- Pierre LeBrun, NHL
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Hits to the head again will be part of the discussion when the NHL's 30 general managers meet Tuesday in Toronto.
A look at some items on the agenda, provided to ESPN.com by a source on Friday:
• "Review of Head Hits." The discussion will include video examples of the new head shot rule affecting on-ice conduct (players avoiding illegal contact). But the discussion also will "explain GMs groups' directives from last March" when Rule 48 was originally voted on. Also on the agenda is a report from the Mayo Clinic Conference on Concussions in Hockey.
• "Review of Overtime/Shootout Stats." The issue was tabled by Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland, who's suggesting a new overtime format that would include eight minutes instead of the current five, with half played at four-on-four and the other four minutes played at three-on-three.
The goal of the proposed new format would be to limit the number of shootouts. However, after last season saw a record number of shootouts, this season the number of shootouts are down, so that will be a big part of the discussion. Maybe change is not needed after all.
• "Request for Supplementary Discipline." The sub-heads under this topic include "Lobbying," "Retaliatory Requests" and "Repeat Offenders." Basically, the process involved in league discipline has always been a touchy subject and will be clarified again.
• "Union/CBA Issues." Self-explanatory, as the current collective bargaining agreement only has one more season left on it after this season.
• "Hockey Operations Report." The league's Toronto staff routinely updates GMs on issues and/or trends they see.
• "Warm-ups/Instigating and Trash Talking." A discussion here about trying to put an end to pregame verbal controntations, etc., that sometimes occur in warmup.
• "Discussion of R & D Camp." The group will discuss the merits of the research and development camp held last August.
• "All-Star Game: Carolina 2011." A discussion on the format change for the All-Star Game.
• "Coaches' Request for Video Review/Coaches' Challenge." This was tabled by Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon in the wake of a controversial goal by Toronto's Colton Orr that cost his team a game two weeks ago. The idea would be to allow a team to challenge a goal/non-goal.
• "NHL Scouting Combine." A discussion of whether the annual event, held at a Toronto airport hotel, should play out in an arena, as is the case with the NFL.
Pierre LeBrun covers the NHL for ESPN.com.
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