Some of you may not be familiar with the Rover. Ice hockey once had seven men (legally) on the ice at the same time back in the early years of the sport. On the ice there would be 3 forwards, 2 defensemen, 1 rover, and 1 goalie. The rover was neither a ‘forward’ nor a 'defenseman'; rather he roamed the ice at will adding to the offense and backing up the defense when needed. The NHL has been trying all sorts of crazy things to create more scoring from reducing the size of the goalie equipment, to bigger goals. I believe that a simpler solution exists...bring back the rover.
There are 19 rovers in the Hockey Hall of Fame... all of them made tremendous contributions to the game. Some of the most notable rovers... Hobey Baker, Frank McGee and Lester Patrick. Adding the rover would in my opinion not only increase the scoring but the excitement of the game. Some argue that adding another man on the ice would create too much clutter; yet teams have proven that a seventh man can work and can even be advantageous when they pull their goalie at the end of a game in an attempt to tie the score. A friend of mine said the only way a rover could work in the modern game is for the NHL to expand to Olympic sized rinks; and he may be right.
Some players like Scott Neidermeier, and Bobby Orr have been occasionally referred to as "rovers" because of their ability to play defense and move the puck the entire length of the ice to create offense.
Mueller, Duchene, Hejduk
I believe that adding the rover would reduce injuries to PMD’s by placing the smaller puck moving defensemen like Cuminsky, and Barrie into the rover position which would better showcase their skills while giving them more of a support role in the game rather than defense. The beauty of the rover is that a forward or a defenseman could play the position. What do you think?