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Signed hats make for good publicity

Any United States hockey fan hoping to see NHL highlights on ESPN will likely only see one of these few things: Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, a hat trick or a brawl.

And because recently it seems like there have been more fights than goals, there aren't a lot of opportunities to see the good side of the league. So I came up with an idea for the NHL to make positive publicity, via the aforementioned hat trick.

When a player scores his third goal of a game, fans traditionally throw hats on the ice to celebrate the achievement. The game is then delayed as ice personnel use giant shovels to scoop them off the ice. But what happens to the hats?

This is where my idea comes into play. The hats should be collected and taken to the locker room of the player who scored the hat trick. He should then be required to sign all of the hats that were thrown on the ice. Those signed hats would then be placed on the NHL's auction site and sold as memorabilia, with all the money being donated to a charity the league, or player, is affiliated with.

This is a rather simple idea that could generate a lot of money, as well as the positive publicity the league always seems to lack and always seems to need.

Eric Ritter, Deltona, Fla.

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