Hehe, you North Americans think thats bad, you should try getting your head round cricket - a game that can last 5 days and still end in a draw And you can have a 5 or 6 game series that also ends in a draw. And yet both sets of players and both sets of fans are happy with that
The SO is a by-product of the North American mentality which is unable/unwilling to accept a game without a winner. It also produces drama and allows the really high end players to showcase their talents, and gives the NHL a slightly better chance of making Sportscentre instead of yet another buzzer-beater from mid-court in the Nebraska Valley State vs Rhode Island Tech ballgame.
The loser point has 2 benefits - it artificially compresses the standings which keeps Bettman and the Networks happy, as well as prolonging the regular season of teams just outside the playofffs. It also produces a more exciting OT as both teams go for it. I love 4on4 OT, its like 80s hockey as both teams chase the W, and I'd be very happy to see it go to 10 minutes before the SO.
History shows that there are plenty of stupid GMs out there who will trade star players for not a whole lot. What did Hossa go for? A half decent player, a bit-part player, a prospect who isn't panning out and a bad 1st round pick. What did Roy go for? Thibault, Rucinsky and Kovalenko. Yashin for Chara and Spezza.
All hockey fans massively over-rate their own prospects, and tend to under-rate their own movable pieces (or massively over-rate them in a few cases). Wings fans hate on Ericsson for his bone-headedness, other GMs and fans see his size, see he comes from the Wings puck moving system and like the look of him. And we WILL need to move roster players, even bit part players, simply to make room on the roster for any new arrivals.
Franzen and/or Filpulla if part of a package for a legit top player.
Hudler, Abdelkader, Miller, Eaves, Emmerton, Mursak are all replacable.
Stuart if part of a package, most probably with Anaheim
It should be a player's choice to wear one or not. Hall knew the risk he was taking by warming up without one on. Every player that doesn't wear a visor knows there is a small chance he could get clipped, etc. It's the risk you take. Let the players make up their own minds, even if their decision is not popular.
Should it be a drivers choice whether or not to wear a seatbelt? Sometimes people need to be protected from themeselves.