Expansion the reason for clutch & grab/lower scoring?

I’ve recently noticed that perhaps the reason behind hockey moving towards clutch and grab, and lower scoring is deep rooted in expansion and the lack of talent available to fill up 30 teams full of 22-23 man rosters. Between 1998 and 2000 The NHL welcomed Nashville, Atlanta, Columbus and Minnesota into the league. The 99-00 season (when the league went to 30 teams) saw the first Art Ross trophy winner with less than 100 points since Stan Makita did it with 87 points in 1968…

This has since become a bit of a trend with Iginla and St.Louis winning their trophies with 96 and 94 points respectively.

The 1992-93 season had 21, yes… 21 – 100+ point scorers… and in less than a decade than number sank down to 0.

So it seems that the NHL was not ready for this kind of expansion just 5 years ago. If the league stuck at 26 teams for the last 5 years its pretty likely that we would have had at least a single 100 point scorer each season… 4 teams account for almost 100 new players in only two seasons… and as a result the talent suffers (suffered) and it seems the game changed as a result of this.

After 10 games the league has 11 players on pace to break the 100 point mark including a defenceman (McCabe) and a rookie (Crosby) and 15 players on pace to crack 50 goals. The NHL desperately needs this kind of action and the combination of the youthful speedy talent and the new rules to exploit this talent is the reasoning behind the numbers we should be used to seeing for the last 10 years or so.

It will be nice to see the NHL have enough 100 point scorers to make a ‘club’ out of it once again.

Your thoughts?

55 Responses to Expansion the reason for clutch & grab/lower scoring?

  1. Marky2Fresh says:

    Last time I checked Ontario had 11 million people. It only takes 15,000 a night.

  2. Flyer_Dman says:

    Shootouts are not dumb.

    First of all, you show me a man that says they are not exciting to watch and I’ll show you a man that is a liar. At the very least, the shootout will make for more highlights and more attention around the country.

    Secondly, losing a shootout and a tie are the exact same thing. There is no harm in losing one, just missed opportunity. So what is the big deal? The standings will be shuffled somewhat b/c of shootout wins, and maybe even a team might not make the playoffs because of losing too many shootouts. But that only means there is another team that has clutch players that are good under pressure when the team needs them. So they should be in the playoffs anyway.

    Either way, they don’t make that much of a difference and they are fun as hell to watch.

  3. Flyer_Dman says:

    Why take out Nashville? They have sold out every night and probably have a better team than whoever you are a fan of.

  4. Flyer_Dman says:

    Great post. Great freaking post. Well done.

  5. Flyer_Dman says:

    There is a reason those teams left Canada. The US has a much larger economy and has much more potential. If and when hockey comes around in the south the payoffs will be huge. In some cities they already have.

    Those cities are WAY to small to be able to compete with the economies of cities like Phoenix, Atlanta, Raleigh/Chareston (Carolina), and Miami (Florida).

    Why didn’t you mention all of the southern cities such as LA, Dallas or San Jose? Because those teams are thriving in enormous cities, these teams will follow in due time if they have not already.

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