Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 11/06/13 at 12:27 AM ET
Between TSN's Darren Dreger's "Dreger Report" entry about the Flames' mandating of shot-blocking "skate fenders," ESPN's Pierre LeBrun's "Rumblings" and an as-yet-un-captioned TSN's Insider Trading segment featuring both Dreger and LeBrun, rule change chatter and trade talk are both heating up ahead of next Tuesday's GM's meetings.
In his "Rumblings" article, LeBrun discusses the hot-button issues of goalie and "staged" fights...
I think the theme of the fighting discussion next week, if it is indeed held, will be along the lines of continuing to find ways to minimize some aspects of fighting in the game, just like the NHL's implementing the helmet rule this season in which fighters have to keep their lids on or else get an extra penalty for fighting without it. Calm down, fighting fans, the idea is not to completely ban fighting, but rather to get rid of some of the elements hockey people no longer want.
For example, Gabriel Landeskog's fight with Alex Chiasson last Friday night is what people still want to see: an emotional fight between two good hockey players that most hockey people feel strongly still has an important place in the game. But having two enforcers go at it in a staged fight? That has grown stale for many people.
One idea that could come up next week is the current rule that stipulates three fighting majors and you’re thrown out of the game; why not make it two fighting majors and you’re out, instead?
LeBrun outlines a few more points of emphasis for the GM's meetings...
-- A hybrid icing discussion: There’s some concern about the new icing rule and how it’s working out so far.
-- NHL hockey ops’ Kay Whitmore is scheduled to have an update on the reduced goalie equipment/measurements and how his surprise spot checks on netminders are going so far this season. No goalie has been caught wearing illegal equipment (two-game suspension if anyone is caught).
-- If it’s like past GM meetings, Brendan Shanahan normally gives a presentation on supplemental discipline and how it’s gone so far this season, certainly a very busy opening month for him.
And LeBrun clarified Martin Brodeur's remarks regarding possibly welcoming a trade at the deadline, as noted by the Newark Star-Ledger's Rich Chere...
"I want to be in the playoffs with the Devils and nobody else," Brodeur told ESPN.com. "But if it doesn’t happen, maybe I would look at an opportunity, I guess. But that’s something for later in the season, if at all."
LeBrun continues and discusses other topics.
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