Is There Still a Place For “Goons” in the NHL Today?

November 23rd, 2009 by Ryan Pickard Leave a reply »
The NHL has changed greatly over the years. Back in the '70s and '80s, hockey was more of a grind it out game and much more physical. Over the years, though, it has changed, and today it is more of a speed game.

The change has been brought upon by the new players to the game. Recently, many new players are coming over from Europe; these players bring much more skill to the game and less of the physical play, which in my opinion was a better thing for the NHL today.

With this change brings the question, is there still room in today's NHL for "goons"? A goon is usually defined as a player who has little skill and plays on the fourth line. He is out there to protect the star player for his team and get under the skin of the opposing players and get them off their games.

Looking back, there was once a time when these types of players were needed. In the '70s you had a huge amount of so-called goons. The Big Bad Bruins and Broad Street Bullies are names that come to mind. These two teams also had great players, not to take anything away from them, but they did have their fair share of players who could duke it out every game.

They were nee ...

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