NHL Scoring, By Year

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In light of yesterday’s article comparing Sidney Crosby to Wayne Gretzky, I thought there might be some interest in seeing how NHL scoring has gone up and down over the last quarter-century. 

 

Please note that the graph ranges from two to four goals per game per team, not zero to four.  This gives us a better focus on the differences by season, but also exaggerates highs and lows.

 

If I worked for the NHL, I’d be very concerned that the “New NHL” which came in with such fanfare post-lockout has seen scoring decline to the point where it is only marginally above pre-lockout levels.  I’m honestly not sure what the solution is; there’s room for more vigorous enforcement of obstruction rules currently on the books, and tossing out the Wayne Gretzky rule to allow more four-on-four hockey (as suggested by a commenter below) might be one change that could be beneficial.

 

What else can the NHL do to increase scoring?