Dreger: Several topics set to be discussed at NHL GM meeting

Darren Dreger

11/5/2010 11:37:13 AM

Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon's proposal for a "coach's challenge" is just one of many interesting topics expected to be discussed by the NHL GMs on Tuesday in Toronto.

A full review of how the new blindside head-hit rule is working will draw attention. Hockey Operations is believed to be preparing a video for the managers which will include examples of head hits this season, as well as examples of behavioural changes that show how the rule change may be making a real on-ice difference.

Also expected to be a key agenda item: supplemental discipline, the process, the gamesmanship some GMs use to defend their player or encourage discipline against opposing players.

Confrontation in pre-game warmups is an issue that NHL Senior VP and Director of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell loathes, and this topic will once again be tabled for discussion as the league considers options of how to better police the matter.

Currently, the NHL doesn't have a game-by-game pre-game monitoring system, whereby either the assigned on-ice or off-ice officials strictly watch warm-up.

On Thursday night, Philadelphia Flyers forward Dan Carcillo and New York Rangers forwards Sean Avery and Derek Boogaard were involved in a skirmish in warmup, providing the managers with a timely example for Tuesday's debate.

The possibility of an automatic suspension for any physical contact in the pre-game warmup is likely to be discussed.

Along this theme, the role of NHL agitators and the trash talking and taunting that some use to bait their opposition will also generate discussion next week.

In addition, Hockey Ops is expected to open the floor for a review of the Research and Development camp that the National Hockey league hosted in Toronto in August.

A number of quirky ideas were tested, some with potential, some that will never fly.  However, the managers will talk about the rules they liked or disliked, determining which, if any, should be further investigated for NHL use.

Interest in future Research and Development camps is also expected to be on Tuesday's agenda.