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October 09, 2000
When experts convened to discuss the state of the NHL, the ideas ranged from a one-game Stanley Cup final to junking the red line to disarming the players
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October 09, 2000

Check It Out

When experts convened to discuss the state of the NHL, the ideas ranged from a one-game Stanley Cup final to junking the red line to disarming the players

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SI: How do you change the prevailing mind set that's in favor of defensive hockey?

SHANAHAN: When I came into the league, the games were 7-5, 6-5 and everybody asked, "What ever happened to the days of the Original Six, the 2-1 game?" Now everyone says, "What about the good old days of 7-5?" Trends happen. It's cyclical. Hockey is fine the way it is.

SATHER: We've regulated some things and changed to two referees. There's more flow to the game now. You can't coach the way guys coached five years ago. You just can't hook and hold and interfere as much.

DAVIDSON: I don't care if a game is 1-0 or 6-5 as long as it's intense. My question would be this: The schedule is 82 games plus the preseason; is that conducive to playing good, passionate hockey? If you're playing four games in five nights in four cities, can you guarantee good, intense hockey?

SI: When John played in the Cup finals in 1979, he wore the same pads goaltenders had worn for decades. Now all the net-minders look like the Michelin Man.

WILSON: The pads were 10 inches [in width] in the 1970s and the '80s, and then they began sneaking up to 12. The pads should go back to 10. That wouldn't hurt the goaltenders. When's the last time you saw a goalie really hurt because of a shot?

SATHER: Goaltenders have no fear anymore. You can't run them, you can't touch them.

WILSON: I'm so glad they fixed the crease rule. That was retarded. [Beginning in 1999-2000, goals weren't waved off because an offensive player was in the crease, as long as that player didn't interfere with the goalie.]

SHANAHAN: If you were near your own net, you'd try to bump a guy [from the other team] into the crease without looking like you dragged him in. Bumping him was great. While he was standing in there, you would block his way out. It's like, go ahead, shoot. Score. We could use the face-off.

SI: The best player in the world is the Pittsburgh Penguins' Jaromir Jagr, a Czech. Can a European draw new fans to the game in North America?

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