Islanders owner Charles Wang is certainly a member of the ?bigger is better? school of thought. The man who once inked a then-league-record 10-year deal with Alexei Yashin, only to top it by signing Rick DiPietro for 15 years, proposed that the league expand the NHL playoffs to include every team in the league.
According to The Globe and Mail, Wang had general manager Garth Snow present a proposition at the GM meetings last week that would see every team that finished eighth or higher in each conference compete in a series of one-game playoffs for the right to face the top seed in the conference.
The glorified cousin of NCAA basketball?s play-in game would not only serve to reward mediocrity throughout the regular season, it would give a chance to even the most hapless team.
In the past few seasons, it has been the Isles themselves who have finished at the bottom of the NHL?s Eastern Conference. Though top pick John Tavares has shown flashes of greatness and given the team hope for the future, they still find themselves 13th in the East, some seven points off the chase at this point in the season.
While Wang and Snow may be able to pick up a few other perennial lame ducks to hop on the bandwagon, the idea in its initial form was rejected at the meetings, taking a back seat as talk of NHL head-hunting dominated the conversation.
Wang?s proposal had little chance from the get-go as, on top of watering down the regular season beyond repair, the extra playoff would take an extra week of games before the actual playoffs began, with the ultimate prize most likely being a swift exit at the hands of the No. 1 seed. Some late-surging No. 9 seed that misses the playoffs on an arbitrary tiebreaker could make a compelling case, but who needs another game or two of the Oilers when enticing matchups are waiting right around the corner?