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Zamboni'd

Pro hockey's ailments go well beyond a lost season. Here are three ways NHL bigwigs can improve their league.

11:00 PM, Mar 3, 2005 • By DUNCAN CURRIE
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Last month, San Jose Mercury News columnist Tim Kawakami floated an even more radical (if slightly tongue-in-cheek) idea: "Hold a thrilling 12-team single-round elimination playoff featuring every on-the-brink franchise. But not for playoff extinction. For real extinction. The six winning teams get league subsidies that must be poured back into payroll. The six that get knocked out get truly knocked out--they cease to exist. Now that'd get ownership motivated to win!"

The Kawakami plan may be quixotic (and not wholly serious). But something must be done if pro hockey is to survive financially and maintain its world-class standard of play. Folding three or four teams would be a good start, albeit a highly controversial one.

Duncan Currie is an editorial assistant at The Weekly Standard.