CBA A Good Thing????

Has the CBA disagreement this season actually started the NHL’s metamorphosis into the league we all want and hope for?Because of the “looming” strike and possible year off, the resurgence of young, gifted offensive players that lack the years of AHL experience honing their defensive skills has begun. What was the last year that you can remember so many young, up and coming superstars, dominate the league? True that there is always a few young players that make impressions every year, but to the extent that it is happening this year?

The fear of no season, and the tightening of the purse strings has actually opened the game up offensively. Now I agree that more should probably be done, like having capable refs, but I believe that the CBA fiasco has actually sent the NHL game into a new era where defense is slowly losing its grip on the game.

When the top two goal scorers in the game are young kids (Nash and Kovalchuk) scoring BIG exciting goals, most of them doing so while undressing veteran D-men and adding much needed flare to the game, than I say who cares that they are both minus players? I don’t, in fact I think too much emphasis is put on the +/- stat during the regular season anyways. WE NEED FLARE.

Maybe the NHL should be in a state of disarray every year. Then we would have 7 of the top 20 point getters in the league 25 years old or younger, 4 of the top 10 goal scorers young kids, and an abundance of young, solid goaltenders not making 8 million a year. Where would Boston be without Ratcroft? Lynching Potvin in the streets by now. And just how much deeper would the financial hole in Pittsburg be without Fleury filling some seats? Young saviors in net around the league are plenty this season. Dipietro, Vokoun, Kiprusoff, Nurminen, and fine back-ups like Tellquvist, Huet, and Prusek.

And not all young kids are scoring or making saves this year, but are making impacts on their teams. Nothing proves this more than looking at the tight Calder race so far this year. Remember names like King, Hunter, Ryder, Bergeron, Staal, Stajan, and Pitkanen. All young impact players that are here to stay.

So in closing I welcome the financial fears of the CBA agreement. It has not only opened the door for our young stars of the future, it has begun a change in the way they play the game and more importantly the way we expect it to be played.