Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 06/11/14 at 06:02 PM ET
Updated 2x at 9:19 PM: Paul did a helluva job of covering the "gist" of the GM's meetings, but here are some items that I noticed on Twitter and feel merit mentioning, starting with Craig Custance's chat with Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman...
In Penguins and Maple Leafs news, from Sportsnet's Chris Johnston...
Regarding rule changes, from the CBC's Elliotte Friedman:
If you missed the competition committee chatter from yesterday, ESPN's Pierre LeBrun and Scott Burnside did a great job of summarizing what's what:
The recommendations from the committee:
- For the trapezoid to be expanded by four feet overall (two feet on each side of the goal line). That would give goalies more room to play the puck.
- Changes to regular-season overtime: Have teams change ends after regulation to force long line changes, which in theory should help create more offense. They also proposed a dry scrape after regulation to clean up the ice.
- Faceoffs in offensive/defensive zone: Adopt IIHF hashmarks, which are five feet apart (NHL currently has them three and a half feet apart).
- The committee also wants more done to curb embellishment and diving in the NHL, perhaps via fine or additional penalty.
- Kicking pucks: Committee wants to see more leniency and allow a bit more when it comes to kicking motion.
- And the meat of it: More discussion of expanded video review, particularly when it comes to goalie interference. There was no real resolution on this on Monday -- simply the agreement that it will be further discussed.
These recommendations still need GMs' approval Wednesday, approval by the NHLPA’s executive player board and, finally, the NHL’s Board of Governors (owners) later this month.
Regarding the draft lottery and Jason Spezza, from ESPN's Pierre LeBrun:
Regarding the Florida Panthers' coaching search, from LeBrun and TSN's Darren dreger:
And more to come?
In non-Twitter form, from ESPN's LeBrun:
For whatever reason, every once in a while another Shea Weber trade rumor pops up.
It befuddles veteran Nashville Predators GM David Poile because he remains adamant he’s not moving his star blueliner.
"We’re keeping him, we’re building our franchise around him," Poile said after the GMs meeting. "I think we’ve got one of the best young defenses in the league. I think he’s got an excellent chance of winning the Norris Trophy in 11 or 12 days from now. Why wouldn’t we build our team around him? That’s exactly what we’re doing. We just need one or two forwards and when we get that, you’ll be saying, 'Imagine that someone ever thought they would trade Shea Weber?' No, we are not trading Shea Weber."
LeBrun continues, discussing Tim Murray's draft strategy (they will trade some picks), Stan Bowman's take on re-signing Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews while juggling the salary cap...
"I always have concerns. I wouldn't be, that's part of my job looking forward," said Bowman. "You can't look year to year, you have to look two or three years out and obviously you know a year from now there should be a kind of bump with the new TV deal, but you still don't want to assume anything. You have to be planning your moves two and three years ahead, which we're doing. We have ideas what that entails. We're not going to share that. We've been doing this long enough that we know what has to happen. Then if the cap goes up more than you expect, that's great. We're not assuming anything. We realize it's a puzzle to put together and we'll make it work."
It’s believed the team will move on without veteran defenseman Brooks Orpik and there’s a possibility the Pens could move scoring winger James Neal to get younger up front and to free up cap space.
One player Rutherford is intrigued by is defenseman Matt Niskanen, who had a breakout year for the Penguins and is slated for free agency but would like to stay in Pittsburgh.
“He had a good year," Rutherford said. "And trying to figure that out. It’s not going to easy but certainly with the year he had we’d like to take a look at him."
And regarding Spezza, Bryan Murray's most insightful comment (out of several that he gave LeBrun) reads as follows:
Murray said Wednesday’s GMs meeting is not really much of an opportunity to get a lot done in terms of trade discussions.
"It's such a short time together," he said. "You get a chance to talk to two guys, but not widespread by any means. We're all kicking tires right now. It'll probably be another few weeks, at least, before anything comes down that might be a worthwhile trade talking about."
Update: NHL.com's Dan Rosen explains the rule changes...
As also explained by the Canadian Press...
NHL general managers discussed a coach's challenge system, expanded video review and other rule changes at their annual Stanley Cup final meeting but could not come up with any final resolutions.
GMs made progress on narrowing what coaches might be able to challenge, including goals scored on plays that should've been offside, the puck hitting the protective netting, the wrong player getting penalized and the puck going over the glass for a penalty.
Jim Rutherford of the Pittsburgh Penguins stressed that coach's challenges would not be instituted for the 2014-15 season. Don Maloney of the Phoenix Coyotes said it was not too late for that possibility, though, adding to the lack of clarity out of Wednesday's meeting.
Goaltender interference would not be subject to challenges, in line with commissioner Gary Bettman's point that there's too much room for interpretation to ensure video review would be guaranteed to get it right.
Discussions also centred on cracking down on embellishment, changing the draft lottery for 2015-16 and beyond to be more like the NBA's that allows the first three picks to be attainable, and looking at rule changes recommended by the competition committee.
GMs gave their approval on those competition committee recommendations, including allowing a more liberal definition of kicked-in goals, expanding the trapezoid, doing a dry scrape of the ice and changing ends before overtime and making some faceoff changes.
The NHL posted a short clip of David Poile, Dale Tallon and Bryan Murray talking about the coaches' challenge...
And NHL.com's Rosen had a long conversation--a 4-minute-er--with Coyotes GM Don Maloney:
Here's Rosen in text form, speaking with Colin Campbell:
The recommendations still have to be approved by the NHL Board of Governors and the NHL Players Association Executive Board before becoming official. The Board of Governors meets in New York on June 26. The Executive Board meets July 16-19 in Pebble Beach, Calif. The GMs first discussed these changes at their annual meetings in March.
Colin Campbell, the NHL's Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations, stressed that embellishment is a problem in the League that needs to be corrected.
He said the recommendation from the GMs will be to change the wording of the current rule regarding embellishment to allow for warnings and an escalating scale of fines to be imposed for repeat offenders rather than suspensions, which are currently allowed under Rule 64.3 but rarely imposed by the League.
Campbell also said that a fine could be imposed on the coach or the organization of a player who is repeatedly penalized for embellishment.
"It's not about taking a player out of the game; it's about making everybody aware that this player does embellish," Campbell said. "More than that it's about the players who don't embellish that ask the question, 'Should I start embellishing now because I'm on an uneven playing field here, they're getting calls because they embellish?' "
In addition, Campbell said embellishment plays would be reviewed in the Situation Room in Toronto for supplemental discipline. A player would be subject to a warning or fines for embellishment regardless of whether he was issued a minor penalty on the ice.
So the NHL will review "embellishment," but not something called "goals." Swell.
"It got a lot of traction, a lot of support from the managers that embellishment is going too far in our League and we have to attack it again," Campbell said.
Rosen continues with coach's challenge talk.
Update #2: Regarding the draft lottery, from ESPN's Scott Burnside:
[T]he key issue was the draft lottery system in the wake of the Edmonton Oilers securing the No. 1 pick in three straight years, from 2010 to 2012. What remains uncertain is how soon those changes might happen and exactly how they would look.
"There weren't enough guys to suggest we had to change the percentage or the odds of lower teams getting into it. As of right now it's the same as it has been," Ottawa general manager Bryan Murray told ESPN.com after Wednesday's meetings of the league's general managers.
There are some GMs, however, who believe teams getting the first overall pick in consecutive years should be prohibited. The Buffalo Sabres have three first-round picks in next year's draft, which features star prospects Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel, and general manager Tim Murray said any changes won't be taking place before next year's draft.
"That came up too about changing the draft lottery system. Which we are going to do. But certainly I said it should be -- I said five years out -- so you don't know who's getting punished," Murray. "Murray it might be two years out three years but that was a little concern of mine that I feel a little bit better about today."
While a number of GMs were under the impression any changes would be beyond the McDavid/Eichel draft, league officials told ESPN.com it's possible commissioner Gary Bettman and/or deputy commissioner Bill Daly could table the proposal, which would include a two-part change with different odds in place for 2015 and a lottery for the top three picks involving the bottom three teams as established by the odds lottery in 2016.
It's believed the Board of Governors could discuss the proposal at their meeting later this month before the draft in Philadelphia.
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Tags: brooks+orpik, bryan+murray, buffalo+sabres, chicago+blackhawks, dale+tallon, dan+bylsma, dave+nonis, david+poile, florida+panthers, gerard+gallant, james+neal, jason+spezza, jim+rutherford, jonathan+toews, marc+crawford, matt+niskanen, nashville+predators, ottawa+senators, patrick+kane, pittsburgh+penguins, ron+wilson, shea+weber, stan+bowman, tim+murray, tom+renney, toronto+maple+leafs
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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