Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 06/19/13 at 06:32 PM ET
Updated 4x, "No doffing your helmets before fighting" rule news at 9:21 PM: Mathieu Schneider discussed the NHLPA's take on the general managers' meetings and probable rule changes this afternoon. Schneider also weighed in on the GM's desire to "tackle" diving while speaking with ESPN's Scott Burnside...
"I wouldn't say it's a big issue. Listen, hockey players have always prided themselves on being some of the toughest guys, and when you see some of the plays it makes you shake your head a little, but at the same time [league vice president Colin Campbell] will tell you a story of a player he thought dove and ended up having a broken neck.
"Guys lose edges. Guys step on sticks. There are so many that are gray, even though there are the calls that everybody and their mother knows it's a dive, there are a lot of them that are gray. What happens is if you discipline one player, another player says, 'Well, I did the same thing.' It's very difficult. There is nothing that is black and white on it. It's not like a high stick," he said.
And the GM's and NHL executives weighed in with their takes on hybrid icing and visors while speaking with NHL.com's Dan Rosen, who notes that the rule changes will become official when the Board of Governors votes on them during their meetings on June 27th:
If the Board of Governors approves the mandatory use of visors, all players who have fewer than 26 games of NHL experience will be required to wear a visor beginning in the 2013-14 season. Players who have played in 26 games or more will be able to make their own decision on if they want to wear a visor.
If hybrid icing is approved by the Board of Governors, the players will then have a vote before the end of the 2013 preseason to decide if they like it. If the vote is in favor of it, hybrid icing will be implemented for the start of the 2013-14 season.
"The managers agree that they're in favor of adopting the hybrid icing," NHL Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell said. "The players want to use it in exhibition and see if they're agreeable to it. If they are, it'll be game on. If they're not than we won't be using the hybrid icing."
The NHL general managers are in favor of hybrid icing because it makes the game safer but doesn't detract from the excitement. Hybrid icing is a mixture of touch and no-touch icing that gives the discretion to the linesman to blow his whistle and stop the play if he believes a defending player will reach the puck first or if he feels the race is a tie by the time the players reach the faceoff dots. If the linesman believes the attacking player has a chance to reach the puck first, he lets the race to the puck play out.
"I think once [the players] are used to it they'll like it because the race for the puck is still there," Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Dave Nonis said. "The concern about going to automatic icing is that the race for the puck is totally eliminated. In this situation the race for the puck is not eliminated at all. That's still an important part of the game."
Nonis said the key is getting the players comfortable with hybrid icing.
"I think once they are they will like it," he said. "I'm hopeful that the preseason is a long enough time for them to get used to it and see the benefits of it, but time will tell. It is a little bit different and you'll see a few wrinkles in preseason where players are unsure, but you need to work yourself through those."
Among the other recommendations the GMs voted in favor of are:
* All double-minor penalties for high-sticking will be subject to video review.
* The League will eliminate the attainable pass, which gave linesmen the discretion to wave off icing infractions on attempted passes that are deemed to be attainable. With the new standard, there must be contact with the stick.
* Beginning next season, the NHL would use nets that are 4 inches shallower. Nets will remain six feet wide by four feet tall, but they will be 40 inches in depth, down from 44 inches.
TSN's Darren Dreger also throwed a surprising wrench into the proceedings:
In other news from GM's...
Johnston published a column regarding his conversation with Nonis and the following Tweet from Sportsnet's Nick Kypreos:
Update #2: Two more tidbits:
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