With the NHL general managers' meetings underway, members of the Montreal Canadiens gave their opinions on the direction that they hope the league might explore on the concussion and headshot debate when NHL front office executives meet this week in Florida.
Canadiens players recently found themselves at the centre of a concussion storm after forward Max Pacioretty
was seriously injured when he was hit into a stanchion by Boston Bruins defenceman Zdeno Chara
at the Bell Centre.
Montreal Canadiens owner Geoff Molson urged his fellow owners to get involved and help elicit a significant change in the game.
"Mr. Molson came in and spoke to us and told us a little bit about what he's doing and I think that's on the agenda for the meetings," said Canadiens defenceman Hal Gill
"It's a fast game, there's a lot going on, it's not going to be perfect all the time. We just want to control the things we can control - adding a little more padding here, making the boards a little softer here, punishing guys for different plays, whatever it takes so that we can try to make it a safer environment."
While players are hoping that something can be done to reduce the amount and severity of the injuries that occur, they also understand that some of onus rests with them.
"I don't think they can institute a rule that says you can't do this. It's a matter of dealing with issues when guys are in vulnerable positions," stated Habs forward Brian Gionta
. "Players need to do a better job of respecting each other league wide, understanding it's a job, we compete hard and you battle hard but at the end of the day you don't want to see anybody hurt."
"There's a respect factor in this game that players need to have for each other," explained Paul Mara
. "When there's a guy vulnerable to have a headshot, players need to realize that and back off."