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jimdand
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Am an old-timer. Knew Hockey from the 60s' and on. I Remember the "Halcyon" days of hockey. No helmets (except Stan Mikita, Chicago) --- you could actually see the players' face and hair; no need for Names and numbers on their backs so that you knew who they were. A few goalies who didn't wear masks. Just wonder if anyone else thinks the "talent" has been "watered-down" due to (unbelievable) expansion? Hockey in Florida? Never thought I'd live to see the day. No disrecpect to FL hockey fans. My Winter home is in Cocoa Beach.

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Am an old-timer. Knew Hockey from the 60s' and on. I Remember the "Halcyon" days of hockey. No helmets (except Stan Mikita, Chicago) --- you could actually see the players' face and hair; no need for Names and numbers on their backs so that you knew who they were. A few goalies who didn't wear masks. Just wonder if anyone else thinks the "talent" has been "watered-down" due to (unbelievable) expansion? Hockey in Florida? Never thought I'd live to see the day. No disrecpect to FL hockey fans. My Winter home is in Cocoa Beach.

 

Nope I think just the opposite.  Look at the parity in the league this year just to make the playoffs, let alone the competition of the playoffs themselves.  I expect the same next year as the speed and skill level increases with youth.  Teams are not holding onto the deadweight in their organizations as much as those players are looking for jobs in the KHL.

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Been a hockey fan for some time now myself...granted, not as long as you or some others on this site, but long enough.

1994 was when I was really first made aware what a great sport hockey was.....and this was as a kid growing up in Florida.  :D

 

Talent watered down? Expanded too much?

On the contrary...I believe the overall talent level is quite high in hockey right now.

In fact, as good as some of the 'old time' hockey players were, I just have to wonder if many of them can play in this day and age of stat tracking, coaching staffs and defenses who have positional play down to a science, and the flat out superior overall athletes that dot the landscape of today's hockey world.

 

Yea, yea...the whole Era A vs Era B thing....that has been going on for years in all sports.....nothing will ever be solved from arguing it, but people do it anyways...well, because it is fun.

 

Truth is, there is talent ALL over hockey now, not just in the NHL.

You have so much top notch talent coming from places other than Canada and the United States now.

Leagues over in Europe, that, while still not quite at the NHL level's, measure up quite well.

So well, in fact, that NHL teams have dedicated scouts going out to see players in those leagues to see who they may want to bring over AND have their own prospects developing over in the KHL, Swedish, Finnish and Czech elite leagues waiting for their chance to shine in the NHL.

 

There is, I believe, enough talent in hockey now that it is entirely possible to field competitive teams up n down the NHL landscape...from the top team to the 'lowly' 30th team.

The difference between winning and losing in the league seems to be quite small, and as some teams like Colorado and Tampa Bay (ooo, look...a FLORIDA team ;)  ) have shown, can quickly turn things around in a season or two, simply by utilizing that talent that they have gotten from all over the world....not just in North America.

 

While I can appreciate the history of the NHL and the great players that came before, I think the NHL today, is LOADED with the kind of talent that the league way back in the 60's WISH they could field for each of their teams in the league at the time.

 

As for your point of over expansion, well, that can be debated all day and all night.

True, there are markets that seem less receptive to the sport (at least in attendance at arenas)...but then, can we REALLY blame that on 'over expansion'....or can we say that everytime the NHL gets positive momentum as a league and starts to get more and more casual fans on board with the ever present hardcore fans that the NHL does stupid things to shoot themselves in the foot like, oh, say work stoppages every few years?

Seems to me the NHL has taken a step or three backwards at times whenever they've worked so hard to make a step forward as a mainstream sport in North America, competing with the likes of the NFL, NBA, and MLB.

 

It is possible the league at points has expanded too fast for its own good, however, I feel that has NOTHING to do with the actual talent available, but rather, the league probably didn't think all things through before doing actual expansions of a given franchise.

Proof of that is the constant flipping of teams around to different cities.

 

I am willing to bet that had the NHL over the last 20 years or so had been more consistent with its own regulations and not had work stoppages mucking up the works, that perhaps more people would be finding their way to hockey arenas today than they currently are in some cities.

 

And honestly, climate has nothing to do with that either.

Granted, some are more natural for the sport of hockey, but again, with the tech available today, the internet, the world wide coverage of just about anything on television, why NOT have hockey in non traditional markets?

If the NHL wants to truly compete with the other three major North American team sports, then they NEED to think outside the box, put their product wherever they can to expose it to the most people possible.....hey, I wouldn't be an NHL fan today if somebody didn't have the crazy idea of putting a team or two in Florida.

 

The trick of course, is planning.

Think things through and have the right, smart people making decisions, and like any business venture, it can work.

 

The NHL has to CONSTANTLY be in a state of 'forward thinking'.

Evolve, if you would, with the times and part of that are things like expansions, culling talent from unlikely places (France? Really? Yup..... :)  ).

 

Again, I can appreciate the history of the NHL, understand the great players of old have paved the way for many who play in the game today....and I LOVE talking to people who have witnessed first hand some of hockey's history.

But frankly, if the NHL were to be ruled by the 'old ways' with no change whatsoever, then we probably wouldn't have an NHL today....and some of those same 'old time' fan type thinkers probably would have been to blame for not being capable of evolution......just like the the mighty T-Rex.

 

And that is no offense to 'old time' fans and thinkers.....I do, after all, have a dad (in FLORIDA!) who knows a thing or two about that as well....... ;)

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  • 3 weeks later...

since my post has to do with expansion i thought i would post it here... say for decision sake Quebec replaced Phoenix as a 30th team however as a expansion team and going back to the 6 division 5 teams..

 

I am thinking of putting Quebec back into nhl but i want to do a expansion draft and have a hard time coming up with a expansion draft team.. Pretty much all of other teams left overs.. Phoenix would become invalid as Quebec would be the 30th team. All phoenix players go to ufa.. If i am wrong with any of these picks please let me know so i can make a realistic nhl expansion team.

My picks are basically gone through all 30 team forums on HF and took players from other teams 3-4 forward lines or 3rd pairing or extra D or forwards or back up goalies to make up my expansion team..

Since you can only do 30 teams in nhl i have decided to go with the following divisions:

Atlantic: Same
Northeast: Quebec, Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Buffalo
Southeast: boston, florida, washington, carolina, tampa

central: detroit, cbs, chi, stl, nash
northwest: minny, cgy, edm, van, wpg
pacific: col, dal, sj, ana and la

Ana: Mark Fistric - was on last yrs team
bos: Carl Soderberg
buf: Unsure
cgy: TJ Galardi
car: Unsure
chi: Peter Regin/Theo Peckham
col: Nick Holden
cbs: Tim Erixon
dal: Shawn Horcoff (captian)
det: Drew Miller
edm: Matt Hendricks
fla: Scottie Upshall
la: Brayden McNabb
min: Kyle Brodziak
mtl: Tom Gilbert/Mike Weaver
nash: Anton Volchenkov
nj: Steve Bernier
nyi: Kevin Poulin
nyr: Dominic Moore
ott: Zack Smith
phi: Nick Schultz
pit: Thomas Greiss
pho: Kyle Chipchura
sj: John Scott
stl: Ian Cole
tb: Eric Brewer
tor: Peter Holland
van: Derek Dorsett
wpg: Adam Pardy
wsh: Dmtiri Orlov

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The talent was watered down, quite frankly, quite a bit with the last round of expansion in the 90s.  

 

But I think talent has probably caught up with the expansion.   The "lesser" players on each team (for lack of a better description) are probably just as good or better than those on each team pre-90s expansion.

 

I think I wrote this on another thread (I thought it was this one, but I guess not).   I think expansion has greatly contributed to the escalating salaries via arbitration and even free agency.

 

It hasn't really changed the ELCs much.  But you now have 30 teams with probably 4-6 so-so forwards and 2-3 so-so defensemen.  It just gives so-so players more opportunity to compare themselves to one-hit wonders who hit pay dirt when it comes to arbitration and FA.   It causes second line defensemen, for example, to get $3-$4M a year.   So then your second pair defenseman requires more than that and your top pair more still.  And then, to differentiate themselves further above this class, you have your top-rung star players asking for (and getting) ridiculous amounts.

 

I'm not sure this cycle plays out as well in a smaller league.

 

I'm not using this as a reason to contract, necessarily, but I do think it's a side-effect of expansion.

 

In general, I don't think 30 is too many.  I do wonder, however, if all 30 franchises are really where they belong.  I think it's somewhat easy to make a case against a few locations (Tampa, Miami, Phoenix, just for starters).  The hard part is identifying where to move them to.  

 

Just to throw out some common ideas:

 

What makes Kansas City, for example, such a better hockey location than Miami?  I don't think I have an answer for that.  Especially since the NHL already tried there and failed miserably.

 

Las Vegas?  Climatically, what causes Vegas to make more sense than Phoenix?  And that's not even taking the gambling thing into account (which is really not much of an argument for me, anyway).

 

Seattle or Portland maybe.  Seattle would give Vancouver a decent geographic rival, anyway.  And arguably better than Phoenix or Florida.

 

Milwaukee?   I actually haven't seen this one but wonder why Wisconsin is never considered.  It would at least be a winter climate.  It can support baseball and basketball, so why not hockey?

 

Hamilton.  I just don't see this ever happening.

 

Quebec City.  I guess so, but it already failed once.  I guess if Winnepeg can be given another shot, why not Quebec?

 

Have I forgotten any?   I wouldn't start expansion franchises in any of these places.  I really wouldn't want expansion at all.  The expansion in the 90s did dilute the talent for awhile.  I just wouldn't want to do that again.   And really, I don't know if it's 30 or 32 or 34 or what, but for me there becomes a threshold where it's just too many teams.

 

And "parity" really doesn't mean to me what it seems to mean for others.  It's not necessarily a good thing to me. To me it means that everyone is a stone's throw from average.  Who wants that?  I kind of liked the old days where there were perennially really good teams, a few also-rans, and then the Minnesota North Stars.

 

So, 30 is fine.  The talent vs. job openings has kind of evened itself out.  I just don't want any more.

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@QuebecNFan

 

Interesting list.

 

I really don't like the divisions and wonder how easy a time the league would have getting the Wings to go back out west when they finally moved east after decades of lobbying.   But, if we're going with Quebec as the 30th team and since this is completely pretend, I guess it's the only way to go with this scenario.

 

But Phoenix just got new ownership and a new name, etc.  They're not getting contracted.

 

As for the expansion draft, if it's as before I would think each team gets to choose who is exposed.   Since he would absolutely be left exposed, can I interest you in taking Vinny Lecavalier from the Flyers instead of Schultz?

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since my post has to do with expansion i thought i would post it here... say for decision sake Quebec replaced Phoenix as a 30th team however as a expansion team and going back to the 6 division 5 teams..

 

I am thinking of putting Quebec back into nhl but i want to do a expansion draft and have a hard time coming up with a expansion draft team.. Pretty much all of other teams left overs.. Phoenix would become invalid as Quebec would be the 30th team. All phoenix players go to ufa.. If i am wrong with any of these picks please let me know so i can make a realistic nhl expansion team.

My picks are basically gone through all 30 team forums on HF and took players from other teams 3-4 forward lines or 3rd pairing or extra D or forwards or back up goalies to make up my expansion team..

Since you can only do 30 teams in nhl i have decided to go with the following divisions:

Atlantic: Same

Northeast: Quebec, Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Buffalo

Southeast: boston, florida, washington, carolina, tampa

central: detroit, cbs, chi, stl, nash

northwest: minny, cgy, edm, van, wpg

pacific: col, dal, sj, ana and la

Ana: Mark Fistric - was on last yrs team

bos: Carl Soderberg

buf: Unsure

cgy: TJ Galardi

car: Unsure

chi: Peter Regin/Theo Peckham

col: Nick Holden

cbs: Tim Erixon

dal: Shawn Horcoff (captian)

det: Drew Miller

edm: Matt Hendricks

fla: Scottie Upshall

la: Brayden McNabb

min: Kyle Brodziak

mtl: Tom Gilbert/Mike Weaver

nash: Anton Volchenkov

nj: Steve Bernier

nyi: Kevin Poulin

nyr: Dominic Moore

ott: Zack Smith

phi: Nick Schultz

pit: Thomas Greiss

pho: Kyle Chipchura

sj: John Scott

stl: Ian Cole

tb: Eric Brewer

tor: Peter Holland

van: Derek Dorsett

wpg: Adam Pardy

wsh: Dmtiri Orlov

 

Welcome.  

Interesting first post.  I do think though if there is an expansion teams will only be able to protect a limited number of forwards, defense and 1 goalie.  I do think that a franchise team would begin with more talent than you mentioned.  Not a whole lot of choice there to build your top two lines.  I would also think if teams could only save 1 goalie per team more than Poulin and Greiss would also be available.  Then again if the league expands they will likely create 2 new teams at once so that might dilute available player depth also.

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I have no idea if the league will expand again. I can't imagine they could do it in any worse a way than they did when they expanded from the Original 6 days, and gave Sam Pollock the keys to the kingdom...

 

Anyway, to put it as tersely as possible, the talent level in the NHL greatly exceeds that of previous years.

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@QuebecNFan

 

Interesting list.

 

I really don't like the divisions and wonder how easy a time the league would have getting the Wings to go back out west when they finally moved east after decades of lobbying.   But, if we're going with Quebec as the 30th team and since this is completely pretend, I guess it's the only way to go with this scenario.

 

But Phoenix just got new ownership and a new name, etc.  They're not getting contracted.

 

As for the expansion draft, if it's as before I would think each team gets to choose who is exposed.   Since he would absolutely be left exposed, can I interest you in taking Vinny Lecavalier from the Flyers instead of Schultz?

 

ruxpin... I was just doing it as a bit of a idea to see what the roster would look like... I mean thats what i think the divisions would look if it went back to the 6 divisions 5 per type thing... As far as the other post said about the whole phoenix thing... I just used them folding the team and having Quebec go as a discussion purpose.. I did it a quick way of picking players as i basically picked players from the 3rd/4th liners and then the bottom pairing of fan guessed lines from hfboards.com.. If i remember correctly when columbus and minnesota came into the league 2000 there wasnt much top line players selected from that draft earlier... however i thank you guys for ur input on the post

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@QuebecNFan

 

Interesting list.

 

I really don't like the divisions and wonder how easy a time the league would have getting the Wings to go back out west when they finally moved east after decades of lobbying.   But, if we're going with Quebec as the 30th team and since this is completely pretend, I guess it's the only way to go with this scenario.

 

But Phoenix just got new ownership and a new name, etc.  They're not getting contracted.

 

As for the expansion draft, if it's as before I would think each team gets to choose who is exposed.   Since he would absolutely be left exposed, can I interest you in taking Vinny Lecavalier from the Flyers instead of Schultz?

Also as i forgot to mention in my last post the reason why i went with the divisions that i did with the 6 divisions and 5 in each was because you have quebec in the northeast with montreal, toronto and Ottawa which would make a huge 4 way rival, i could not see Quebec being much of a rival to those teams with all of the division games with them being in the south east... Winnipeg being moved to Northwest would mean Colorado to Pacific and then it would ultimately mean that either Quebec or Boston would have to go to southeast and the other goes northeast..

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The talent was watered down, quite frankly, quite a bit with the last round of expansion in the 90s.  
 
But I think talent has probably caught up with the expansion.   The "lesser" players on each team (for lack of a better description) are probably just as good or better than those on each team pre-90s expansion.

 

Perhaps the game back then allowed for less talented players to make a living and that blocked out smaller but more talented players. Remove the clutch and grab, and tweak the rules to emphasize speed, and you have what we are looking at today. 

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Perhaps the game back then allowed for less talented players to make a living and that blocked out smaller but more talented players. Remove the clutch and grab, and tweak the rules to emphasize speed, and you have what we are looking at today. 

 

Possibly.  I'll buy that to an extent.

 

But I do think it's largely a side-effect of adding 6 new teams in a very short period of time.

 

You started out with 24 teams and say 20 players (give or take) on the NHL roster.   That's 480 slots already filled by people someone felt were NHL calibre players (set aside debating that for just a moment).  Maybe in each franchise they had roughly 4-6 players who may make it to the NHL someday.  Using 5 as the (admittedly random) average, that's 120 more players.   So 600 player that either were in the NHL or had some honest chance of making it.  

 

So with 6 teams added, you add 120 NHL slots (6 x 20) plus their sudden minor league affiliates.  Just the new 120 new slots/positions covers the 120 players in the pipeline at the time.  Plus, prospects, etc, for the new affiliates of the new clubs.

 

And, of course, attrition of folks who retired, were injured, or quit to try their luck in television/movies or simply went back to Europe or wherever.

 

Clearly, all 6 teams were not added all at once, so that mitigated some of the effect of what I'm talking about, but for that transition period, the ready supply of NHL calibre players was not sufficient for the increase of demand.  It took a little while for supply vs. demand to find equilibrium.  I do think that the increased use of players from Europe & Russia and probably even more American players has found a bigger pool from where to fish for better catches.  I also wonder, though, if there wasn't some cause/effect here as well.

 

Perhaps lesser players were allowed to be in the league because of the clutch and grab style of that time period.  Or maybe the clutch and grab style was the result of the less talented players or at least the stretched availability of the more talented ones.

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Am an old-timer. Knew Hockey from the 60s' and on. I Remember the "Halcyon" days of hockey. No helmets (except Stan Mikita, Chicago) --- you could actually see the players' face and hair; no need for Names and numbers on their backs so that you knew who they were. A few goalies who didn't wear masks. Just wonder if anyone else thinks the "talent" has been "watered-down" due to (unbelievable) expansion? Hockey in Florida? Never thought I'd live to see the day. No disrecpect to FL hockey fans. My Winter home is in Cocoa Beach.

Watered down? No. If anything, the league

 

Do I think they have removed a lot of creativity from the game with far more focus on system play? Yes.

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  I don't think the league is watered down in it's current state. I think we have enough quality players that the KHL is taking a few of our hand me down's. Seems like hockey is spreading in some parts of the USA, who would have ever thought 20 years ago, that California would be the proud owner of a couple first round picks? I think hockey is spreading throughout Europe also, more players from more leagues, which usually helps the NHL game. The CHL is as strong as ever, and the USJHL and the national program are steadily climbing in ranked players...and the quality of play in the NCAA is always moving forward in a positive direction. All of these factors go into filling our need for players, and assure that quality will be spread around nicely.

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