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Dress More Players

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

The NHL allows no substitutions for injured players, so the coach who loses a defenseman or two, must fly the plane with his back line manpower seriously diminished. Manpower among the forwards, typically 12 in number to start the night, typically isn’t as impaired when one or two forwards go down. Double shifting or scaling back to a three-line attack can fill the void.

Past practices, finances and sheer bench size aside, the NHL would do well to borrow from the European leagues. Other than Finland, all the professional Euro leagues dress 20 skaters, with coaches typically electing to go with 13 forwards and seven defenseman. By and large, unless there is need to fill in for an injury, each extra sees limited playing time.

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Hank1974's avatar

No. 1000x no.
If anything, the NHL should make it less.
I’d love to see a 15-skater bench.
The league needs to find a way to get the best players more ice time, not less.
15 skaters, but you’re allowed 20 on the game roster.
The coach can sub any skater with the 5 sitting. That should help with injury concerns.
Can you imagine what a conservative dinosaur like Babcock would do with 20 skaters??

Posted by Hank1974 on 07/20/19 at 07:27 PM ET

Royal Grand Exalted PooBah's avatar

I disagree with more ice time for the top skaters. It will just tire them out so they don’t play as fast and will more likely get hurt if they don’t have the strengh left to defend themselves from the check on the boards.

Posted by Royal Grand Exalted PooBah from the basement of the Alamo on 07/21/19 at 11:43 AM ET


How about changing the way lines are made up. 3 forwards and 2 Dmen has been around for….....a very long time. 4 forwards and 1 dman might speed the game up while 2 forwards and 3 Dmen might slow the game way down. Has any team every experimented with a new layout of forwards?

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 07/21/19 at 02:40 PM ET


Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 07/21/19 at 03:40 PM ET

The trap was basically using a nominal forward as a 3rd defenseman, and I feel like some teams play kind of a 2-1-2 with the center as a “midfielder”

Posted by EthrDemon on 07/21/19 at 05:42 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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