Wednesday, December 08, 2004



Brendan Shannahan has organized a conference for players, coaches, gm's and owners to discuss the subject of improving hockey and making it more fan friendly. Well, Shanny, besides the fact that you're not playing, what is really wrong with the game? I am a purist I guess, and possibly spoiled by the recent success of that team from my childhood home, Hockeytown. However, I can remember when they were the deadwings. And besides the size of goalie equipment, I can't think of anything about the game I'd change. But, if changes are in order, these are the ones I'd make.

Every one says that we need to find a way to open up the ice and increase the skating and speed. Well, duh, then do away with the center redline on the offside pass. If you make the offside pass blue line to blue line, as in international and college hockey, you double the skating space at center ice. You make it much more difficult to trap or run a lock. The game will be much faster through center ice, and scoring chances will increase dramatically.

The other change I would make concerns the afore mentioned goalies equipment. Return the equipment to the sizes allowed in 1970. The decades of the 70's, (actually starting about 1967), was the glory days of goaltending. Look at the names. Dryden, Cheevers, Parent, Esposito, Vachon, Maniago, Edwards, Giacamon, Davidson, Smith. These were spectacular goalies, facing slap shots off of banana blades. Bobby Hull and Rick MacLeash's slap shots consistently hit 120 mph. Mike Walton occasionally hit 130 mph. No goalie got maimed, the hockey was great, and the great goalies made great saves.

The truth is there is nothing wrong with hockey. Except, they need to get back on the ice and start playing! It is still the greatest sport on earth. I just thank heavens I live in a college town, where I can see the game played at a high level. At least, that is, when Michigan, Michigan State, or Miami come to town!

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