Head hits to be discussed at meetings

Updated: November 9, 2010, 12:22 AM ET
Associated Press

TORONTO -- A review of head hits and a discussion about the merits of a coach's challenge will be on the table when the NHL's general managers have their fall meeting Tuesday.

Also included are a possible format change for the 2011 All-Star game in Carolina, a venue change for the scouting combine and a discussion about a social media policy are also on the schedule.

The NHL is the only North American sports league that doesn't have a formal policy for players who use websites such as Twitter and Facebook.

Phoenix Coyotes GM Don Maloney has a number of players that are active on Twitter and added the discussion to the agenda. Coyotes enforcer Paul Bissonnette is possibly the most colorful hockey personality on the site and the team has monitored his use.

Ideas raised at the fall meeting often set the table for more focused discussion when the GMs get together again in March. A year ago, managers began acknowledging the need to address head hits in November and wound up creating Rule 48.

Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon is introducing the idea of allowing coaches to issue a challenge on plays that result in a goal. His team lost a game in Toronto earlier this season when Colton Orr ran over goalie Scott Clemmensen and wasn't called for goaltender interference.

Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson said that his team was fortunate to get that win. Despite the blown call, he's not in favor of a new rule.

"I was the first one to admit that we got lucky on that one," Wilson said over the weekend. "Now we're calling for [change]. I'm not dissing Dale Tallon here, but every time something happens in a game we're going to have a rule change?"

One of his concerns with the challenge is that it might make referees look bad. He also thinks it will lead to a significant reduction in scoring.

"There won't be any goals scored," Wilson said. "If you watch half the goals, the goalie's been touched or pulled or something. ... Am I going to throw that red flag on one goal a game because I can? I'll probably win. I don't know personally if that's what we should be doing.

"It's hard enough to score in our league right now."


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press