Some GMs unhappy with NHL committee
7/2/2005 12:38:07 PM
It hasn't taken long for reaction to the NHL's newly-formed
competition committee. And that reaction, from some NHL general
managers, has been of the adverse variety.
A number of GMs told TSN said they're "frustrated" and even "angry"
at effectively being replaced as the body that recommends rule
changes to the NHL board of governors.
"A lot of guys (GMs) aren't happy at all," one GM told TSN. "In fact,
they're furious. This competition committee could have been
integrated with the GMs, but it looks like it's a replacement type of
thing. It's going to be very interesting to see how this dynamic is
going to work."
Others, however, are taking a wait and see approach.
"Let's give it a chance," said one GM not too perturbed at the
changes. "But a lot (of GMs) aren't happy, that is for sure."
Some of the angry GMs have apparently let their feelings be known to
the league, which as part of the new collective bargaining committee
has established this competition committee, where there are as many
players (four) as GMs on the nine member panel.
The four players on the committee are Trevor Linden, Brendan
Shanahan, Rob Blake and Jarome Iginla. The GMs are Montreal's Bob
Gainey, Edmonton's Kevin Lowe, Atlanta's Don Waddell and Nashville's
David Poile, The ninth member of the committee is an owner, Ed Snider
of the Philadelphia Flyers.
In the past, the 30 GMs were primarily responsible as the body for
initiating and recommending all rules changes.
The GMs were informed of the composition of the competition committee
by a league memo earlier this week. The memo also included a request
for feedback on a wide-ranging series of rule change recommendations
for improving the on-ice product once the NHL resumes play in the
Most of those recommendations are as TSN reported earlier this week,
but the league memo provides a little more detail. Keeping in mind
the recommendations could yet be altered, what was presented to the
GMs for feedback is as follows:
Smaller goalie equipment, including 11 inch pads.
The reinstitution of the tag-up offside rule.
Moving the goal lines back two feet towards the end board to create
more room in front of the net instead of behind it.
The calling of more penalties more consistently, specifically for
obstruction on players with and without the puck and not just in the
The institution of a shootout to eliminate tie games in the NHL.
Before going to the shootout, though, overtime would be modified to
include one five-minute period of four-on-four overtime and, if still
tied, a three-minute period of three-on-three. If, after eight
minutes of overtime, the game is still tied, then it would go to a
The winner of the game - in regulation time, overtime or the
shootout - would receive two points for the victory. The loser,
regardless of when the loss occurred, would receive no points.
The blue lines would be made fatter, as per the American Hockey
League experiment this season, to slightly increase the size of the
The centre red line will be removed for the purposes of allowing two-
Goaltenders will only be permitted to handle the puck in a designated
area directly behind the goal net, as per the AHL experiment this
A modified form of no-touch icing, where the first player to cross
the goal line - not to touch the puck - will dictate whether icing is
called. In other words, if the defensive player gets to the goal line
first, icing will be called. If the offensive player gets to the goal
line first, no icing will be called. Also, when icing is called, the
team that iced the puck will not be permitted to change lines.
Any player in the defensive zone that shoots the puck directly out of
play will receive a two-minute minor for delay of game. In the past,
only the goalie was penalized for shooting the puck out of play.
Automatic fines to the coach and suspensions to the player for any
fight with an instigator in the last five minutes of the game.
Once a new CBA is complete, it's expected the league will to look
make final these recommendations, or something along those lines, in
time for the resumption of play in the fall.