Taking One for the Team examines the possible correlation between goals for and butts in the seats.
People can spout all the “Offense sells” rhetoric they want to, I’m not buying. I saw the 92-93 San Jose Sharks in person enough times to know that more goals does not equal better hockey. Some people like to draw a parallel between hockey and baseball and how the “long ball” helped bring fans back to baseball after its strike in the mid-90’s. These people want to argue that increased goal scoring will do for the NHL what Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa did for Major League Baseball. This is a ridiculous argument to make. Ignoring the fact that McGwire and Sosa were most likely juiced to the gills, the NHL restricting goalies is not the same as the power surge that took place in MLB. This is more akin to MLB making it illegal for outfielders to jump and catch a ball going over the fence. Players like Alexander Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, and Jarome Iginla are proof that the NHL’s skill players can still put the puck in the back of the net. There is no need to keep changing the game until fourth-line grinders are putting up 30 goals a year.
I think the correlation might be positive in more non-traditional hockey markets. Most seasoned fans still appreciate a close checking game, but I suppose even the most knowledgeable guy would still like to see a 7-6 barnburner. Leave your thoughts in the comments.