Was hockey better in the 80s?
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11-11-2012, 04:45 PM
How's the thesis?
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Durham NC
Have to agree. The 80s, while fun to watch for me, definitely seemed to lack what we had for about 5-6 years, until the mid-late 90s, for me once the Soviets and other European players really started getting established. The NHL overexpanded in too short a time from 1967 to 75, then adding the 4 WHA clubs in 79. As a result offense was quite easily able to showcase over defense, which had fantastic quality but lacked in depth, and goaltending which didn't have nearly as much in stellar quality as defense proportionally and had even worse depth. Tactically changes were starting to happen but it's not until the 90s that they really took strong prominence IMO. Combined with the generation of goalies that followed Roy, and the influx of quality players from around the globe (espeically on defense) I'd really have to say the 90s were the better decade until the dead puck era.
I will say one of the things that (at least to me) seemed to really hurt hockey in the late 90s is that for a solid generation it seemed like more emphasis down to the youth level was being put on size over skill in recruiting, drafting, and development. That really seemed to hurt the drafts from about 94 on until about 01, and as a result hurt the league itself from about 96 on until post-lockout. Obviously some of the rule changes post-lockout helped that too. Or I could be completely off base there.
But yeah, back to the point, I'd take the 90s up to the Dead Puck era any day over the 80s, lack of dynasties not withstanding.
Last edited by DaveG: 11-11-2012 at
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