Friday, September 30, 2011

The NHL is changing, for the better

Brendan Shanahan is quickly leaving his mark on the game. He has handed out 12 suspensions for a total of 37 games during the preseason. Some people aren't happy about it. As we get into the regular season players, coaches and fans are going to begin the complain. Shanahan has to stay the course.

Skating 30 mph and slamming a guy's head into the glass is not good for hockey either. Certainly there will be some marginal calls which where the critics will attack from. In the end players like Matt Cooke will have to adapt or leave the game. I do believe that some players' careers will end prematurely just as the crackdown on obstruction killed a few careers.

I would love to see existing 4th line players, the tough, poorly skilled players, disappear. These players often only get 4 to 6 minutes of ice time per game. Those minutes can easily be eaten up by the other forwards. Instead I would like to see teams carry a taxi squad of specialty players. They could be specialists in power play, penalty killing, face offs or shoot outs. These are skills that can win you games. Headhunters rarely win games for you.

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