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When did teams start using four lines?

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06-15-2013, 10:25 AM
  #1
Passchendaele
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When did teams start using four lines?

Does anybody know?

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06-15-2013, 10:40 AM
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Canadiens1958
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Originally Posted by Passchendaele View Post
Does anybody know?
Origins go back to the mid fifties. Toe Blake pioneered four lines with the Canadiens. The increase to 17 skater game rosters made the use of four lines easier.

1960 playoffs both the Leafs and Canadiens used four lines, not necessarily in rotation but four lines none the less.

http://www.hockey-reference.com/teams/MTL/1960.html

http://www.hockey-reference.com/teams/TOR/1960.html

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06-17-2013, 06:48 AM
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VMBM
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Heh. I was about to start a similar thread.

Namely... in his book, Viktor Tikhonov takes the credit for this, as he started rolling four lines in the late 60s when he was coaching Dinamo Riga. Actually, at first he used alternate third lines, and eventually it became actual four lines. He says rather boldly: "We were the first!". Does he have any grounds for his boasting? (I mean, if he was the first one to do it on a regular basis...)

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06-17-2013, 07:34 PM
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double5son10
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NHL rule changes on roster size would have limited the number of lines a team could roll.
1929: Maximum 15 players (including GK); previously 12
1952: Teams permitted to dress 15 skaters on road, 16 at home
1960: 16 skaters all games
1971: 17 skaters
1982: 18 skaters

It all depended how many forwards vs. defensemen a coach wanted to play. Creative coaching depending on match-ups. Coaches did play four lines as C1958 shows that Blake and Imlach did, but of course that left them only 4 defensemen, problematic if someone gets hurt during the game. Until the current active rosters came into being in '82 teams just played with three lines and then had a couple of players that were either PP or PK specialists, or the 4th line would involve double shifting a player, or they would try to have players who could play both forward and defense.

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06-17-2013, 09:24 PM
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Canadiens1958
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Originally Posted by double5son10 View Post
NHL rule changes on roster size would have limited the number of lines a team could roll.
1929: Maximum 15 players (including GK); previously 12
1952: Teams permitted to dress 15 skaters on road, 16 at home
1960: 16 skaters all games
1971: 17 skaters
1982: 18 skaters

It all depended how many forwards vs. defensemen a coach wanted to play. Creative coaching depending on match-ups. Coaches did play four lines as C1958 shows that Blake and Imlach did, but of course that left them only 4 defensemen, problematic if someone gets hurt during the game. Until the current active rosters came into being in '82 teams just played with three lines and then had a couple of players that were either PP or PK specialists, or the 4th line would involve double shifting a player, or they would try to have players who could play both forward and defense.
A number of the teams would dedicate the last roster spot and/or carry players that could play a number of forward positions and/or play as a defenseman. Some examples of players that played as forwards and as defensemen, some were traded.

Montreal had Bob Turner,Jean Guy Talbot, Jim, Roberts, Bryan Watson.later Rick Chartraw, Carol Vadnais, Pierre Bouchard,
Toronto had Ron Stewart, Tim Horton,
Detroit had Red Kelly.
Chicago Reg Fleming,Murray Balfour,
Boston Doug Mohns, Leo Boivin,
New York had Irv Spencer, Ron Harris,

Sure that others may expand the list.

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06-17-2013, 09:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
A number of the teams would dedicate the last roster spot and/or carry players that could play a number of forward positions and/or play as a defenseman. Some examples of players that played as forwards and as defensemen, some were traded.

Montreal had Bob Turner,Jean Guy Talbot, Jim, Roberts, Bryan Watson.later Rick Chartraw, Carol Vadnais, Pierre Bouchard,
Toronto had Ron Stewart, Tim Horton,
Detroit had Red Kelly.
Chicago Reg Fleming,Murray Balfour,
Boston Doug Mohns, Leo Boivin,
New York had Irv Spencer, Ron Harris,

Sure that others may expand the list.
I ran across an actual "lines used" setup for the early 60s Canadiens when researching something for the Yzerman/Beliveau thread. It had the ES lines with Richard centering the first line, Beliveau centering the second line, and Backstrom centering the third and fourth lines. Beliveau was listed on both the PP and on the PK, however; which would indicate he likely received the most ice time of any center.

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06-17-2013, 11:16 PM
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Canadiens1958
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Originally Posted by eva unit zero View Post
I ran across an actual "lines used" setup for the early 60s Canadiens when researching something for the Yzerman/Beliveau thread. It had the ES lines with Richard centering the first line, Beliveau centering the second line, and Backstrom centering the third and fourth lines. Beliveau was listed on both the PP and on the PK, however; which would indicate he likely received the most ice time of any center.
Then you should be able to submit a link to the the above bolded.

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