NHL GMs talk rules on first day of meetings

Crease presence, goaltender interference and embellishment were some of the things discussed on Day One of the NHL general managers meeting. Hardly the sexiest issues in hockey.

Crease presence, goaltender interference and embellishment were some of the things discussed on Day One of the NHL general managers meeting.

Hardly the sexiest issues in hockey.

“These things seem anal until you get into Game 6 or 7 of the playoffs,” director of hockey operations Colin Campbell said. “They’re not anal anymore, they’re important. So it’s relevant that we take care of these things that might sound minor to you guys right now, but they’re major elements come the playoffs.”

The group will discuss the hottest topic of three-on-three overtime, plus expanded video review on goalie interference and other plays, Tuesday. Monday was a day to talk about the little things that can make a big difference.

General managers broke up into three groups to discuss matters related to goaltender interference, diving and embellishment and emergency goaltender protocol. Goalie interference is the biggest of those issues because of how many goals are scored or disallowed after some contact in the crease.

“We could all sit here and watch the same video and I can guarantee you that it’s not going to be 100 per cent they’re all saying the same thing, and that’s after watching five replays in super-slow-mo and beating it up for 10 minutes,” Brad Treliving of the Calgary Flames said.

“It’s just trying to break down what it is we want to review and the whole purpose of the review is to make sure as best you can make sure you’re correct.”

Jim Rutherford of the Pittsburgh Penguins believes there’s an appetite among GMs to open goalie interference up to video review.

There are plenty more questions about that, and the group hopes to find some consensus Tuesday about how to make it happen.

Campbell said a coach’s challenge system and other replay items were also discussed.

On the diving front, GMs watched video clips and looked at the first season under the league’s new policy to fine and name players who embellish. Players are warned for their first offence, fined US$2,000 for their second with increasing penalties for more.

“It’s one of the things we don’t like about our game,” Bryan Murray of the Ottawa Senators said.

“There are certain people that tend to do it more often than others. I think the hockey (operations) committee are very adamant about keeping track of the main offenders and trying to do something about it.”

Campbell said the league has informed officials of players’ tendency to embellish but now has a track record to show offenders and repeat offenders.

Diving is far more prevalent than the need for an emergency goaltender policy, but that was a natural topic after the Florida Panthers lost Roberto Luongo and Al Montoya in the same game March 3. Chaos ensued and held up the game as goaltending coach Robb Tallas couldn’t get cleared to enter the game, which the Panthers lost to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

“For the first time in 21,823 games, we ran out of goalies,” Campbell said in pointing out the rarity of the situation. “So what do we do now the next time it happens in 21,223 games? All seriousness, though, we’ve talked about this before, and we’ve beaten it up, and we’ve been close many times. But what happens again when it happens?”

The NHL could opt to have teams designate an emergency goaltender for each game. A resolution on that subject and three-on-three overtime could be coming as soon as Tuesday.

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