Umm...excuse me....What. The. Fuck. This is an absolutely ABSURD clip. I counted TEN moments in 49 seconds that could reasonable be called penalties and the ref, who does exist as he was shown clear as day several times in the video, never even thought about calling a penalty. I laughed out loud when the narrator of the video suggested that this level of on-ice criminality was because of rapid expansion by the NHL and that the overall talent was diluted. I mean...sure that was probably a factor in overall game play for a bit, but no. That's not why this happened. For some reason starting in like like 1995-ish the NHL decided to just let defensemen treat the game like a rugby match. Scrums everywhere. I mean Jeff Beukeboom could get hired as a consultant by Alabama to teach form tackling based on that video. Almost ruined the game.
I always say that Peter Forsberg is my all-time favorite player. I can't even imagine what he'd do in today's NHL where they have, you know, rules. Guys just constantly dragged him and he broke down. I swear if he were playing today he would be winning Art Ross trophies every single year. Mario Lemieux just straight up quit in the late 90s and he said at one point it was because of how the game was being played. Hard to blame him.
Looking back, the lockout in 2004-05 was the best thing to ever happen to the NHL. Brought in a salary cap which made the league more competitive and financially viable for smaller market teams. It also gave the NHL some freedom to look at their product, recognized that it was NOT what it could or should be and changed some rules to make it faster, better, more skilled, and more fun. The NHL isn't perfect but it is WAY better than it was 20 years ago.