Thursday, December 13, 2007

Watered down

I keep hearing and/or reading someone say something along these lines-  The NHL is watered down with too many teams and not enought talent.  They go on to lament how there was much more talent spread to the smaller amount of teams "back in the day".   I do not agree.  I think the talent level has come up, not been watered down.  The staggering number of kids playing with the highest quality equipment from the time they can speak has got to improve the play of the average player.  Watch the "classic" games and compare the speed to todays game.  Speed and coaching ingrained hockey sense in your everyday player have come a long way since the 14 team 1970 NHL.   The men who play the game no longer need  a summer job or smoke I imagine.  Todays average player is just a much better "product".  Now that said when you take these better average players and fill teams up with them it does water down the upper echelon players.  Back in the day your upper echelon player skated around a guy who smoked and flipped burgers in the summer.  Today your upper echelon player gets driven to the outside or crushed to the boards by a well coached machine who is 185 pounds of muscle.  While I do not want to see more teams, I would not want to take any away.  I would consider trimming the roster down by 3-4 players that can be "active".   Keep the same number of guys dressed but when one of your reserves enters the game you need to permantly remove one of your starters.....



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