In the wake of Colin Campbell’s comments to The Canadian Press this week, in which the NHL’s director of hockey operations says the league needs to look seriously at the idea of bigger nets, Iginla was lukewarm to the idea.
“I think a lot of people want that to be a last resort because it changes records and things,” he said Wednesday on a league conference call.
As a member of the NHL’s competition committee, Iginla’s opinion matters. Any move to a bigger net would need the committee’s blessing. The committee has looked at bigger nets in the past but the issue went away.
“I guess when you look at other sports, they have made big changes over the years,” said Iginla. “You get used to them. … One good thing, when I did see the nets, they did show us the nets, and they don’t look any different when they originally brought them out.
“But as a player and a fan, I would hope that we can find other ways first, which they said they’re trying to do,” added Iginla. “Hopefully there are some other things you can adjust in the game without changing the nets.”
Hall of Fame winger Mike Gartner, director of hockey affairs at the NHL Players’ Association, is Campbell’s union equivalent on the competition committee. He didn’t sound nearly as open to the idea.
“It would be low on my priority list,” Gartner told CP on Wednesday. “But as always, the success of our competition committee is to approach things with an open mind.”
One of Campbell’s points was that he’d like to bring back a goal that doesn’t really exist anymore. The blast from the wing, made famous by the likes of Gartner, Guy Lafleur or Mike Bossy. Now it seems impossible to score from there.
“When I was growing up, I saw a lot of them, guys going down the wing, yeah, slapshots to the far corner, a wrist shot,” said Iginla. “Sometimes the goalie would even fall down on those far-corner shots if they’re off balance because they were standing up. Now with the butterfly style, you don’t see them as much. They were exciting goals to see.
“If they choose to change them (the nets), it would give you more of a chance to have those goals.”