New season, new tricks

Archived from 1998-99 season.

NHL teams

It's that time of the year, the new hockey season is here! The 1998-99 season will conclude in June with the crowning of the last Stanley Cup champions of the millennium.

The new season comes with the league taking major steps to increase offense. Many new rules are in effect to increase scoring and goalies are facing a crackdown on their equipment. These changes are going to create controversy and not everybody is going to be happy with them. Wayne Gretzky is among the proponents of change.

"They're clamping down and making sure the goaltenders stick to the guidelines, that is going to benefit all offensive players." said Gretzky, adding that the league doesn't need much improvement.

"The game is better now than it was 20 years ago, and it will be better in 20 years than it is now." said Gretzky.

One of the most debated changes is the introduction of two-referee system. Between Oct. 16 and Feb. 28, each team will have 10 road games and 10 home games with dual ref coverage.

"It's horrible. Just horrible," Philadelphia GM Bob Clarke said. "Two referees is not going to work."

Others disagree saying that the game is too fast for one referee to cover.

"I think the time has come that we go with two referees," said Washington GM George McPhee. "It's much more demanding, because players don't respect each other the way they used to, and they're also so much bigger and faster than they used to be. One guy just can't cover it all anymore."

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