Can a Soccer like relegation system work in the NHL? If it prevented tanking would you consider it?

We all hate tanking in the NHL. It feels cheap and it doesn’t seem to do the sport justice losing “on-purpose” just can’t happen. While there isn’t a rule in place today to prevent tanking, what if the NHL added one; like relegation.

For those that watch soccer you already know what we’re talking about. We’re talking about a few teams at the bottom of the league get demoted to the lower league. Could it actually work in the NHL?

This season in the British Premier League, Stoke City, West Bromwich Albion and Swansea City were all relegated. All had been mainstays in the premier league for years. Stoke has been in the top flight for ten years, West Brom for 12 and Swansea for seven.

They all changed their managers to try and push their teams up the table to avoid the drop. And all spent big money on players. West Brom spent nearly 47 million while Swansea, thanks to a 44 million move for Icelandic Gylfi Sigurdsson actually made some money.

The idea here, is that all three tried to remain competitive and still got the drop. Imagine where the Arizona Coyotes would be if they got the drop after a stinking season. Or where the Buffalo Sabres would be after they blatantly tanked to get McDavid (and failed). Or how about the heralded Maple Leafs?


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