A Modest Proposal

Editor’s Note: Rob and I told J.J. from Kansas that if he ever needed a place to vent or throw a few thoughts into the wild, he has a forum. He’s a good friend of TPL’s, and we’re proud to give him the keys today. Without further ado, the first TPL guest post:

Ok, put down the baby and the hot sauce Mr. Pronger, it’s even more modest than that.  I don’t want to be forced to eat Irish children any more than you; but, if it means having the best possible NHL there can be, then spread some mustard on lil’ Patrick and hand him over, buddy. 

My simple idea: give the Stanley Cup to the best team in the NHL every year.
I won’t try to rehash the reasons why, but we all know that Petrella is right about the Eastern Conference.  If the entire NHL were a pig, the Eastern Conference would be the parts that get made into hot dogs.  This is a big problem for the playoffs.  If somebody had to choose between a fresh hotdog and some three-week-old pounded-out ham steak, the one made of lips and buttholes might win out just because it’s fresher.  Not to mix too many animal metaphors into this, but that’s bullshit.
Here’s my solution: Keep the Eastern and Western conferences exactly as they are, but seed the playoff matchups 1-16 and let the two teams to come out of that melange vie for Lord Stanley’s Chalice.  Let’s face it, regional matchups sell regular season tickets.  It’s good to have the Kings and Ducks play six times a year.  Let them all fight it out exactly as-is for playoff seedings (1-8 from each conference get in), but when the first season ends in April, all bets are off.  Playoff hockey is inherently interesting, no matter which two teams you have facing off and if you want to create lasting interest, having a wider selection of teams with whom to build playoff rivalries makes it more interesting.
It’s not a perfect system, but it’s better.  For instance, this year the matchups would have been:
Washington – Montreal
San Jose – Philadelphia
Chicago – Boston
Phoenix – Ottawa
Vancouver – Colorado
New Jersey – Buffalo
Detroit – Nashville
Pittsburgh – Los Angeles
I’m making some guesses as to who would have won each of these series, but here’s what I think this second round would look like:
San Jose – Montreal (The Cinderella 19th-best-in-the-league Team crowns the new choke artists before facing the old)
Chicago – Buffalo (Patrick Kane’s team versus his old stomping grounds… provided that cabby’s face still lives in Buffalo)
Phoenix – Pittsburgh (Gary’s new team versus Gary’s old team)
Vancouver – Detroit (I don’t have to tell you guys why that series would be awesome)
Two things:  1. No Eastern Conference team has a home series here, and 2. in all likelihood, this would leave only Pittsburgh from the East with a chance to win the cup.  Everybody knows this is how it already is, it just makes more sense to know it a full round earlier, when the Penguins have to actually face off against teams who play defense AND offense. 
You want to talk trophies though?  The Campbell Bowl and Prince of Wales are given to the regular season West & East champs and the Presidents Trophy is retired, so that at least Washington can golf comfortably knowing they’ll be the last team to have ever won it. 
What do you think?  I’m a genius, right?