NHL general managers meeting
The NHL general managers will gather Wednesday in Toronto for their only in-season meeting of this lockout-shortened campaign. They usually get together twice a season for two-day sessions, but this season, it is just the one day, for six hours.
Changes to the salary cap and player contracts under the new collective bargaining agreement will probably dominate the agenda, but player safety and other issues will also be discussed. Here is what to look for:
• More discussion on modifying NHL icing rules is expected, according to Jim Rutherford, the Carolina general manager. Last year, complaints from defensemen about the dangerous nature of icing chases prompted the general managers to experiment with a hybrid icing rule.
• Even in the aftermath of the injury to New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal, who took a puck to the eye March 5, the NHL Players’ Association reiterated its stance that visor use should be left up to a player, not mandated. The union’s position was even endorsed by Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger, who was not wearing a visor when he sustained an eye injury and a related concussion that have sidelined him for 15 months with headaches, blurred vision and depression.
• The idea of a coach’s challenge received little support when it was first proposed in 2010 by Florida’s Dale Tallon. But some general managers, such as Detroit’s Ken Holland, now favor it, especially after the officials missed an obvious offside on a goal last month by Colorado’s Matt Duchene against Nashville.
• A suggestion meant to end more games in overtime is for clubs to switch ends after the third period. The thinking is that the long change from the bench would result in more scoring chances. Lou Lamoriello, the New Jersey Devils’ general manager, has said he supports that measure.
• Goalie equipment could be made smaller to boost scoring. General managers previously recommended this but were thwarted by goaltenders.