Anybody expecting big developments out of this year’s NHL general manager meetings — this update is not for you.
“There are no major announcements or major changes,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said after three days of meetings in Boca Raton, Fla. “There will be some recommendations, some things people will look at, there will be some more homework done, but you should continue to enjoy the game principally the way it’s being played.”
Prior to the meetings there was speculation a number of fundamental changes could be on the table, including a potential overhaul of overtime and shootout procedures. What the GMs left with, however, were a few minor tweaks and suggestions — namely, subtle changes to faceoffs and the changing of ends in OT.
Other minor ideas that may be implemented moving forward:
— GMs expressed interest in seeing more kicked-in goals allowed. NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly noted this is a rules-interpretation issue; therefore, it doesn’t require approval from the Competition Committee.
— Apparently, analyzing prospects outside the annual NHL Draft Combine has been a bone of contention among GMs, and they’re looking to address it. Here’s more, from NHL.com:
GMs are concerned that teams are bringing in too many prospects for medical testing and interviews in the time after the official scouting combine run by NHL Central Scouting, which takes place in Toronto in late May.
Washington Capitals GM George McPhee said the combine was designed so prospects didn’t have to visit multiple teams.
“We originally came up with a combine to streamline that and have all the players go to one place, work out and you get the results,” McPhee said. “We’ve improved the combine over the years to make sure we’re getting the results we need.
“Ideally what we want is one combine where everybody gets their information and it’s equal for [all] teams.”
Finally, it’s worth noting GMs received Bettman and Daly’s review of the 2014 Sochi Olympics, but the issue of future participation wasn’t actually discussed. Daly stated in February that the NHL expects to come to a decision within six months.