Thursday, October 23, 2008
Updated: October 24, 11:38 AM ET
What went down at GMs meetings? Take a look ...
The NHL's 30 general managers met in Chicago on Thursday and left with some homework. They'll have to chew on three rule-change recommendations before reconvening at their next meeting in March and possibly voting on them.
• The first is the Larry Pleau idea that I first detailed this past weekend, which essentially would change the delayed-penalty rule so that the penalized team would have to fully clear the puck from its defensive zone to get a stoppage in play rather than simply needing to possess the puck. The St. Louis Blues GM believes it would create more offensive chances with the sixth attacker on the ice for a bit longer before a whistle blows. He's probably right. I like this one.
• The second has to do with hand passes and making them more consistent all over the ice. Right now, players are allowed hand passes in the defensive zone but nowhere else. The idea being discussed is not to allow it anymore in the defensive zone, just like the rest of the ice. I highly doubt this will happen. Blowing the whistle every time there's a hand pass in the defensive zone would simply create more stoppages in play. It's not what we're looking for in the game right now.
• The third idea, and perhaps most interesting of all, is an idea from Montreal Canadiens GM Bob Gainey. He proposes that players in the defensive zone must have at least one skate on the ice when blocking shots. So, instead of having players collapsing all over the ice and sliding all over the place, Gainey believes this would allow for more pucks to get through from the point and, hence, create more scoring chances. Great idea by Gainey, although it really puts the onus on the referees.
Either way, this is all talk until the GMs meet again in March.
"They get a chance now to go back and talk about these ideas with their coaches, think about it for the next three months and decide whether they think it's good for the game," Colin Campbell, the NHL's executive vice president and director of hockey operations, told ESPN.com before boarding a plane back to Toronto.
One item that didn't garner much support is allowing goalies to wear the "C." Sorry, Mr. Luongo, the rule apparently won't be changed for you.
"No go," Campbell said. "They can do what they're doing [in Vancouver], but not with the 'C' on the sweater."