Although the GMs discussed a number of changes during their recent meetings, such as removing the trapezoid and the potential return of the red line, ultimately there weren’t many alterations to the game agreed upon. Capitals GM George McPhee thinks that’s because, for the most part, the general managers are happy with where the game is today.
“Sometimes you get into this mindset that there are all these things to talk about,” McPhee said. “I’ve been going to these meetings for 15 years and at some point you have to go into these meetings and say, ‘You know what? The game’s in great shape. We don’t have to do much,’ and that’s what we experienced this year.”
McPhee was in on the smaller group meeting to discuss the red line, but he feels the NHL needs two-line passes.
“It adds more creativity and speed to the game,” he said.
McPhee also thinks that strict enforcement of the rules the NHL has adopted in recent years regarding blows to the head should lead to fewer concussions. It’s worth noting that the 30 fines and 38 suspensions that Brendan Shanahan has given this season is a roughly 50% increase compared to what Colin Campbell did back in 2005-06.
Although Sharks GM Doug Wilson obtained “more support” for his proposal to eliminate the trapezoid, the potential rule change hit a road block during the GM Meetings on Tuesday. The GMs liked the idea of hybrid icing, but the removal of the trapezoid and a separate proposal to reinstate the red line were met with resistance.
“I think it’s a sense that the game is in great shape right now,” Leafs GM Brian Burke said. “The product we have put on the ice is the best product we have put on the ice in terms of speed. I think it’s a great broadcast product. And I think there is a strong sense that this thing is working right now, let’s leave it alone and see where it goes.”
Supporters of the trapezoid feel that it improves the flow of game, but some GMs argue that defensemen are taking needless hits as a result. This might not be the last time the removal of the trapezoid is brought up, but it looks like it’ll still be there in 2012-13.
Among the rule changes the NHL GMs are discussing during this week’s meetings is the elimination of the trapezoid. The trapezoid has been in place since the lockout in the hope that it would improve the flow of game and hinder a goaltender’s ability to clear the puck. However, some GMs argue that defensemen are absorbing needless hits because goaltenders can’t assist.
Sharks GM Doug Wilson wanted to get rid of it three years ago, but his proposal fell on deaf ears. This time might be different.
“We have more support and will take to it the bigger group tomorrow,” Wilson said.
Only time will tell if the GMs end up supporting such a rule change, but like the hybrid icing change, which seems to have gained traction today, this potential move will hopefully make the game safer.