It’s as senseless as Entertainment Tonight without Mary Hart. It’s more out of place than Kirk Cameron at Michael J. Fox’s birthday party. And it’s more intrusive than Kanye West at the Grammys.
What am I referring to?
The black protective netting behind NHL nets. The protective black netting reaches high above both ends of the ice behind the goalies protecting fans from errand pucks.
Protecting fans is essential. The nets must stay.
The problem? The netting is black and the ice is white. And oh yes - the tiny puck is black. The black netting is completely intrusive for fans sitting behind the nets. The players and ice are checkered, making it tough for fans to focus on the game and get a clear unobstructed view. Fans at every level are adversely affected.
A number of NHL teams have the black protective netting, including the Senators and Canadiens. Given that catching a Habs game in Montreal means getting a second mortgage, the black netting is enough to make a fan stay home and flip between the game and A Very Bo Bice Christmas Special.
I don’t know about you, but when I watch a hockey game at home I don’t turn the TV on, grab a beer and put a protective bee net over my face.
Some teams, however, get it. The Flyers, Kings and Leafs, for example, all have white protective netting. The difference in the fan experience is dramatically improved. The view is clear and seamless.
So here's the proposal: the NHL should mandate that every team put up white or translucent protective netting behind the nets, and permanently dispose of the black netting.
Don’t think it makes a difference? Here’s the same article (with a white background) behind the black netting: