Overtime format highlights competition committee meeting agenda


The topic of 3-on-3 overtime is one of a few topics on the agenda for Thursday’s competition committee meeting.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman believes we could see a 3-on-3 overtime format tested during the preseason, but not implemented for the 2015-16 regular season.

Also on the agenda for this week’s meeting is the coach’s challenge, the idea of the center in the defensive zone putting his stick down first during face-offs and the salary cap escalator.

Recommendations made at the competition committee meeting would have to be voted on by the NHL’s Board of Governors in late June prior to being implemented for the 2015-16 season.

The aforementioned topics were all initially discussed at the March general managers’ meetings in Boca Raton, Florida.

General managers Ken Holland, Don Maloney, David Poile along with Ed Snider will represent league (with Colin Campbell in a non-voting role) at the meeting in New York.

Mike Cammalleri, Cory Schneider, Kevin Shattenkirk and Daniel Winnik represent the NHLPA (with Mathieu Schneider in a non-voting role).

Volchenkov unlikely to return to Nashville


Preds defenseman Cody Franson is already prepping for free agency and it appears Anton Volchenkov will be joining him.

Nashville GM David Poile told reporters on Saturday that “Our defense is coming back except Volchenkov. We may fill that in-house.”

Poile also touched on Franson:

The 2014-15 season was Volchenkov’s first in Nashville after four seasons in New Jersey. The 33-year-old had seven assists and a plus-4 rating in 46 regular season games with the Predators.

Earlier this week Volchenkov’s agent, Jay Grossman, told PHT that he’s had discussions with the Predators about re-signing the pending UFA for a second season.

Reached on Saturday for a follow up to Poile’s comments, Grossman said, “there is nothing really further to add”.

Volchenkov joined the Preds on a one-year, $1 million contract after being bought out by the Devils last summer.

Franson on free agency: ‘I’m hopeful that Toronto’s in the mix’


During his season-ending media availability Nashville Predators GM David Poile told reporters that his acquisition of defenseman Cody Franson from the Toronto Maple Leafs “wasn’t a perfect fit”.

Franson along with Mike Santorelli were dealt from the Leafs to the Predators on Feb. 15 in exchange for Olli Jokinen, Brendan Leipsic and Nashville’s 2015 first-round draft pick.

“The fact that Franson was a right-handed shot…wasn’t the perfect situation for Franson or for us,” said Poile said last month.

The blue liner had a goal and four points in 23 games with the Preds following the trade and added two assists in five games of Nashville’s first round loss to the Chicago Blackhawks.

Barring a trade before July, Franson is likely headed for unrestricted free agency for the first time in his career and is hoping his former team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, comes calling.

“I enjoyed playing in that city and definitely I’m hopeful that Toronto’s in the mix come July 1,” Franson told TSN Radio 1050 on Saturday. “My phone will definitely be on and hoping that they’re one of the teams that calls.”

The 27-year-old spent parts of four seasons in Toronto registering 115 points in 236 games while averaging just under 20 minutes a night in ice time.

Having appeared in 400 career games over eight seasons split between Nashville and Toronto, Franson could have the opportunity to chose where he plays for the first time in his career. However, it’s not something he’s necessarily looking forward to.

“This is new territory for me,” he said. “I’m excited to kind of really just get it over with and find out where I’m going and start gearing towards the next season. I’ve been off for a few weeks now, taken my time off and getting back in the gym here.

“When you start getting back in the gym, it’s that time to start looking forward to the next season. With being in free agency, you don’t know where that’s going to be. July 1 can’t come quick in enough.”

Franson made $3.3 million this season on a one-year deal.

Fisher, Ribeiro express desire to remain with Preds


With as many as 12 contracts expiring in July, Nashville Predators GM David Poile has a number of decisions to make this summer.

Among those set to become unrestricted free agents are forwards Mike Fisher and Mike Ribeiro.

According to reports in February, contract talks with both players have already begun.

Both players expressed their desire to remain with the Preds organization during the club’s final media availability on Monday.

Fisher, who has spent parts of five seasons in Nashville, had 19 goals and 20 assists in 59 games this season. A ruptured Achillies forced Fisher to miss the start of the season.

The 34-year-old will see his two-year, $8.4 million contract come to an end this summer.

“I’m pretty sure something will get done,” said Fisher.

After signing Ribeiro to a one-year, $1.05 million deal in the summer Poile said it was “really his last chance”.

The 35-year-old made the most of the opportunity scoring 15 goals and 62 points in 82 games – his highest point total in three seasons.

“I’d love to be back with the Predators next season,” Ribeiro said, adding, “I’ll probably wait a week” before working on an extension.

In addition to Fisher and Ribeiro, Poile will have to work on deals with the likes of Cody Franson and Colin Wilson.

NHL discussing expanded review for goalie interference


Along with 3-on-3 overtime one item, which will likely find its’ way on to the docket for the March NHL general managers meeting is expanded review for goaltender interference.

It was a hot topic at Tuesday’s meetings in Toronto.

However, all parties involved are looking for a place to draw the line.

“One of the most controversial plays in our game is goaltender interference,” said NHL Executive Vice President and Director of Hockey Operations, Colin Campbell. “We had a lengthy conversation on goaltender interference. We’ve had examples this year. We’ve been doing it internally.”

“I think with the goaltender interference, if we’re going to expanded review, people expect us to get it right and we want to make sure the process is right.”

On example, which was used while discussing expanded review, occurred during an Oct. 25 game between the Dallas Stars and New Jersey Devils.

“When you’re making decisions on certain things, how far do you take it? Do you take the net being knocked off – is that our call or the official’s call? Hand pass in the crease from player-to-player, that would be our call,” Campbell said. “How much do you want to get right? “

Predators GM David Poile had an interesting suggestion during Tuesday’s discussions.

“I brought up the monitor (in the penalty box for referees), whether that would be a situation, which could be helpful,” said Poile. “It’s never going to be perfect with the game of hockey with the amount of physical contact that we have, but I think we’re working at it at a good pace.

“We’re all for trying to help the war room (in Toronto), to make the best decisions possible, and for them to help the referees make the best decisions possible.”

As Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen pointed out, the most important thing is “to get (the calls) right more than wrong and still not have too many reviews and slow the process too much.”