment, Bigger Nets etc I think we will see a clear distinction between the goaltenders who need the extra 2 inches of padding to be effective (we know who they are) and the top guys that dont. Instead of having a group of maybe 20-25 starting goaltenders with fairly comparable skill, there will be more varying skill levels or maybe just a couple greats and a bunch of 2nd rate guys. This would very likely increase the differences in pay even more between someone like Broduer and someone like Aebischer in that you are either very valuble or simply expendable. Do you think the NHLPA will want to make the difference between effective and non effective players more noticeable? 4. Touch Up Offsides, Wider Neutral Zone etc It costs a lot more money to ice a heavily offensive or faster team over a team that can simply trap and win defense games. It's also harder based on the available talent between the teams. Im not saying Im for or against any of these changes, and I know some will not be implimented. But it seems like they will almost certainly hurt the worse off (or more defensive) teams and help the better (or more offensive) teams. Is it wise, for a league that is trying to increase revenue, to weaken the parity of the teams? Are you going to pay to see a game you know your team has almost no chance of winning, or even one that you think isnt going to be close either way? Most people loved the high flying 80s NHL because there was more offense. But, remember that back then the talent level wasnt nearly as watered down as it is today and those players grew up playing that all offense type of hockey. Younger players today have been taught defensive systems for most of their lives. Will they be able to adapt? Will the tons of "grinders" play a less effective role in the new NHL? I think there is a great chance that the NHL will be shooting themselves again in the pocketbook with decisions that could hurt worse than the lockout.