I was opposed to the Locker Room subforum back then because the off-topic section wasn't so busy that sports talk got in the way of general off-topic threads, it made it take longer to navigate to the sports conversation, and it made it an additional page you needed to check if you were interested in talking about other sports with the people on here. Now, you can get to the Locker Room without having to go through Off-Topic first, but it still makes no sense for it to be a separate subforum because off-topic is even more of a deserted void than it used to be. Right now the Locker Room and Off-Topic have a combined total of five threads that have been posted in over the past week, so separating them doesn't have any benefit and only makes the forum more segmented than it needs to be.
Also, it may be a longshot but a theory could be made that allowing the sports talk in the off-topic section could bring the forum a little back towards its more civil and personal days. I feel like the off-topic section was where we got to know each other better, and taking discussions away from there has made off-topic less visited, and the lack of visitors is probably why nobody posts the fun off-topic threads we used to have because it is likely nobody will even see them.
Funny you should bring up the Locker Room and act like it's causing the board deterioration, I think the sports folder is pretty much the only place on the forum that hasn't been contaminated into a 'posters x and y bashing each other' and 'have the same argument z' the way the hockey forum has been in recent years, and you still have fun, intelligent banter/discussions in the football threads, the Mets thread in baseball and the other random threads that pop up there occasionally. Precisely because the poster base there is smaller. When you have more traffic on a site, you're going to get more of the whiny element, it's just the way it is. That's why the Devils' Facebook is a wasteland...too much random traffic.
As far as why there isn't more off-topic posting, well part of it is just the people who were posting Off-Topic back then aren't on the forum anymore period for one reason or another. You had younger posters then that are in a different place in their life and older posters that are just tired of the board...trust me I know, the longer you post in a particular place the more jaded you get about the board itself. And the other part of it is the internet's different than it was even five years ago. There are so many specialized sites out there to talk about whatever you want. Twitter's exploded, Facebook's become bigger, there are a million more sites and hundreds of outlets to talk about whatever you want to online strangers. Not wanting to scroll down an extra second to find Off-Topic isn't a valid reason why there isn't OT discussion. It exists on the forum, it's there for when people want to use it, it's just not the first thing people are going to look for and jump into if they're new posters and see very little activity there.
To get to Tri's point, it really depends on the thread/purpose of it. You could take a page out of HF's book and have certain stickied threads that get long (an Albany thread, a STH thread as Colin said). Other threads could be more specialized and talk about specific things that happen and articles that get posted. Rock used to post all the articles, now nobody's really taken that mantle. And nobody wants to start threads based on Tweets. That's I suppose another place where having a longer team specific thread like HF might help, Tweets get posted there and that fosters discussion.
I agree the Rock forum's pretty much outlived its usefulness imo, it was created when the Prudential Center first opened with new info about Newark, and it was useful. Now you could probably just devote thread(s) to the surrounding area here.