George Parros new head of NHL’s Department of Player Safety

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Former NHL tough guy George Parros will become the key decision maker as the new vice president of the NHL’s Department of Player Safety.

Stephane Quintal, who had been serving as the senior vice-president, has been the lead voice when it comes to suspensions over the last three years.

“George possesses one of the brightest and most innovative young minds in our game,” said NHL commissioner Gary Bettman in a statement. “He has immersed himself in all aspects of Player Safety during the last 12 months and his selection to run this department not only will maintain the stability and consistency in decision-making that have been essential to the Department’s success but also will enable it to continue evolving in step with our game.”

Although Parros will now be in charge of handing out discipline, Friedman reports that Quintal will be staying in the department to help with Parros’ transition. Also, according to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun, Quintal will see his role expand within the league office.

Parros officially joined the Department of Player Safety on this date one year ago. At the time, he was named the director, player safety.

“It’s an interesting opportunity to not only watch a lot of hockey and remain in the sport, but kind of affect what’s going on in the sport in a way that things move forward,” Parros said last year, per NHL.com. “You’re trying educate the players, and the thing that best suits me for the job is that I’ve played the game for a long time and played as physical as anybody else, perhaps more so, and never once got fined or suspended.”

Prior to turning pro in 2002-03, he spent four years playing college hockey at Princeton University.

In his story, Friedman also mentioned that there could be more changes coming to the department, as Chris Pronger’s spot still hasn’t been filled by anyone. There are rumblings that recently retired forward Shane Doan could be in line to fill that role.