Brian Burke has done a lot in the game of hockey. He’s been a player, an agent, a GM, and currently serves as the President of Hockey Operations for the Calgary Flames. Now, not only is he trying to help change the ways of a team, he’s trying to change the game. Burke is on a mission, a difficult one at that, to make the ice surfaces in the NHL larger.
“I’ve felt this way for a long time,” the 59-year-old Burke said this week. “When I was GM of the [Vancouver] Canucks, I felt the ice was too congested for the size and skill we had on our team. I thought the size of the ice surface affected my team’s ability to excel. That’s where it started for me. It would be good for the game of hockey.”
Burke is not in favor of the international ice surface, which measures 200 feet long and 100 feet wide, 15 feet wider than a NHL ice surface. He’s also not in favor of the 92-94 foot wide surface used in some rinks in Findland. So, how much wider does Burke want the rinks to be?
Five. Yep, five feet. “Ninety feet,” Burke said. “An extra five feet on the width, that’s it. I believe it would make a big difference in the quality of hockey.”
I like the thinking behind this. Five extra feet to work with could do wonders for the goal scorers. However, that’s five extra feet that defenders have to cover, which can make a difference in their gameplan. It opens up scoring, but what impact would this kind of a change, should it happen, have on defenders?