Soccer, which has many bad points Â– racism, dullness Â– also has a lot of good ideas that unfortunately hockey doesn't follow, such as relegation and multiple tournaments involving different leagues.
But there is one specific gimmick in soccer that I think would work like gangbusters over here: different jersey colors for goaltenders.
Now, admittedly, this would be a cash grab for the league, but let's face facts: It wouldn't be the first time and at least this one's fun. Plus, you don't have to buy it.
Many tempers have flared with the introduction of the new Reebok Edge uniform system, which all 30 teams will be wearing this year. People worried the designs would be horrible and blanched at the price tags. On a positive note, the new sweaters meant the banishment of third jerseys, bane of all things tasteful since the mid-1990s.
So far, the new uniforms introduced have been a mixture of good (Washington, Boston), bad (Islanders, Ottawa) and not-sure-yet (Vancouver), but purely because it would look cool, let's think about putting goalies in different base colors.
First off, you could even argue that different sweater colors would potentially curb goalies getting dog-piled in their crease, because players would automatically know who the goalie was. I know, I know, he's one with the catcher's mitt and 80 feet of foam on his shins, but in the heat of battle these things can get obscured, especially when an opponent wouldn't feel horrible about Â“accidentallyÂ” jumping on a goalie's ACL.
The second reason to do it is that it would look awesome. Imagine Vesa Toskala debuting in a baby blue Leafs jersey, or seeing David Aebischer in a Winnipeg-purple Coyotes sweater. And don't tell me Irish green Bruins jerseys wouldn't fly off the shelves. I know teams have licensed different colored sweaters in the past, but until they're actually worn in a game, they're not legitimate.
Logistically, each goalie would have to have two different jerseys Â– if Roberto Luongo rocks a red Canucks top, he can't very well wear it when they play Detroit or Chicago. Likewise, gold won't cut it against Nashville. So maybe King Louie has a red sweater and a light blue one. Automatically, we've doubled our fun while solving a problem.
Goalies are always going to be different than skaters, so why not give them freedom of jersey color and give us one more item to spend way too much money on?
FISTS OF FURY? One Russian newspaper is reporting that Alex Ovechkin punched out Evgeni Malkin's Russian agent at a Moscow nightclub, breaking his jaw.
Gennady Ushakov allegedly insulted Ovie, causing the swift retribution, but another Russian paper has the Caps star denying the incident happened.
Why do the best stories from Russian media never turn out to be true? I wouldn't even be mad at Ovie: just another step towards a colossal Pens-Caps rivalry in the making.
ALL FOPPA ALL THE TIME Peter Forsberg has had an ankle setback and won't be skating for a month.
Sweden's Aftonbladet is reporting Foppa will need another three to four weeks recovery after that to be in game shape, which means he certainly won't be ready for the beginning of any team's NHL schedule.
Kudos to Sara Marttala for the translation.