The New York Islanders have already started practicing with their newly-signed Timbit-aged player, G Cody Rosen, to get ready for what they think is the inevitable change to the league's age standards.
Across the SB Nation blogging network today, you're going to see most hockey sites come up with different ways to 'enhance the experience' of hockey. Some are talking NHL hockey, some hockey in general, some... are probably going pretty far out. It's all part of a campaign SBN is doing in partnership with Samsung.
We all watch the Timbits hockey during intermission at games. Seeing the little kids skate around, tripping over their own feet, and occasionally seeing that one kid whose parents obviously put him on the ice as a ten-day old skate circles around the ice is almost as exciting as the real game.
So you know what we could do? Let's try and make the excitement of Timbits hockey reinvigorate NHL hockey by including at least one Timbits-eligible player on the ice at all times.
Think about it: The NHL wants to increase goal-scoring. How do players score goals? They capitalize on the opposition's mistakes. So more mistakes would automatically lead to more goal scoring. What better way to increase mistakes than forcing each team to ice at least one child without fully developed motor skills at all times during the game? I can hardly think of one, beyond maybe forcing players to play with roller blades rather than ice skates. (Note to self: Next week, suggest roller blades instead of ice skates.)
Obviously, to allow teams the necessary flexibility under the salary cap, it would be the team's decision as to which position they could play the toddler. One can only assume the Philadelphia Flyers would put him in net, because they've tried just about everyone else. The kid would fit right in on Montreal's top line, so he'd likely play centre between Brian Gionta and Mike Cammalleri. The Pittsburgh Penguins, tired of watching Sidney Crosby have to stand up for his teammates but still looking for a Timbit-enforcer, would obviously try (and immediately regret) what was, in hindsight, a terrible lapse in judgement. The Toronto Maple Leafs would play him on the blue line, because Brian Burke just doesn't think he has enough defencemen under contract. And the Edmonton Oilers' new addition might actually bring up the average age on the roster.
It's an obvious change to me, really.
What could possibly go wrong?