Penguins Update: When the Goin’ Gets Tough… – Pittsburgh Penguins – PenguinPoop Blog

Penguins Update: When the Goin’ Gets Tough…

…the tough get goin.’ At least according to the old adage.

It’s crunch time for our Penguins…in more ways than one. Over the next eight days, the black and gold play a murderous stretch of five games. All on the road. Starting Wednesday night with the Winnipeg Jets.


Yes, those Winnipeg Jets. The ones who kayoed star defenseman Justin Schultz and injured sidekick Olli Maatta in a matter of minutes back on February 16, while hammering us to the tune of 49 hits. Giving the overall appearance the Pens had encountered a runaway Zamboni.

I wouldn’t expect special treatment tomorrow night. Or an easy game. Not with the Jets in the thick of the hunt for a Western Conference wild-card spot.

Frankly, I’m (more than) a little concerned about the health and well-being of some of our guys.

Especially Evgeni Malkin.

You see, “Geno” stood up for the team during the recent clash with the Jets. Or delivered payback, if you will, in the form of a leaping shoulder check to the head of Winnipeg’s Blake Wheeler. Flattening the unsuspecting Jets captain and igniting a wild 5-on-5 scrum in front of the locals’ bench.

While the league looked the other way, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Jets attempt to exact a little frontier justice. Hockey players have notoriously long memories when it comes to matters of etiquette.

Heck, the Jets were leading, 3-2, at the time of the incident, yet still went out of their way to target No. 71 each subsequent time he took to the ice. Especially behemoth defenseman Dustin Byfuglien, who repeatedly hacked at Geno’s legs and ankles with his stick.

Talk about a human road grader.

“Big Buff’s” not a guy I’d want searching for my number. Or more to the point, having Geno in his crosshairs.

Nor his partner in crime, Adam Lowry. Six-foot-five and ornery, Lowry dished out 10 hits that night. Including the kill shot on Maatta.

A saving grace? Malkin dials it up a notch when riled. He responded to Winnipeg’s chippy play by bulling past defenseman Jacob Trouba like an M62 locomotive to set up Sidney Crosby for the overtime winner.

Still, the last thing the Penguins need is for the rangy Russian to get hurt. He’s been on fire of late, piling up seven goals and 13 points in his past 10 games. All the while performing at a rarified level that harkens back to his MVP season of 2011-12.

Although the Pens are hardly lacking in collective heart and grit, I wish they’d call up heavyweight Tom Sestito from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for the trip. Big Tom can play a little (16 points in 33 games with the Baby Pens) and he certainly provides a reassuring and protective presence.

Forlorn hope, I’m afraid. That’s not Mike Sullivan’s style.

Let’s hope the refs bring their whistles. And the Jets play nice and stick to hockey.

The Road Ahead

The Pens play back-to-back games in Edmonton and Vancouver on Friday and Saturday, before wrapping up their trek through western Canada next Monday against Calgary. The Pens then square-off with the Flyers in Philadelphia next Wednesday (the 13th) before returning home to play New Jersey next Friday.

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  1. Jim's Gravatar Jim
    March 9, 2017 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Hey Rick
    Indulge me a minute Please. I just finished reading our paper and in the front page of the sports section is Gary Bettman proclaiming that the Coyotes will not be allowed to leave the state. Problem is the tax payers of Glendale wisely agreed to cancel the Coyotes lease and the NBA Suns cancelled their proposed joint venture. Now Bettman wants the State to fund a new Rink.( Good Luck ).The Article states that one Glendale offical said that “They just received 500 million from the Vegas crowd, let them build their own rink”.
    There is no love loss between Glendale tax payers and the NHL.They have a long history of broken promises and the Tax payers have a long memory.
    Second point they raised is that they are 28th in league attendance, ( less than 13,000 per game) behind the Islanders, ( who also just got their lease cancelled and will be homeless) and Carolina, who have been for sale for 2 years.
    Third point is in the article it mentions Vegas and the need to have a potential rivalry built up with Arizona and Dallas and LA. Arizona is essential to that plan to succeed.
    Gretzky wrote that during his time in Arizona they did a detailed market study and it found the NHL was rated 8th on people’s minds regarding pro sports.
    NFL,MLB,NBA,PRO GOLF, TENNIS,PRO BOWLING TOUR, and NASCAR…Then Hockey. But if you add College Sports( Football and Basketball ) and the
    WWE….Hockey comes last. Makes sense Rick.
    And Bettman wants the State to fund a 500 million plus rink….Again. As I said above, Good Luck.
    Then the final point of the article is that Bettman has forbidden the sale or transfer of Arizona and Carolina to Quebec City, who are waiting with a new Rink and 18,000 potential season ticket holders.
    Plus the Quebkers say our guys actually pay full price to see the games and in Arizona they have to deep discount ticket prices to get people come.
    This issue is not going away anytime soon. Do the
    NFL or MLB treat their club owners this way.
    Thanks for letting me rant.
    *I will comment on the game in ur next post.

    • the Other Rick's Gravatar the Other Rick
      March 9, 2017 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      Hey Jim,

      I am right there with you. It seems extremely ridiculous that the league would force a losing proposition. Maybe the Isles will go to Hartford as I read somewhere. Then Carolina and Arizona should go to Quebec and Hamilton. That way real hockey rivalries can develop and flourish rather than try and create a rivalry that will never exist. Let’s face it, Vegas may actually be a very strong ($$$) franchise, but my guess is the bulk of their games will be attended by transient vacationers who will not really care about the GK playing the Coyotes. They will be more interested in seeing the GKs playing their home team, the team they root for all 365 days.

      However, the Isles will still have their rivalries and maybe more if they move to Hartford as I suggest. Imagine what the rivalries between Hamilton and Toronto or Quebec City and Montreal will be. Imagine the revenue they will generate. Then let’s get back to reality as the NHL shoots itself in the foot.

      • Jim's Gravatar Jim
        March 9, 2017 at 10:29 am | Permalink

        Thanks Coach.
        Isles to Hartford is better than Arizona for sure.
        I could never understand why the Isles moved into a building, ( Barclay ) that people write articles about on how it is a terrible hockey venue. Did not anybody in the NHL check this fact out before they moved?.
        And then the landlord cancels the lease? Who moves a 600 million enterprise in to a situation where outside interests can shut you down after 2 years?
        Do you have any info on that Coach /Rick?

        Seems very amateur hour to me.

        • Jim's Gravatar Jim
          March 9, 2017 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

          Follow up Coach…Just read on Bleacher Reports that Bettman is proposing a PUBLIC-PRIVATE partnership for the new rink.
          Fancy words for more State and Municipal tax dollars where by the PUBLIC side takes most of the risk,leverages their tax dollars for a big,big loan and the Private side gets a new rink to play in for a little money and low risk.
          What good is a NHL franchise in a market where you have no clients and the facility costs 500 million plus to build due to the extreme heat ?… and the existing land lord just kicked you out because you were a lousy tenant for the past 12 years and you lost 300 or 400 hundred million during that time period .
          If your lucky,Bettman will allow you to by the Coyotes for 500 million and you supply the new rink !
          It would be the same idea of having a license to operate a “Sea World franchise” in Alaska or our Yukon and trying to get the local Governments to spot you 500 million or so to build it.
          8 month’s of the year the water is frozen and even the Bears sleep, 3 months of the year you would have to be a Navy Seal to be able use it and one month we could all go for a nice swim. Sounds good to me….

  2. Rick Buker's Gravatar Rick Buker
    March 8, 2017 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Hey all,

    A little follow up.

    The Pens recalled Tom Sestito from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, along with defenseman Cameron Gaunce.

    Derrick Pouliot was returned to the Baby Pens.


    • the Other Rick's Gravatar the Other Rick
      March 8, 2017 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      I hope they actually use Sestito instead of sitting him on the bench.

      Also, I read that Letang was placed on IR

      • Rick Buker's Gravatar Rick Buker
        March 8, 2017 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

        Me too.

        Unfortunate about Tanger. Was hoping for a little good news on him.


        • Jim's Gravatar Jim
          March 8, 2017 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

          Hey Guy
          The body can only take so much especially if it’s concussion related. Plus he is almost 30 years old.
          This is at least 5 in his career.
          I wish him well but I hope they do not rush him back to active duty to soon.

          • the Other Rick's Gravatar the Other Rick
            March 8, 2017 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

            Hey Jim,

            That goes back to our earlier discussion about what to do this summer.

  3. 55 on Point's Gravatar 55 on Point
    March 7, 2017 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    Hello Rick, the Other Rick and Jim!

    Unfortunately, intent to hurt, uncalled head shots, concussions and otherwise unnecessary injuries and cheap shots will likely remain until profit suffers. So long as there’s a butt in every seat for every game, and jerseys, t-shirts and “geegaws” of every design, fly off the racks, and TV money is pouring in, there’s no incentive for them to change, anything. There are many good reasons to do something about it, but money and lip service apparently covers any guilt there may be. It’s not unlike the reasons Ford had to be shamed mercilessly before recalling exploding Pintos. They gladly paid a few lawsuits, but it wasn’t until their bottom line was threatened by thousands of column inches of bad press and slumping sales that they were forced into recall. No one of any importance ever takes the NHL to task.

    As for officiating, it’s puzzled me for 50 years. Even though, on the whole, I think it’s been a little better this year, that’s not saying much. I’ve always been of a mind that you call ’em all, or don’t call any. Honor the rule book, or burn it. I don’t like when uneven officiating tilts a game one way or the other. That’s for the teams to do. That’s why it’s called a game. This unspoken league dictum of officiating helping to keep the game competitive is crap. Always has been.

    On a non-hockey note, if no one minds…

    Rick, it’s very cool that you know Dennis Murphy. I know him, too. He was my sixth grade teacher way back when. I used to hit the Pour House often to say hello. I haven’t seen him since he sold it. I heard he moved to Ireland shortly after. I’m happy to hear he’s back in the ‘Burgh. I will make a note to visit the Pennsbury to say hello to him.

    • the Other Rick's Gravatar the Other Rick
      March 7, 2017 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

      Hey 55 on Point,

      Sad to say you are probably right. Even the McSorley conviction for an assault with a weapon and 18 month probation sentence barely has had any affect. It will not be until the leagues bottom line gets affected will they really change anything; whether fans stop filling seats, an injured player wins a massive lawsuit, a class action suit is filed for all injured players, or a congressional hearing is launched into player safety.

      I would hope that the league would avoid giving someone an idea to politicize and exploit player injuries for their politcal games. I would hope that they don’t drag their feet that long…… I am not holding my breath.

    • Jim's Gravatar Jim
      March 7, 2017 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

      Hey 55,
      100% correct.
      Your frustrations are echoed by millions of knowledgeable hockey fans everywhere and at every level of play.
      The causal fan that goes to the game to been seen or really just to drink does not give a poop, but real fans all over say the same thing. Call the plays the same way,every game,regardless if it is game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals or a pre season game.
      Personally, the ones that really upset me are in overtime in the playoffs !
      In most cases, not all but most you have to commit a double murder to get a penalty call and then when you do, 30 seconds later the ” unbiased Refs ” give us one to balance out the game. That is when players get mad and people get hurt.
      Good post 55….my rant for tonight.

      PS :
      55 , I have a crazy idea for you. You want to clear up the head shots and concussions ?
      If a player intentionally head shots a player and he is out with a concussion, all you do is suspend the player for 6 months with out pay ! Regardless if he is a Crosby or a Wilson. You intentionally hurt some one, you are going to pay financially.
      Do it a second time, you are banned for life. That will clear it up.
      The crazy thing is the NHLPA would be the first ones to oppose the idea.


    • Rick Buker's Gravatar Rick Buker
      March 7, 2017 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

      Hey all,

      I don’t disagree with anything you all are saying.

      I particularly dislike the “even-up” style of calling penalties. As a general rule, you know if you get two or three power plays in a row, you’re gonna’ get a call or two against you at an inopportune time. Most likely for having bad breath or something.

      Still, I’m loathe to criticize the refs too much. Lord knows, they don’t have an easy job–especially the linesmen. Overall, I think they do a good job.

      If you want to see REALLY bad officiating, watch an NBA game some time. The amount of travelling and palming is ridiculous. Some of these guys take so many steps, they look like they’re going up the middle on third and ten instead of driving to the hoop.

      And I used to be a basketball fan back in the days of Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain, before I turned on to hockey. (A sixth grade all-star, too, at Ben Franklin grade school in Bethel Park.)


      PS–Regarding Dennis Murphy, it’s truly a small world, isn’t it 55 on Point. Even though he’s no longer the owner, Murph frequents the Pour House quite a bit these days (he’s kind of an unofficial good-will ambassador). He’s generally at the Pennsbury Pub and Grille Friday and Sunday nights.

      • the Other Rick's Gravatar the Other Rick
        March 8, 2017 at 7:07 am | Permalink

        Hey Rick,

        Agreed NBA has the worst officials and in my opinion followed by football refs. If a person doesn’t want to call WWE wrestling a sport, then they can’t call Basketball or Football a sport either. All three are nothing more than spectacle to promote individual stars.

        I understand your reticence to criticize hockey referees. Hockey is the fastest team sport. Referees have to be able to see all the moving parts, moving at top speed, themdselves to be fast enough and strong enough and in good enough shape to get out of the way of the play and still get the call right. I do appreciate all the complexities of what they do. And there are many refs and linesman who I have tremendous respect for. However, there are refs, just like in all sports, who do deserve derision. There are refs who do permit games to get out of hand, who promote thug hockey, who seem to always turn a blind eye to dangerous play until someone actually gets hurt and then often they still choose to even the game up reather than penalize the thugee team.

        What incensed me completely from the last Jets game was not only did the Jets intentionally injure and deserve penalties and suspension for their play against Schultz and Maatta, they had the temerity to complain like little girls when Malkin gave them a taste of their own medicine. Play and attitudes like that are absolutely disgraceful. The ref crew of that game, and I really don’t remember who did ref that game, blew it completely. Even in the old Broadstreet bully days three would have been a third man in penalty on the Jets when their entire team jumped on Malkin.

        That is something I still see at games but never see called. I understand they really don’t let true knock down drag out fights to occur, so they can hide in their cowardice by saying no fighting penalty was called, but the cheapshots from cowardice third man attacks have some of the highest risk of injury since the victim doesn’t see the craven attack coming.

        So, although I appreciate what the refs and particularly the linesman do, since they are the enforcers breaking up the fights as well as everything else they do, I won’t let that be an excuse for some of their worst fails. By their non-calls they do decide the out come of the game more so than from their calls.

  4. the Other Rick's Gravatar the Other Rick
    March 7, 2017 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    Hey Rick,

    You hit the nail on the head when you wrote, “While the league looked the other way”. There are certain sets of stripes that really should carry malpractice insurance. One of these days an agent of a player will realize he could make a fortune and sue the the stripes right off of some of the Neanderthals that masquerade as NHL officials. There are throwbacks that think this is still 1970s Broadstreet Bully days and that intentionally injuring players like the jets did to Schultz and Maatta is well within the rules of hockey, that the onus is on the Pens to exact vigilante justice, and if they can’t then they deserve to get themselves injured.

    Then after the horse leaves the barn and an all out brawl breaks out they then start posturing and preening and tossing players out of the game when it was really their pathetic excuse of enforcing the rules of the game that lead to the MMA match that the game spiraled down to.

    This is one of the reasons I always worry about these Pens. The League says one thing about intent to injury and then does virtually nothing until someone gets seriously injured rather than enforcing the rules every game and every shift.

    Imagine what would happen to goon hockey if every penalty was called, even if one team takes 10 penalties in a row, with 4 or 5 of them on top of each other thinking that the refs would let 1 or 2 slide, and all penalties lasted the full 2min, 4min, or 5min, regardless of the number of goals scored. Scoring would go through the roof, dangerous play would go way down, and the game of hockey save its players careers. We could finally see what the McDavid’s and Eichel’s could do. Of course it would then be unfair to truly compare their stats to the Lemieux’s, Crosby’s Malkin’s, and all of the others who had to suffer under the beatings the refs allowed goons to get away with.

    Keep a good thought though Rick. I do not know which crew is officiating the game tonight, maybe it will be one of the crews that do not allow games to turn into a UFC match.

    • Rick Buker's Gravatar Rick Buker
      March 7, 2017 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      Hey Other Rick,

      Expressed with passion, eloquence and conviction.

      I don’t know which would be worse. Facing the Jets at the start of a long road trip or at the end. They’re scary big and physical, with more than a touch of nasty.

      Your reference to the Broad Street Bullies of yore was spot on. The Flyers took full advantage of the “even-up” mentality of the referees. “Hammer” Schultz and his cohorts would take a few penalties early on, secure in the knowledge that Bobby Clarke and Co. were as deadly shorthanded as they were on the power play. (In 1973-74 the Flyers had 20 shorthanded goals. To put that in perspective, the Pens have four this season.)

      Then the refs would back off, fearing they’d look unfair. Giving Philly carte blanche to take liberties all night long.

      Talk about demoralizing and intimidating. Opposing teams would literally melt into the ice.


      • Rick Buker's Gravatar Rick Buker
        March 7, 2017 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

        In the old-habits-die-hard department, 66-year-old Bob “Hound” Kelly (no relation to, but a contemporary of the Pens’ Bob “Battleship” Kelly) flattened the much younger (and larger) Ryan Malone during a recent Penguins-Flyers alumni game.

        Once a bully, always a bully …


        • Rick Buker's Gravatar Rick Buker
          March 7, 2017 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

          I’m going way off on a tangent. But of all the hockey players I’ve ever watched, few have made a more indelible impression on me than Bob “Hound” Kelly.

          I’ve never seen anybody play with such reckless abandon. He raced around the rink in an odd running style like a wild dog–hence his nickname.

          He’d leap off the bench and careen into as many foes as humanly possible in a 30-second shift. I recall viewing a playoff game between the Flyers and North Stars in 1973 when Kelly literally launched himself into a scrum in the corner–scattering foes and teammates alike.

          I thought he was crazy. I’m sure opponents did, too.

          Kelly fought the same way he played. Firing punches as fast as he could, he’d wade in with both hands, often overwhelming opponents with the sheer speed and number of blows.

          In a clash with the equally truculent St. Louis Blues in March of 1973, he famously jumped tough guy and future Pen Steve Durbano in a nationally televised game and rained trip-hammer rights, pounding “Durby” all the way across the ice.

          A holy (or unholy) terror, depending on your perspective.


    • Jim's Gravatar Jim
      March 7, 2017 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      Hey Rick’s… Great discussion.
      Two quick points.
      1. Come play offs the REF’s are told to swallow the whistle and let them play!!
      The result is a game that favors the big, the bad and the ugly.As I was told,
      when your paying $ 200 + a Ticket to see a NHL play off game, the crowd does not want to see ” ICE CAPADES”, they want to see physical action. So do the advertisers !!
      2. When the NHL continues to drag it’s feet on the real problem of serious Brain damage from playing Hockey,( due to the head shots that result into concussions or sliding into the Boards head first ) and a failure to take responsibility, due to fear of law suits from former players and or their their spouses that could financially cripple the NHL….What do you expect guys ? At least the NFL has admitted to it and is doing something about it. The NHL only talks about. Hoping it will go away.
      Final thought,
      The real elephant in the room is the fact in Canada, far, far fewer kids are playing Hockey at the minor level, ( 8 to 16 year old kids ) because serious concussions are occurring before they ever get to University or Pro level Hockey. The once back bone of the NHL, the unsung hero , the HOCKEY MOM, who gets up at 5.30 am to get their sons to the rink for 6.30 practice are now saying, NO WAY. I do not want my kid to be a “vegetable.”
      Play Basketball,Baseball or Soccer instead.
      So the chicken poop NHL is going to do very little to curb the violence.
      Bad for us.

      • Rick Buker's Gravatar Rick Buker
        March 7, 2017 at 11:56 am | Permalink

        Wow Jim,

        I would’ve never thought that in Canada, given that hockey’s your national sport.

        Part of the problem…as in football…is that players these days are so big, strong, fast and well-conditioned that guys are getting hurt on clean hits.

        While you certainly want to minimize injuries, you don’t want to eliminate physical play altogether. Heck, they’ve practically legislated the old-fashioned hip check out of hockey for fear of blowing out an opponent’s knee.

        Here’s my two cents. Starting with the building craze in the ’90s, the NHL should’ve switched to an international size rink for all new arenas. Yes, it would’ve caused some mismatches in ice surface size for a time–kind of like back in the day with the cozier rinks in Chicago Stadium and the old Boston Garden. But eventually the older arenas with smaller surfaces would’ve been replaced.

        Not a total answer to the problem, to be sure. But it would’ve created a lot more room for today’s infinitely faster game.


        • Jim's Gravatar Jim
          March 7, 2017 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

          Totally agree about larger ice surfaces.Much safer.
          In 25 of the 30 rinks they still could enlarge the ice surface by removing less than 10% of existing seating capacity.However they also need to expand the cooling pipes in the ice surface as well.
          But estimates are between 20 to 30 million per rink to retro fit. The real issue is the loss of 10% of seats and revenue. To which I say if you are serious about safety. ..raise the ticket prices!!
          But really the powers to be are not concerned.
          Another crazy idea is to eliminate checking against the boards.. Like Atom level hockey does. In open ice forecheck ,backcheck,slash,…just no head shots and checking against the boards. Even allow fighting.
          Most injuries occur when a player skating at 45 mph gets hammered by another player skating 47 Mph pushing him into a WALL.Wall wins everytime.
          Nobody will go for that now..
          But when the class action law suits start for hundreds of millions of dollar against the NHL,NHL PA, Team owners and building owners. …look out.
          Now thanks to the marvels of US Doctors in Massachusetts, they can examine deceased Hockey players brains and see the damage.A lot of it occurs later in life once their careers are over. The NHL really has a problem with this.

          • Jim's Gravatar Jim
            March 7, 2017 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

            Hey Rick
            They are finding this with boxing as well.
            You retire after a 10 year career but when you turn 50 your Brain is like a 80 year old and you have Dementia, Parkinsons, loss of sight, nerve damage.
            Now the lawyers are starting to realize this unique opportunity to make big bucks.
            Stay tuned.

          • the Other Rick's Gravatar the Other Rick
            March 7, 2017 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

            Some more 2cents,

            The data also shows that concussions increase the risks of strokes. Perhaps this is what lead to Letangs problems a few years back.

            I have more to say but no time right now.

          • Rick Buker's Gravatar Rick Buker
            March 7, 2017 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

            Hey Jim,

            Excellent points about the cost to retrofit the arenas. And the corresponding loss of prime ice-level seats.

            I never thought about the issues with the ice cooling systems, but I’m sure it would be a nightmare.

            Very interesting point about board-checking, my friend. I recall reading a Stan Fischler article back in the ’70s that lamented the rise of board-checking as opposed to open-ice hitting, as practiced by old-time hard rocks like Bobby Baun and Leo Boivin.

            Fischler seemed to pinpoint the 1967 expansion (and subsequent dilution of talent) as the main culprit.

            Speaking of expansion. The NHL draws from a much larger pool of talent (United States, Europe) than back in the pre-expansion days. But imagine, for one second, if the NHL was compressed into six teams as it was back in the day.

            I can’t begin to comprehend the skill level. It would literally be an All-Star league. Boggles my mind just to ponder it.


            • Jim's Gravatar Jim
              March 7, 2017 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

              No question Rick. It would be the Olympics every night. World cup.. 🙂
              I think I posted this before over a year ago..
              50 years ago Montreal had an AHL franchise in Halifax called the Voyagers. It was there for decades. When the NHL expanded to 12 teams in 1967, all the NHL pundits said that the talent base in Montreal was so deep, that their AHL team could have stepped up and been rated 8 th in the NHL that year.
              That blows my mind !
              I think it was ST. Louis that was ranked 7 th .
              My friend Danny Grant, who scored 30+ goals as a rookie and set a league record and went on to to have two 50 goal seasons, was NOT GOOD ENOUGH to crack the Montreal line up. ???
              The AHL and the South western based IHL had some really good hockey talent.
              This was before any serious College programs had started and the draft age was 21.
              Not 18 as is the case now.
              Off the point Rick, but I think the greatest thing the league could do is raise the draft age to 20 from 18. I know there are legal challenges but it makes so much sense. Danny was 22 when he won Rookie of the Year .
              One idea being floated by the NHL governors is that only the first round players can be 18 and all other rounds must be 19 year old to be drafted. Again there are numerous legal issues being discussed. But the idea has merit.


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