Hall of Fame defenseman Paul Coffey had to play through some of the hardest hitting days of the NHL. As a fan of what today's game has turned into, he's still yearning for the grittiness to return.
"The one thing I wish - and can I say again I love watching the game, it's great - I wish there was more hitting," Coffey said on Sportsnet's "Writer's Bloc" podcast. "I wasn't a hitter, but I’ll tell you what, if I had my proverbial head up my rear-end one game and I wasn't into it and somebody hit me, it certainly woke me up real fast. I think that part of the game is gone."
Coffey further explained his reasoning for wanting the bigger hits to return.
"You put traffic, you start hitting guys, game gets a lot more interesting," he added. "The real players come out to play, the real players know how to think in traffic and that was an exciting part of the game that I don't know if it'll ever come back."
Coffey, 58, ranks second among defensemen all time in goals, assists, and points, racking up 396 goals and 1,531 points in 1,409 career games. He also holds the record for the most goals by a defenseman in a season, popping in 48 in 1985-86.