Top 5: Things the NHL can Learn from College Hockey

While many sports fans tuned into the Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight college basketball games this weekend, I tuned my attention to the quarter finals of the NCAA Hockey Frozen Four tournament. For those who don’t know what that is, it’s college hockey’s championship tournament. I’ve been a casual college hockey fan since 2007 when I witnessed the Frozen Four finals at Scottrade Center. Michigan State took home their first championship against Boston College, and I instantly wanted to apply to North Dakota and become a part of their ice skating hockey cheerleading squad. In more recent years, I’ve seen the semifinal rounds in St. Louis, and followed Western Michigan a bit, but I can’t help but want to bring some of that college spirit into the NHL.

1. No Touch Icing: This is a pretty standard topic of discussion at NHLPA meets, but removing the touch rule on icings is flat out safer. After seeing what concussions can do to a player, it’d be a huge improvement.

2. Bring a Band: I cannot explain how awesome it is to hear a college band inside of a hockey rink. The first time you do, Charles Glenn will never be able to fulfill your musical rink needs again. Whether its the fight song after a goal or “Hey Baby” during a timeout, it adds an entire new level to the game.

3. Keep It Quiet: This goes against every marketing bone in me, but there’s something sacred about NCAA hockey. There are only 58 division one teams, with 16 making the tournament. Sure, you’ll catch an occasional game on CBS Sports or NBC Sports Network on a Friday night, but it hasn’t reached the madness of it’s basketball counterpart. It’s still exciting without everyone and there brother being involved.

4. Alternatively, Get With ESPN: Look, I like what NBS Sports Network is doing for the league. Every single Caps/Pens match up on Sunday afternoon is well received, but the NHL can never sit at the popular table without an endorsement from the leader.

5. Put the Ice Girls on Ice: Seriously, maybe it’s because I was a cheerleader, but girls in crop tops shaking their arms is not team spirit. Get these girls some skates and a choreographed intermission and I’ll be impressed.

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