Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 08/26/05 at 06:12 PM ET
Playing under a salary cap for the first time and with the promise of an obstruction crackdown and a more wide-open style of play, many managers have abandoned the old template for team-building. Gone is the so-called "ghost roster" that included at least one forward line devoted to pluggers, muckers and pure fighters and at least two hulking defensemen. Instead, many GMs are focusing on skill, speed and hockey smarts throughout their lineups. "You're still going to need toughness. But if you can find players with toughness who can play, that's a very, very valuable commodity," said Detroit GM Ken Holland, whose Red Wings have been the model for combining grit and skill with the likes of Darren McCarty, Kirk Maltby, Kris Draper and Brendan Shanahan.
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