In Red Wings Land
Well... I’m actually surprised. I know the rule enforcement hasn’t been a big hit with a lot of players (or fans for that matter), but for Z to come out saying that they’re making a mockery of the game is not what I’d expected. He even goes so far as to say that cheating at the face-off is just supposed to be part of it. Forgive me, Hank, but if that’s true... then why isn’t it just part of the rule?
If you can’t tell, I don’t like Zetterberg’s response very much. Really, Z, you guys have adapted to how many other rule changes over the years but putting your toe 2 inches back is mocking the game? Larkin is quoted on the issue, too, over several lines in the article - but this quote of his stuck out to me:
"It does slow the game down but it's part of the game now so we got to make sure we're on top of it and we can't have those penalties in the regular season,"
That, my friends, is a mature answer. Rules change all the time both in life and in people’s jobs. You adapt, you get on top of it, and you don’t let it be a problem. I said earlier in the week that enforcement of this rule is probably the wrong hill for the NHL to plant their flag on, but I think that the same goes for players’ complaints as well.
Around The League
What happens when the game starts seriously moving towards a younger player model? You end up with 60 vets on PTOs during preseason play instead of the usual 15-ish.
That’s the case this season, as detailed by Whyno. He asserts that, with players developing quicker and being ready sooner for the rigors of a full NHL season (although you’d never guess that from how the Wings develop prospects), youngsters on ELCs and bridge deals are squeezing a certain quality of veteran player out of a guaranteed roster spot.
But, really...couldn’t it be that some of these guys just aren’t that good at a time when we are seeing a surge in young hockey talent? Not every player is Jaromir Jagr. Not everyone is built to produce through age 40, 36, or even 32. Or, in the case of Alex Chiasson (one of the focal points of the article), maybe some players are just busts?