Coaches Corner for Oct 8th.
Coaches Corner for Oct 8th.
There are other factors that nobody ever talks about.
"Back in the day" there were as few as 6 or 12 teams. As recently as 1974 there were only 18 teams and salaries were nowhere near as high as they are now.
Let's say you only have 180 "coworkers" (many of whom you probably know personally) and the difference between making the league and not making it is less than $50,000 a year.
Now let's say you have 900 coworkers (many of whom you probably have never met) and the difference between making the league and not making the league is $725,00 a year(Westgarth).
Which situation do you suppose fosters a more reckless and desperate kind of player on the fourth line trying to impress the coach to keep his job?
I thought suspensions are NOW finally consistent...?
Instigator penalty - I agree about that.
@Dr. Naysay - there is a difference between 40 years back and now. But if a player chooses to impress his coach with reckless behavior, then that's HIS fault, not the league's, not the narrow rink's, it's HIS. I think that most coaches value fair hitting - hit hard, but fair, not reckless, and not at all intentional to injure a player. If you give the coach a choice: two identical players, great hitters, very physical, intimidating players, valuable to your team...and one knows his limits and the other doesn't care: which one does he choose? I think the first one. Even by the "immoral" standpoint it's a no brainer: the less suspensions this player gets, the better for the team.
But there lies the problem: it's not easy to be fair and careful AND very physical at the same time. And, as players are only humans, they often don't bother with all this, or they just have their own interpretation of hockey etc.
And you solve this by suspending players. And repeaters will be punished more, and eventually will lose their income, as the team will dump them...somewhere.
Being fair and responsible is a skill. And if a player doesn't have this skill, people should question if he even belongs in sports. And please, don't mix this with "NHL is a man's game!", because you can be physical and fair, responsible at the same time.
All valid points and a great discussion. My two cents....
Players are bigger and more skilled without a doubt. As someone else said-a bigger faster player is going to generate a harder hit. Like a compact car hitting something at 10MPH vs an SUV hitting something at 25MPH.
The hard shell equipment. They should outlaw this at the professional level. A soft shell/no hard plastic elbow pad can still protect the elbow without offering the option of using it as a weapon. You can maybe say the same for shoulder pads. No issue with the hard plastic for shin pads as theyre never used as weapons.
The instigator- probably the biggest factor IMO. Nothing will humble a man more then a punch in the nose. This truism rings true in the NHL and the game of life. Of course when you cross the line in the office it generally is not for running a coworker head first into a wall.
And to extrapolate the Hockey/Regular Life Analogy-There were times I deserved an ass kicking and didnt get it and times I didnt deserve it but did so in essence it probably all works out without the element of instant restribution that Hockey offers.
I brought up the equipment because when you don't feel it as a hitter, you're more reckless. Not only that, harder gear means it's going to be a harder force against a chin or anywhere else. It's like saying that there wouldn't be a difference between getting hit in the jaw with 3oz mma gloves and the 16oz sparring gloves boxers use. It's severe. A guy leading with his shoulder who is 6'5" is probably going to hit a guy who is 6'0" closer to his chin than his chest too. It's not dirty, it's just physics and, unfortunately, as fast as these guys are going, it's hard to get squared properly. You need to slow down the game. That's the only solution.
I think another reason is the new rules since the lockout. They got rid of obstruction and two-line pass. That equals a lot more speed in the game, which means bigger hits.
You don't really have to go back 40 years though... Gretzky was making a pittance as recently as the early 90's. Salaries weren't truly good and out of control until the mid to late 90's. And I'm not suggesting that's the only or even the biggest factor. But when I hear retired players talk about "lack of respect" in todays players I'm just stunned nobody ever mentions that factor.