Tiger burning over new rules

Dave “Tiger” Williams tore a strip out of the NHL when asked what he thought of the new rules.

Sportsnet.ca — It’s fitting a player who made a career out of fighting pulled no punches when asked what he thought of the new NHL rules. “I think they stink. I totally disagree with them, 100 per cent,” said Dave Tiger Williams Sunday in Toronto.
Williams, a former Toronto Maple Leaf and Vancouver Canuck, amassed 3966 in his NHL career to go along with 513 points in 962 career games. In town for the Hockey Hall of Fame inductions, Williams had no problem laying blame for why the quality of hockey has degraded so sharply.

“The problem was some idiot from New York expanded the league too quick,” said Williams. “Too many teams. And we couldn’t put enough quality players on all thoses teams. So the coaches had to do what they had to do [to win].”

But Williams didn’t stop there, as he placed blame on the media as well for not reporting on the new rules and “buying” into the rhetoric distributed by the league.

“Go ahead, buy into it. But you got your head up your ass.”

Despite Williams protestations, other ex-NHLers attending the Hall of Fame ceremonies were much more welcoming of the new rules, saying changes were needed to make the game more entertaining.

“I love the game the way it is,” said Hall of Fame player Lanny McDonald. “We need to let the stars shine and that’s exactly what’s happening out there right now.”

Former Oiler great and offensive star Glenn Anderson agreed, saying the game is now more reminiscent of the uptempo, offensive games the Oilers played in the 80s.

Despite the glowing comments from some of the ex-greats, Williams believes there are far more ex-players who hate the new rules as opposed to those who support it.

And for those who do? Well Tiger has an answer for that as well.

“They either want to get a job in the NHL or are aspiring to may be get involved in the game. Or they’re in the Hall and there’s a line they have to keep.”

23 Responses to Tiger burning over new rules

  1. dre2k5 says:

    I have a lot of respect for Williams and his opinion is certainly a valid one, but I kind of disagree. He claims that the problem stems from some idiot in NY expanding the league too fast, and as far as that he is probably right. But then he goes on to say that because there was a lack of talent to fill all the rosters in the NHL coaches did what they had to do and thats what brought us to where we are. Again, I think he is right for the most part. Where I diverge with him is in how to fix it. If you have 30 teams and coaches are looking for the equalizer, and everyone agrees the game is in need of some help, the league has to do something. Maybe not what it did, but changes have to come. The NHL of the 70s williams played in is not coming back, neither through a different set of rule tweaks, nor by leaving the previous rules intact. Time does not stand still. Williams may be correct in his belief that hockey 30 years ago was better than it is today, but I completely disagree that hockey 3 years ago was better than today.

  2. wingerxxx says:

    I have a lot of respect for Williams as well, but I totally disagree with him. He is simply not taking the big picture into account. This ain’t the same league that he once played in. But it’s his opinion and he’s entitled to it.

  3. thatleafsguy says:

    Simple and plain Mr. Williams is right.

  4. 19AVSFANFoLIFE19 says:

    plain and simple fighting is needed in hockey not as much as last season but we need more than 1 fight every 10 games. there was an article here about fights not that long ago saying it was the game. it is not the game of hockey it is needed in the game of hockey though and i think everyone can agree on that.

  5. nanuuq says:

    Methinks Mr. Williams has had his head punched one two many times on this one.

  6. rojoke says:

    He can believe whatever he wants. He can say whatever he wants. It don’t change the fact that goals are up over last season, the quality of play in the games I have watched is dramatically better than the last 5 or 10 years. And as the slugs of seasons past get replaced by guys who can actually play, the quality of the games will get even better. It’s also why Tiger ain’t in hockey today.

  7. habs79 says:

    I respect Tiger Williams for what he did in the past. He was a player that left it out on the ice every night.

    His oppinion does not surprise me, nor does Mcdonald’s or Anderson’s opinion. It’s always the same, skilled guys seem to love the new rules, tough guys don’t.

    As for there not being enough talent to spread around, give the salary cap a few years to make sure the talent actually gets spread around, and then we will see if the is enough talent. Lack of talent was never the problem, it was the same teams buying it all up.

  8. Tweek says:

    I respect the older players but I find too many are living in the past of the “olden” or “golden” years, to be honest im just sick of hearing from the old guard in general, I respect them and all but most of them have nothing to do with the game anymore so why do we go looking for their opinions?

  9. lukeleim says:

    I just read an article on Team Canada on players that may not make the team yet are having a great year.. I thought it would be interesting if i put what i think gretzky’s team will look like along with what is left and make a team Canada #2 roster.

    Gretzky’s probable line up


    Ryan Smyth LW

    Dany Heatley RW

    Joe Thornton C

    Mario Lemieux C

    Jarome Iginla RW

    Vincent Lecavalier C

    Simon Gagne LW

    Brad Richards C

    Brenden Morrow LW

    Patrick Marleau C

    Joe Sakic C

    Shane Doan RW

    Rick Nash LW

    Steve Yzerman C


    Chris Pronger

    Scott Niedermayer

    Rob Blake

    Ed Jovanovski

    Wade Redden

    Bryan McCabe

    Adam Foote

    Robyn Regehr


    Martin Brodeur

    Roberto Luongo

    Jose Theodore


    Alex Tanguay – Jason Spezza – Jeff O’Neill

    Paul Kariya – Eric Staal – Eric Lindros

    Brendan Shanahan – Sidney Crosby – Martin St. Louis

    Ray Whitney – Daniel Briere – Steve Sullivan

    Rob Niedermayer – Glen Murray

    Eric Brewer

    Jay Bouwmeester

    Dion Phaneuf

    Scott Hannan

    Eric Desjardins

    Dan Boyle

    Brad Stuart

    Marty Turco

    J Giguere

    Curtis Joseph

    sure team #2 doesn’t have the experience team #1 does, but I’m sure they’d put up well heck of a fight in the tournament!

  10. 24_cups_and_counting says:

    Maybe if he rode his stick around the ice like he was horseback riding again, Mr. Bettman would take him more seriously.

  11. 19AVSFANFoLIFE19 says:

    eric staal and jason spezza are playing there way onto team canada. if one of them dont make it it would be a shock to me. look at what staal can do with nonamers behind him.

  12. lukeleim says:

    actually gretzky made it very clear that these two players are unlikely going to make the team, go to sportsnet.ca

  13. habswinthecup-again says:

    Sportsnet.ca? Who did this article Nik Kiipreos?

  14. SensfanVone says:

    I think Spezza and Staal should make team Canada!

  15. gohabs73 says:

    “skilled guys seem to love the new rules, tough guys don’t”

    I’d say: “everyone seems to love the new rules; leafs players, staff and fans don’t” 🙂

  16. Flyer_Dman says:

    Totally disagree with this guy. I know I’m spitting out the same thing you read everywhere, but scoring is up, attendence is up, and ratings are up. These are all great things for the game, better than they were two years ago, yet he is COMPLAINING?

    And if you try and tell me the game is less exciting you are talking total bull and you know it.

    Tiger can say whatever the hell he wants, but he is wrong to say that expansion was the only reason why the game slowed down. I could counter that easily by saying that the diluted talent pool should have made it easier for super lines like Naslund-Morrison-Bertuzzi, Tanguay-Forsberg-Hejduk, and Thornton-Murray-Knuble to run up the score on less talented players…but that was not the case what-so-ever.

  17. Freeze says:

    Steve Yzerman really doesn’t deserve to be on that team. Yzerman would probably be the first to admit it too. He’s a tremendous leader – the best – but his skills have slipped, the game is speeding by him, and injuries have hurt him. Shanny deserves to be there, though. This is his year.

  18. 2buxaslice says:

    I just don’t understand why they still have the overtime loss point. Why do we reward teams for losing later than other teams. It was originally put in place to stop teams from playing for ties, now that there are no ties they no longer need the rule. The only thing this rule does is make teams who are tied in the third not take risks so that they can get into overtime and get a free point. The NHL should change to the games ahead games behind system that baseball uses since the only points you need to keep track of are wins and loses.

  19. lordstanleyiscominghome says:

    I completely agree with Tiger to a point. They did expand way too quickly without much thought and that forced teams to change their style of play to suffocate offense.

    This forced coaches in the lower ranks to change their teaching and instead of having your Bob Gainey, Doug Gilmore, Peter Zezel, Barry Pederson, Esa Tikkanen, etc, type defensive players with offensive skill you now taught certain players to just concentrate on defense/clutch style of play and in doing so limiting their potential.

    I still agree that change was required and like most of the rule changes but their’s been way too many divers and I feel they deserve an extra 2 mins (meaning 4) as they hurt the game.

    Shootout isn’t bad imo.. although its gotta go 5 skaters.

    Defenseman should be allowed to move guys in front the net.. maybe make an nba type rule in the paint kinda thing where players can tussle for position.

    Anyone else agree?

  20. bammer91 says:

    why is brenden morrow there?

  21. 19AVSFANFoLIFE19 says:

    then gretzky should be slapped cause #1 jason spezza is the player everyone thought he would be. #2 eric staal is turning into something unbelieveable.

  22. mundus80 says:

    i think the new game is better then the last 5-8 years of hokey. brfore that i dont think so. i think there are way to many teams. i think maybe 20-25 at the most should be around. i think the talent will go down, once the most a player can make will go down next year. more players going over seas, is what i sees. i also think the no red line is crap! that was not needed. really one of the olny changes that was needed was the refs to do there job and make calls. the goalies pads getting smaller and all other rules that deal with the goalies, was also good . phi and bos game last night was so much fun to watch, if your down in the third your not out. you would not have seen phi come back two years ago. it would have been over.

  23. lukeleim says:

    brenden morrow was picked to play for the 2004 world cup and this year he has a point per game so im just assuming he’ll be picked again.

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