The NHL series from EA Sports has been a mixed bag over the years.

While the game has made some major strides in certain areas — see Hockey Ultimate Team and Draft Champions — there are still modes that need plenty of work to really become great.

One of those modes is Franchise.

It may not be as popular as it once was, but Franchise is still one of the biggest modes that any sports game has to offer though it can often go overlooked. NHL 17’s franchise mode made a step in the right direction with the additions of relocation and an ownership presence, but there’s still some things that we want to see.

So, here is Sports Gamers Online’s NHL 18 Franchise Mode Wishlist.

Coach Hiring/Firing

Madden has it and NBA 2K has it, so why doesn’t a mode called “Franchise” in NHL have it? Coach firings in the NHL as are common as getting chocolates on Valentine’s Day, but it’s always been missing in this series.

The addition of coaching changes can add a whole new mix to the mode as that could allow player fits within an organization. If a player doesn’t fit a coach’s system — or they just don’t get along — then a decision whether to side with a player or coach could be made. Hell, the coaches can even offer performance bonuses a la coaches in Hockey Ultimate Team.

Even if they can’t lock down the likeliness of coaches, at least just let us fire and hire coaches that don’t offer what we as team General Managers want.

Contract Negotiations

In NHL 17, if you want to negotiate deals, you have to wait until the offseason to do anything.

Negotiating with stars a year before they hit the market, or young players coming to the end of their entry-level contract is a part of the league. It needs to be a part of the game. If a player has a year left on their deal, an extension should be discussed as soon as the eligible date comes.

Speaking of contracts, it would be nice to see No-Trade and No-Movement Clauses implemented. It’s a small feature that can go a long way towards making certain decisions even tougher.

Are you desperate enough to sign a player that you’ll give into his NMC demands? What about trying to trade a player with a NMC that will only accept a deal to 10 teams?  Right now, fans just don’t have that option

Trade Deadline Overhaul

On the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 versions of the game, players would be given cell phones — the better the GM, the more phones you had — in order to make deals on trade deadline day.

There was a certain window that players had to make trades, and it was almost as if you were playing a mini-game inside the game. With the most recent versions of NHL, however, that fun is gone.

All the NHL Trade Deadline has become is just another day in the mode. Very few trades are made, and there really is no real sense of negotiating that makes it feel any different.

Deadline day is a different beast in the NHL, and this game should highlight that. Whether it’s a blockbuster or a small minor-league deal, make the deadline matter.

Expansion Mode

The Vegas Golden Knights make their way to the NHL next season, and this would be a perfect to add an expansion mode to the game.

NBA 2K introduced an incredible expansion mode in NBA 2k17 that could very well be used as a template of sorts for a similar feature in NHL 18. Whether the league can only be expanded by one team or there’s an option for two, three or four new organizations, expansion and all its bells and whistles need to be a part of this game.

All-Star Weekend

You’ve always been able to play the All-Star Game in the NHL video games, but there really has never been a true reason to.

Adding the three-on-three All-Star tournament may be a big task for such a small part of a mode, but it’s something fans would certainly notice and appreciate. Even going as far as to add a fully-featured skills competition to the weekend — putting it as a quick play feature would be nice as well — would make the All-Star Weekend mean something each season.

It’s been over 20 years since the last EA Sports NHL game to feature a skills competition mode, and it’s about time it came back.

Do you agree with our list, Sports Gamers? Be sure to let us know in the comment section below, and don’t forget to join our community on our Twitter and Facebook pages.

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Michael Straw
Michael Straw is a gamer who just happens to be an experienced journalist. In his near decade-long career, Mike has traveled across the United States to cover some of the biggest events in gaming and sports, including E3, PAX, as well as the NFL and NHL Drafts. His work covering gaming and sports led his content being featured on Fox Sports 1, SI.com and others. He was once the second-ranked player in the world in NHL 09 on Xbox Live, and is a huge pro wrestling junkie.