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

biggest changes you've seen in the game during your lifetime

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02-16-2008, 12:47 PM
  #1
Badger Bob
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biggest changes you've seen in the game during your lifetime

A few of mine:

1.) Goalies didn't used to kneel down/sprawl on the ice to make a save.

2.) Now there is less space, do to the more complex defensive schemes. Breakaways were much more common in the bygone era. Ask anybody who grew up watching Gil Perreault. This made the game more exciting, and artificial breakaways (aka shootouts) would have been unthinkable during that time.

3.) Bench-clearing brawls have been removed. Definitely a thing of the past, but it had a certain appeal.

4.) All players wear helmets - mandated, but still a change nevertheless. Odd that concussions were rampant until the headshots. Sorry to digress.

5.) Forwards didn't used to park in front of the net to redirect a laser from the point, especially on the PP. This is an improvement.

6.) NHL exapansion into "non-traditional" markets, but this has precedence. The league obviously had a team in Atlanta before, and the WHA made a concerted effort to expand the sport in regions that the NHL had no presense or presumably had room/demand for an additional team.

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02-16-2008, 01:00 PM
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Wayne Gretzky's clapper from the blue line going in...

These days the goalies could spin twice, do a backflip and then catch the puck

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02-16-2008, 01:17 PM
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Stephen
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With all the new arenas popping up and the commercialization of the game, I find that the look of the NHL is a lot more glossy and 'hi tech' than it used to be in the early 90s. Where did all the mullets, traditional jerseys, scuffed up brown pads, wooden sticks and ad less boards go?

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02-16-2008, 01:36 PM
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How much more athletic goalies have become compared to 20-30 years ago, it's like night and day.

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02-16-2008, 03:28 PM
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Badger Bob
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We have to add the influx of international players, which allowed the rapid expansion to take place in the league.

Another one is that players used to have off-season jobs or plan for another career after retirement.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
With all the new arenas popping up and the commercialization of the game, I find that the look of the NHL is a lot more glossy and 'hi tech' than it used to be in the early 90s. Where did all the mullets, traditional jerseys, scuffed up brown pads, wooden sticks and ad less boards go?
Good call. The loud music over the PA's and the flashing lights cater to those with short attention spans.

The All Star Game has become ridiculous too. Too much silliness got added in with the rock bands performing during player intros. The Young Stars game is the right idea, in theory. In actuality, it's holds worse entertainment value than Labatt pond hockey.

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02-16-2008, 03:50 PM
  #6
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The philosophical change that has led to more defensive hockey after the 1980s. Watching hockey then and watching hockey now, it's amazing how well teams take away space now.

Also, I think the regular seasons are now played with greater intensity. With parity (and the rise of "systems"), it's become much more difficult for teams to seperate themselves from the pack and coast a bit and make it into the playoffs. Now it's a dogfight from the first game to the last. I think this also has to have a hand in the (apparent) rise of injuries throughout the league. More games are played at a higher intensity than in the past and you see it with the injury lists.

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Old
02-16-2008, 05:45 PM
  #7
Dark Shadows
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When I was watching hockey as a kid, Defensemen just didn't join the rush.

Bobby Orr single handedly turned hockey into a high scoring affair

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02-16-2008, 06:52 PM
  #8
Stephen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Badger Bob View Post
We have to add the influx of international players, which allowed the rapid expansion to take place in the league.

Another one is that players used to have off-season jobs or plan for another career after retirement.




Good call. The loud music over the PA's and the flashing lights cater to those with short attention spans.

The All Star Game has become ridiculous too. Too much silliness got added in with the rock bands performing during player intros. The Young Stars game is the right idea, in theory. In actuality, it's holds worse entertainment value than Labatt pond hockey.
Oh yeah, I miss how they'd use to play hoser rock and traditional organ music, and now they just play pop songs. It sucks. I can't help but think how much more enjoyable when they'd play that organ music at the Chicago Stadium even on TV, or when they had "When the Saints Go Marching In" in NHL 94 when you played games in St. Louis.

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02-17-2008, 08:17 AM
  #9
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When I started watching hockey in the early 1960s, there were one or two Americans in the league and everyone else was Canadian. So for me it's the influx of American and European talent.

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02-17-2008, 09:32 AM
  #10
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Goaltending equipment expanding to ridiculous proportions. The game has changed significantly for the worse because the equipment is making saves rather than a goaltender's talent.

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02-17-2008, 09:35 AM
  #11
vivianmb
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the one thing ( and there are many) that bugs me now...
the league has become generic.
teams play the same, and now thanks to these leaguewide jerseys they all look the same too.
the personality is gone .

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02-17-2008, 11:03 AM
  #12
Stephen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vivianmb View Post
the one thing ( and there are many) that bugs me now...
the league has become generic.
teams play the same, and now thanks to these leaguewide jerseys they all look the same too.
the personality is gone .
Definitely, loss of team identity and every team has the same colour scheme.

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02-17-2008, 02:11 PM
  #13
Big Phil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by droller View Post
Wayne Gretzky's clapper from the blue line going in...

These days the goalies could spin twice, do a backflip and then catch the puck
Put an average goalie of today back in the '80s equipment and they fare no better. Goalies have gotten a bit better yes, but the main change is that they've gotten bigger. That can make people misinterpret how good a goalie is. Take a look at Tim Thomas last night giving up the gaome winning goal to Tucker. Didnt he look awful? Yes some goalies even today are sheltered because of the michelin man equipment. But plays like that last night remind you of the ones who are really good and the ones who are pretenders

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02-17-2008, 02:21 PM
  #14
jiggs 10
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1.) Goalie gear...WAAAY too big!
2.) Lack of team identities. Too much moving around of players.
3.) Coaching philosophies...way too much "defense first" coaching going on.
4.) Lack of organ music, over-use of crappy pop songs on PA.
5.) Horrid looking equipment (Gray skates? Spaceman helmets? Ugly jerseys?)
6.) Lots of other things...

On the other hand, Bobby Orr made it OK for players with talent to use it and try to score, regardless of position. This has opened the game up enormously. And Wayne Gretzky showed that you don't have to be 6'5" or 245 lbs. to excel in hockey like some people in the 1980's thought (cough cough, Flames!).

I'd love to see the NHL go "retro" and get rid of the Jumbotrons, Reebok jerseys, shrink the goalie equipment back down to 1982 levels, and mullets make a comeback. THEN we'd see hockey the way it was meant to be!

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Old
02-18-2008, 05:37 PM
  #15
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I'm going to give away my age here, but I got to see the first goalie to ever wear a face-mask; of course that would be Jacques Plante who was one of the most influential goaltenders in NHL history. One of his early innovations was moving out of the crease to handle the puck behind the net for his defensemen on shoot-ins, something that was unheard of at one time.

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02-18-2008, 06:18 PM
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Houndpower View Post
I'm going to give away my age here, but I got to see the first goalie to ever wear a face-mask; of course that would be Jacques Plante who was one of the most influential goaltenders in NHL history. One of his early innovations was moving out of the crease to handle the puck behind the net for his defensemen on shoot-ins, something that was unheard of at one time.
JP was the first to regularly wear a mask but Clint Benedict was the first to wear a mask in an NHL game.

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02-18-2008, 06:58 PM
  #17
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Teemu Selanne has mentioned it before...when he came in the league and you skated down the wing, you could see some net to shoot at, eventually though, the size of the goalie equipment virtually eliminated guys taking that shot. Growing up watching Bobby Hull, Frank Mahovlich, Guy Lafleur, etc. I can't imagine missing the entertainment value they brought with the 'canonating' shots.

Gary Bettman mentioned at the All Star game, they will be looking at shaving down the goalie equipment some more. I would like to see them also mandate the goalers to wear other than white pads. Can't believe they allow them to camouflage the net.

Fighting was much more prevalent when I started following the game. The tried to restrict it as much as possible in attempt to get a national US tv deal but they would probably get more viewers if we went back to the old donny brooks. I think the message is being filtered down, the officials are really letting them go (anyone else see the Nucks Oilers game the other night?).

The conditioning since the 1972 Summit Series has improved dramatically.

Coaching went from one guy to several guys.

Video.

Helmets, masks, collapsable net pegs, equipment in general.

Best rule changes for me was removing the center line (don't know why it was ever added) & the third man in rule virtually eliminated players ganging up on another.

Worst changes were removing the division names and changing the playoff format which reduced the rivalries, in my opinion.

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02-18-2008, 08:10 PM
  #18
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JP was the first to regularly wear a mask but Clint Benedict was the first to wear a mask in an NHL game.
I wasn't aware of that...thanks.

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02-18-2008, 08:14 PM
  #19
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Goalies and goalie equipment. A little known fact is that during the Heritage outdoor game in Edmonton Grant Fuhr needed a catching mit and he bought a childs size because the regular ones were too big for what he could use.

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02-18-2008, 09:59 PM
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Lost Intensity. Games are much more controlled,contrived, mechanical and less personal. A lot of the passion has been lost but every now and then an old fashioned barn burner takes place ie. Van-Edm Sat night.

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02-18-2008, 10:04 PM
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Lost Intensity. Games are much more controlled,contrived, mechanical and less personal. A lot of the passion has been lost but every now and then an old fashioned barn burner takes place ie. Van-Edm Sat night.
Montreal/Boston is always heated.

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02-18-2008, 10:15 PM
  #22
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The invention of the wheel. I mean, whoah. Oh yeah, and fire. Amazing!

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02-18-2008, 10:41 PM
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arrbez
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CMacdonald View Post
Goalies and goalie equipment. A little known fact is that during the Heritage outdoor game in Edmonton Grant Fuhr needed a catching mit and he bought a childs size because the regular ones were too big for what he could use.
Idunno...have the exact same glove Fuhr used at the end of his career, and it's the clunkiest thing ever. I hate it, but you take what you can get when you're poor and left handed.



she's a monster


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02-19-2008, 02:36 AM
  #24
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Teams as a whole can skate much better now then in the past years.

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02-19-2008, 03:28 AM
  #25
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the size of goalies especially with equipment on



and reduction in quality shots as a result of more 'defensively responsible' skaters playing in front of them

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