NEW YORK — The NHL would like to “bring alive again” a rule that’s already in the rulebook, with some slight alterations, in an attempt to reduce the amount of embellishing in the game.
The league’s director of hockey operations, Colin Campbell, shared the plan today in a New York hotel after the general managers had finished meeting prior to Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final.
“We have a process in place that we approached the GMs with, and we also asked the players’ association to consider,” said Campbell.
“There’s a rule in the rulebook already that we haven’t used for the last few years that we’d like to bring alive again, for lack of a better term, but without the game suspension and just a series of fines, a warning the first time, and a series of fines after that if the same player embellishes. It would be by video review from our office.
“There’s also an element that we would probably add a fine to the coach/organization after so many embellishments to a team. And it’s something the players’ association are going back and asking their people, and something we have to run by the board. But 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 added: “It’s not about taking a player out of the game. It’s about making everyone aware that this player does embellish. And more than that, it’s about the players that don’t embellish that ask the question, ‘Should I start embellishing now because I’m on an uneven playing field here.'”
Related: Embellishment is ‘out of control’
Talk about getting thrown into the fire.
Antti Niemi is expected to be the starting goalie tonight in Dallas when his Stars host Sidney Crosby, Phil Kessel, Evgeni Malkin and the rest of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Niemi has, not surprisingly, been given the assignment over Kari Lehtonen, the latter of whom struggled badly during the preseason, allowing 15 goals on 84 shots.
Not that Niemi was razor sharp himself. He allowed eight goals on 65 shots, for a save percentage of .877.
Considering the Stars have a combined $10.4 million in cap space tied up in those two veteran netminders, it’s no wonder the number-one question facing the club is whether the goaltending has indeed been fixed.
We’ll start to find out tonight.
Marc-Andre Fleury will undoubtedly be in goal for Pittsburgh, though that hasn’t been confirmed.
— Craig Anderson, the goalie the Senators decided to keep, versus Robin Lehner, the one they traded to the Sabres.
— Cam Ward will start for Carolina when the Hurricanes visit the Predators, who will obviously go with Pekka Rinne. The consensus is that Eddie Lack will eventually supplant Ward as Carolina’s starter, but that apparently hasn’t happened yet.
— Brian Elliott goes for the Blues versus Cam Talbot for the Oilers. Elliott was excellent in the preseason, stopping all but two of the 57 shots he faced, while Jake Allen allowed six goals on 60 shots.
— Steve Mason for the Flyers versus Ben Bishop for the Lightning.
— Ondrej Pavelec for Winnipeg versus Tuukka Rask for Boston.
— Devan Dubnyk likely for the Wild versus Semyon Varlamov for the Avs.
Jakub Voracek totally understands why nobody’s expecting much from the Philadelphia Flyers. When a team finishes 14 points out of the playoffs the year before, that’s typically going to be the case.
“We weren’t good enough last year, let’s face it,” Voracek told CSN Philly.
So, no, it doesn’t upset him that the Flyers aren’t considered among the Stanley Cup favorites.
That being said, “it makes you feel you want to prove them wrong.”
The Flyers get going tonight with a tough game against the Lightning in Tampa Bay. They also play Saturday in Florida against the Panthers, before a rematch with the Panthers Monday in Philadelphia.
“My biggest concern would be getting off to a good start,” GM Ron Hextall said. “That’s one thing that we need to do.”
That’s something they didn’t do last year. In fact, they won just once in their first six games. By the end of November, they were 8-12-3 and in a big hole — one that proved too deep to climb out of.
Related: Flyers to start season with seven defensemen