Just for those of you who haven't grasped it yet, the headline (like many headlines) was used to draw people into the article and get reactions.
Thank you, god some people are so thick.
EHC73:And yourr ight Brodeur is certainly a superstar, you could also add Stevens, or Elais in the latter 2. But They to be were a team that won by committee and not so much on the backs of a star or three.
You ever consider that the scoring going down doesn't have anything to do with the talent pool dilution? How about the improvements in team defense and goaltending? How about coachs trying to win (so they keep their jobs) by instituting defense first strategies? I think you really would need to do a hell of a lot more research than just blame the decrease in scoring on talent dilution.
I agree with you. Another thing to also consider, but doesn't seem to get talked about much is the raising of the average age of players in the league. There are many more experienced veterans around now in the NHL, than when Gretzky entered the league. In 1981, for example, the average age was 25.1 years old, while in 2002 it was 28.7. Quite an increase. I ran correlation coefficients from expansion through to today, testing to see if there is a link between the average age of players and the level of goals per game. The correlation turned out to be -.89, which is *very* high, suggesting a very strong relationship between the two. Scoring seems to go down as average player age increases.
I've often wondered about the "watered down talent pool" theory, because on its face it seems to have some validity. After all, it seems to make sense that if you add 3 more teams, then 60 guys that didn't have NHL jobs now have them. But could the league actually supoprt those jobs? Does the nation's population mean that the chances are higher that strong players could be produced? I decided to look into, using only Canada as a reference. We know that the popularity of hockey has always been very high in Canada, and that the number of registered players is extremely high. Today, there are over 530,000 players in Canada. In the USA, there are 400,000, and that's with a nation 10 with a population times higher.
Breaking down the numbers of Canadian NHL players to the population of Canada in particular years, we can see the number of citizens to NHL players:
2003 - 78,607 to 1
1993 - 72,878 to 1
1987 - 64,593 to 1
1982 - 57,266 to 1
In other words, in 2003, for each NHL player from Canada, there are 21,341 more non-nhl playing citizens than there were in 1982. I would think that if the pool of the country that sends the largest number of players to the NHL was being dilluted, we'd see the ratio of non-NHL playing citizens to NHL players decrease, instead of rise. There are, of course, limitations: this doesn't also take into account the number of registered players in Canada. I'm sorry, I just don't have those figures.