One of the funniest stories that happened to me as a player was on draft day. After being selected to the Flyers, everyone was invited up to a suite in the hotel that the Flyers staff had rented. After quite a bit of celebrating, my Mom was in a conversation with one of the Flyers scouts. She asked the scout, “When it really gets down to it, what is it you look for in a player?” The scout looked at her for a while and then said straight faced…..”We look at the height of the father and the weight of the mother……”Needless to say my mom was a bit taken aback. (you have to appreciate scouts’ senses of humor) That was 1986.
But that story came back to me after an interesting conversation at the rink the other day with a parent. The parent was concerned her son was a good player but a bit small and that they could never really accomplish anything in hockey because of his size. We talked for a while about how the game is now and once we started looking closely at things, I think her opinion changed. Mine certainly has over the last few years.
It wasn’t that long ago that the NHL and pro hockey was dominated by big players. It seemed for a span there 15 years or so ago that you pretty much had to be 6’2″ to even be considered a prospect. No longer!
The rule changes have allowed smaller, but great skating players be a large part of today’s game.
Once again the research team at Platinum Hockey went to work to see how many players in the NHL are 6’0″ or under.
|Team||Total Players||Below 6”||Above 6″|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||35||10||25|
|Detroit Red Wings||32||19||13|
|Los Angeles Kings||33||13||20|
|New Jersey Devils||38||11||27|
|New York Islanders||39||19||20|
|New York Rangers||36||11||25|
|San Jose Sharks||34||9||25|
|St Louis Blues||35||15||22|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||37||12||25|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||35||10||25|
I was amazed to see that almost 36% of players on rosters were 6’0” tall or under.
The other thing you look at when you watch the game today is that everyone is a good skater. The days of the past when your 3rd and 4rth lines were dominated by big guys that weren’t always great skaters are gone. And forget about being slow and playing defence today. There is no way with these rules.
Again that is why I think the USA Hockey’s ADM is going to be a great program once fully implemented. Our kids have to be spending a lot more time each week working specifically on skills like skating that doesn’t happen in games. Today’s coaches have to be aware the time that must be spent on skating not just as very young players but for all levels.
The great news is that scouts are no longer looking at the height of the father and weight of the mother. I am pretty sure they would love to see how they skate though!!!!!!
Congratulations to Rod Brind’Amour!!
If you didn’t get a chance to see the ceremony for the retirement of Flyer Alumni Rod Brind’Amour’s number in Carolina you have to click on this link. It is probably the best retirement speech I have ever heard.
Rod was a great teammate and one of the nicest guys I ever had the privilege to play with.
Awesome job Rod!!!