Improving the NHL playoff format

Toronto fans could be intrigued if the Leafs could still compete for the Cup ... or the No. 1 pick. John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY Sports

When the question was first posed to fans, the response from many was natural: Why fix something that’s perfect?

NHL playoff hockey is as good a product as there is. A playoff hockey game is better than anything played in March on college basketball courts or in the fall on baseball diamonds.

So when I posed the question on Twitter on how fans would improve the NHL playoffs, one response from @bodiva articulated the feelings of many: “They don’t need to change. Do you chip a bit more marble off the David?”

But let’s not confuse the playoff games themselves with the format. Look at March Madness. College basketball is a sport that a good number of casual sports fans manage to ignore for most of the regular season. Then, come March, everybody in the world has a bracket and is watching.

Even the president has a bracket, and we can’t even get him to attend a hockey game.

There’s plenty of room for the NHL to spice things up.

The NHL will never be confused with a league that is progressive, but if it were smart, it would look hard at some of these proposals submitted by hockey fans. They would dramatically change the spring landscape and make the hockey playoffs a must-watch not only for hockey fans but anyone who loves unscripted drama.