Quality of NHL Hockey in 1994-95
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08-12-2012, 05:43 PM
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Parts Unknown
Not that I'm against expansion, but I do believe the league expanded too quickly by introducing five new teams in a span of three years (San Jose in 91, Ottawa and Tampa Bay in 92, Anaheim and Florida in 93). That may have skewed the number of teams that finished below .500, but Florida and San Jose quickly transformed into contenders shortly after they debuted.
A number of players who probably had no business of being in the NHL became regulars as a result of these new teams creating 100 new opportunities for players. For the most part, the goaltending talent on those expansion clubs were well below average, but then again, I found good goaltending to be very sparse during the 90s expansion era up until the mid-late 90s.
The influx of sub .500 clubs wasn't a result of the league's point distribution system for wins-losses-ties. The league went from having 21 teams to 26 in a short amount of time and teams that lacked skill relied on a stifling defensive system in order to win games because they couldn't match up talent-for-talent. This led to a lot of boring hockey which I believe started with this particular shortened season.
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