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The History of Hockey Relive great moments in hockey history and discuss how the game has changed over time.

Is hockey softer than it has ever been?

View Poll Results: Is hockey softer than it has ever been?
No, hockey is tougher now than any other time 9 15.25%
No, just more precautions nowadays 23 38.98%
Yes, the players and media are bigger wusses than ever before 10 16.95%
Yes, the game has changed for the worse 17 28.81%
Voters: 59. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
01-15-2012, 06:54 PM
  #101
Killion
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
I would agree with most of this and I think that today's hockey is not soft. There are more collisions and contact today than at any time that I have watched, which is the last 40 years which is all that I can really judge.

From all accounts hockey could be brutally violent at the turn of the Century but no one here ever saw them play so who is to tell if that was tougher.
I agree. I dont think todays hockey is "soft" by any stretch of the imagination. What we do have however, as Phil alluded to up-page, are a lot budding Thespians, Cheap Shot & Sucker Punch Artists. I blame the introduction of the Instigator Rule for much of it. "Back in the Day" you pulled that stuff you were dealt with swiftly. Mandating helmets, then cages, the RoboCop armor all contributed. Society has changed much as well. Disrespect, just being rude in general, self absorption... narcissism... not taking responsi.... but I digress.

And yes, bolded, Manslaughter Charges flying around like Chiclets. Players being "clubbed". To death. The Ottawa Silver 7 sharing more in common with the Black Hand than any teary eyed vision of Gentlemen Graduate Students from wealthy families playing for McGill on the lower campus "ice pad" in pristine white Cricket shorts & hand knitted sweaters & socks. As gentile' as an April shower. Baby ewes' bouncing through the pasture... My ass. You bring in these Saskatchewan farm boys & toughs like Clancy your goin to war. Your stick & your fists were weapons. "The Code" eventually crafted & created to stem the bloodshed, replacing the caskets with stretchers...


Last edited by Killion: 01-15-2012 at 07:01 PM. Reason: Typos;
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Old
01-15-2012, 06:56 PM
  #102
SidGenoMario
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Why is that? Do you like the idea that men in our world are turning into the guys from Jersey Shore? Sorry, no thanks. Unfortunately society can spill into sports as well. I cringe at the days when we can't say anymore "Oh well at least we have our sports."
Go ahead and explain why these Jersey shore guys, as laughable as they are, are any less manly than you.

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Old
01-15-2012, 07:15 PM
  #103
Hardyvan123
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Originally Posted by SidGenoMario View Post
Go ahead and explain why these Jersey shore guys, as laughable as they are, are any less manly than you.
Yes hopefully he can explain the situation and other irritating thoughts from the Jersey Shore. Mind you Dog Hunter and those Swamp Guys that just plain want to shoot everything don't seem very manly either but I digress.

Edit: No offense to guys that like hunting dogs or other guys that like to hang out with other guys in the swamps.

I was referring to the TV "reality" shows.

The manly reference that is brought up so often is hit and miss, players play to win the game sportsmanship is very subjective and personal.

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01-15-2012, 07:24 PM
  #104
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
How is that ridiculous?

Perhaps you misunderstood what I wrote or i didn't make it clear enough.

There are many more collisions at a higher speed and overall impact today than ever before and hockey was more brutal in the 1st 20-30 years of the 20th century to be sure but calling either one tougher is strictly an opinion as there is no toughness test.

I can count the number of hits but even then i won't go out and say that today is tougher, it really comes down to an opinion and soem people won't equate hitting and violent collisions as the same as stick swinging ect...

Even if we are going to do direct comparisons of games and violent incidents do we actually have all of the violent incidents documented from the past?
You completely missed my point. This is the HOH forum. All eras deserve to be considered wether you witnessed them or not and yes turn of the century hockey is very well documented.

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01-15-2012, 07:30 PM
  #105
Francis Vernal
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
The manly reference that is brought up so often is hit and miss, players play to win the game sportsmanship is very subjective and personal.
Great point. The talk about "manliness" reminds me of the old joke:

Two generals are on an airplane together and soon begin arguing over whose soldiers are braver. General #1 then calls over one of his men and orders him to jump out the window. The soldier salutes and calmly jumps out to his death. General #1 proudly says, "Do your men have guts like that?"

General #2 then calls over one of his men and orders him to jump out too. That man looks out the window and says, "With all due respect, ******* you, sir."

General #2 says, "You see? Now THAT takes guts."

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01-16-2012, 08:58 PM
  #106
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You've got to differentiate between physical contact and toughness. American Football is much faster and the players are bigger and the collisions more violent than rugby but are the players tougher than rugby players? Rugby players have a very similar code to hockey players, rugby players have brutal injuries, rugby players have next to no padding.

So maybe the NHL was slower, less physical and the players were smaller and less bulky, but then toughness is a mental attribute is it not? A guy who played in the 1920s NHL was almost certainly in no shape to even play top level junior or college hockey today, but then he had to worry about sticks, elbows, fists and skates coming his way in ways that nobody has seen in about 50 years. And still go out there and a do a job that was comparatively poorly paid. Maybe that is tougher?

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01-16-2012, 09:24 PM
  #107
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Originally Posted by TheMoreYouKnow View Post
So maybe the NHL was slower, less physical and the players were smaller and less bulky, but then toughness is a mental attribute is it not?
Of course. "Tough" in sports is a state of mind. Playing above your size. Fearlessness. Intestinal fortitude. Never showing your enemy/opponent that your hurt. Never quitting. Never giving up. Going through the wall. Doing whatever it takes to win...

legally, within the rules, fair play, sportsmanship. All that rot...

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01-17-2012, 08:02 AM
  #108
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Maybe the question should be, is it more entertaining? I started listening to the games on the radio in 1949. I saw the first televised NHL game in Western Canada in 1954. I was fortunate enough to be on the ice, however briefly, as a Linesman, with some of the greatest players in the World. I had season tickets when the game expanded to 12 teams. For me, the game in the 50's, 60's and 70's had more characters, although there were two goalies in the 80's, Billy Smith and Ron Hextall that got your attention. No helmets, so it was easier to identify the players both on and off the ice. The players are bigger and faster today. They have better training and diets. They don't have to find a job in the off season, they have more money. They stay in condition year round. They play on the same size ice surface as they have been for decades. Is the game softer, I don't think so. More teams, just not as many characters. When I watch a game, I want to be entertained and over all the years, I have been.

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01-17-2012, 08:50 AM
  #109
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Toughness vs Physicality

Quote:
Originally Posted by Killion View Post
Of course. "Tough" in sports is a state of mind. Playing above your size. Fearlessness. Intestinal fortitude. Never showing your enemy/opponent that your hurt. Never quitting. Never giving up. Going through the wall. Doing whatever it takes to win...

legally, within the rules, fair play, sportsmanship. All that rot...
Toughness is simply competing to the best of your ability using all the legal tools, physical and mental that a player has or is entitled to.

In the O6 era players were tested against each othe in team match-ups up to 14 times during the regular season with the possibility of another 7 match-ups during the playoffs. So the Canadiens could play the Red Wings up to 21 times with Howe going against Harvey and Plante or Beliveau going against Kelly and Sawchuk up to 21 times. Each would be an extensive season long test featuring the complete spectrum of physical, finesse and mental attributes. At times the net difference would be paper thin.

Today this does not happen. Elite match-ups rarely occur and the display of complete skill sets over a season in key match-ups is rarely seen.

What was known as toughness has been replaced by physicality. Do not need to watch a hockey game to understand that a collision between two 175 pounders is not as physical as the collision between two 225 pounders. Basic physics.

Point is are the two 225 pounders capable and willing to compete at a high physical, finesse and mental level over 21 games during the full course of an NHL season inc playoffs.


Last edited by Canadiens1958: 01-17-2012 at 08:51 AM. Reason: addition.
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Old
01-17-2012, 09:02 AM
  #110
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Entertainment

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbhhofr View Post
Maybe the question should be, is it more entertaining? I started listening to the games on the radio in 1949. I saw the first televised NHL game in Western Canada in 1954. I was fortunate enough to be on the ice, however briefly, as a Linesman, with some of the greatest players in the World. I had season tickets when the game expanded to 12 teams. For me, the game in the 50's, 60's and 70's had more characters, although there were two goalies in the 80's, Billy Smith and Ron Hextall that got your attention. No helmets, so it was easier to identify the players both on and off the ice. The players are bigger and faster today. They have better training and diets. They don't have to find a job in the off season, they have more money. They stay in condition year round. They play on the same size ice surface as they have been for decades. Is the game softer, I don't think so. More teams, just not as many characters. When I watch a game, I want to be entertained and over all the years, I have been.
Entertainment has to be instantaneous today. Very few fans are willing to wait a season to see teams evolve or key match-ups build to a fittin conclusion with the raising of the SC. A team loses a game and you have cries to fire coaches/GMS, trade players, etc, all supported by YouTubeimages from multiple angles.

Watching a game and being entertained. True whether it is the NHL or youth hockey from atom to junior. Last night I spent a few hours at a single letter Atom/Pee Wee tournament.Competitive and entertaining but you could spot the same mistakes that you see at the NHL level - bad body positioning, taking the wrong angles, inability to execute basic skills - backhand,not handling an excellent pass etc. In other words totally butchering scoring opportunities. You did not see such play at the NHL level years ago.

Yes, today's NHL is entertaing in a sad funny way.

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01-17-2012, 09:30 AM
  #111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
In the O6 era players were tested against each othe in team match-ups up to 14 times during the regular season with the possibility of another 7 match-ups during the playoffs. So the Canadiens could play the Red Wings up to 21 times with Howe going against Harvey and Plante or Beliveau going against Kelly and Sawchuk up to 21 times. Each would be an extensive season long test featuring the complete spectrum of physical, finesse and mental attributes. At times the net difference would be paper thin.

Today this does not happen. Elite match-ups rarely occur and the display of complete skill sets over a season in key match-ups is rarely seen.
There you go.

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Old
01-17-2012, 09:59 AM
  #112
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No, the game isnt softer today but it's run by softer people who wants to turn hockey into a casual american family sport and who constantly is trying to make the sport faster and more dangerous. It started with the offside-rule change in '86 and continued with removing red-line offside and introducing a lottery event at the end of tied games. Its skill that is slowely being taken away from our sport for speed and injuries.


Last edited by Bear of Bad News: 01-17-2012 at 03:52 PM. Reason: Flaming
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01-17-2012, 03:28 PM
  #113
Killion
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Originally Posted by mbhhofr View Post
Maybe the question should be, is it more entertaining? When I watch a game, I want to be entertained and over all the years, I have been.
Ditto on those observations & sentiments, however, as you yourself have inferred and like C58 below, I bemoan the loss of "individuality" (characters), the homogenization of the game, the lost skill sets, subtleties & real artistry of the earlier eras. Yes, Ive been "entertained" by games & players over the past 40 years, but not as consistently as I was say from about pre-76, pre-67'ish. Expansion & the WHA were "novel" but that ran thin for me after few seasons. What the game was becoming & what it is today doesnt "entertain" me enough to really give it much time, short of the Playoffs. Too many regular season games. One Hell of a lot of players without any personal awareness out there. Cant say Im impressed much but for the basically 10% of the elites in the league.

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Entertainment has to be instantaneous...Yes, today's NHL is entertaining in a sad funny way.
Yepp. Instant gratification. Attention spans limited to less than 3 seconds. Mind numbing stupidity exhibited by Coaches & Players nightly. There are simply too many teams & too many games played, on all levels, by this league. Yet here we are. Cant turn the clock back, but still....

I need a drink...

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