The fact that teams can start phasing out "enforcers" who's sole job was to beat the s*** out of players like Wisniewski (sp?). Now those type of players are being punished on an entirely new level and costing them their careers. If Wiz comes back and pulls this same stunt again, his next suspension could be a year off without pay + fines... perhaps bankrupting said player. Shanahan is making a statement.
Players can still fight without dressing 'enforcers'. More skilled players will play instead of unskilled goons. That's progress and the direction the new NHL is (and should) go. Who wants to see star players careers end short by retards who can't play hockey or by dirty players?
The fact is, GMs won't need to blow money and roster spots on Downie type players anymore because Shanahan is taking out the Ruutu's and Cooke type players antics out of the game. If these players cost their teams (Wiz sitting in the press box instead of playing hockey is hurting his team) GMs are going to avoid signing those type of players in the future because they are more of a liability than their worth.
This is the direction the new NHL is going and it's brilliant on Shanahan's part to start enforcing this. Hockey just got better!
I highly doubt it.
Wisniewski is a guy that can score a lot of points from the blueline. He's overpaid, but guys like him will always have a place in the game because he's a good player. Downie is an ******* and a dirty player, but he spent time on Tampa's top 2 lines last season, and put up good numbers. Cooke is a well liked guy in the Pens lockerroom. These players will always be around whether they get suspended a lot or not, because they are important to the team when in the lineup.
As for pure enforcers, they'll be around as long as fighting is allowed in hockey and as long as they're paid cheaply. I want the NHL to be more physical than their European hockey counterparts. That's one of the things that makes me love hockey. I like seeing pure goons fight. What I don't like is people like Ruutu, Cooke, Tootoo, etc. but those players won't ever disappear as long as they can contribute something else to their team. Now a guy like Shelley, I don't mind seeing get punished, because he's a pure goon but he's also a dirty player who has no business being out there.
What I really want to see is an elimination of both the instigator rule and the suspension for instigating at the end of games. Then maybe Wisniewski would have challenged Clutterbuck and not tried to take his head off. I think the instigator has resulted in many injuries that could have possibly been avoided. Of course you can still get injured in a fight, but when a guy is blindsided to the head, he has no chance of defending himself.
I don't really agree with that conclusion either. Fights will not be eliminated by this but hopefully some of the more reckless behavior will.
The comment I responded to was an idiotic thing to say.
There were a lot fewer cheapshots 20 or 30 years ago then there are now, despite the fact there were tons more enforcers and fights in those days. Do people not understand that fact?
And a guy like Wisniewski isn't even an enforcer, so I don't see how this will deter players like him from playing in the NHL. Guy is going to be Columbus's top D-man this season. It was just a stupid comment. What Wisniewki should have done is fight Clutterbuck, instead of blindside him. That's what fighting is for, if you feel your teammate needs to be defended. Instead, he blindsided the guy.
Guys like Cooke, Ruutu and Kaleta are also not going to be eliminated from the game. Those guys can actually take a regular shift, but are dangerous dirty players. They're the ones who have caused the most concussions and injuries over the years. Not the pure goons.
Ah, you're right. I did leave Hull off. That does push Modano out of the top five.
And btw, Frank Brimsek was one of the top two goaltenders in the NHL in the first eight of his ten seasons, missing two years during that span because of Coast Guard service. Modano is not even CLOSE to that.
Modano scored more points than LaFontaine, but LaFontaine's career ended early due to concussions. LaFontaine was considered among the top few centers in the league for a long time when Gretzky, Lemieux, Yzerman, and Messier were all in their primes. Modano didn't have competition nearly that stiff, and still spent less time near the top. His peak was also not as high. The only thing Modano might have had on LaFontaine is defensive play. And even that only came in a short five or six year span of Modano's career in the late 1990s and early 2000s; he was terrible defensively early on and for the last few years of his career.
Howe played at the same level through the 80s as Ray Bourque and Paul Coffey, both generally considered top-ten all-time defensemen and both in their prime.
Chelios won multiple Norrises and contended for many others, and was considered one of the league's top defensemen for fifteen years.
Hull actually has more 17 points in 230 fewer games, but is not American-born so Modano is still technically the leader in that category. Hull also has a Hart trophy and a Pearson award, while Modano has a Calder trophy.
So depending on whether you include Hull, Modano is either the fifth or sixth greatest American hockey player.
Longevity is a part of the game. LaFontaine did have his career end early, while Modano played on and continued to excel. That gives Modano a notch over LaFontaine in my book, whether it's partially luck related or not. Also, you have to remember that LaFontaine padded his stats somewhat from playing in the 80's, where guys scored more often. Modano in his prime in the 80's would have put up similar numbers.
And Modano did have stiff competition at his position. Sure, he didn't have Gretzky or Lemieux, but he had Sakic, Fedorov, Lindros, Yzerman, Forsberg, Sundin, etc. Those are some pretty damn good centers and will all likely be in the HOF someday.
You say defensive play is all he had over LaFontaine? How about skating? Modano could skate as well as any player in hockey history. He also had a cannon for a wrist shot, slap shot, one-timer and one of the best backhands in the game ever. Also, he was the face of a franchise for several decades and was usually their most feared offensive player.
He wasn't better than Chris Chelios. He wasn't better than Mark Howe. He wasn't better than Frank Brimsek. He wasn't better than Pat LaFontaine. I'd probably put him fifth though, just ahead of Beezer and Barrasso. Ryan Miller is quickly moving up that list though.
His career accomplishments exceed anyone besides Chelios, imo.
His talent level is ahead of all those players for that matter.
Second greatest American hockey player of all time.
And whether you people like it or not, he should have retired last season and played his whole career with one franchise. He wasn't sure that he wanted to come back, and the indecision should have been enough for him to say no.