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Parros on DoPS criticism: 'I take more beatings now than I ever did on the ice'

George Parros George Parros -

A hot topic of discussion at the NHL GM meetings was the performance of the Department of Player Safety, headed by senior vice president George Parros.

Mainly, general managers had questions for Parros, based on the consistency of some of the department's rulings, TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger said on the Mar. 14 edition of Insider Trading. 

Parros spoke with TSN’s Gino Reda at the meetings about his feelings on his recent presentation to bring teams up to date with the processes of the department.

“This meeting always serves as a great opportunity for us to have face time with them, get them together and talk on all things encompassing player safety, whatever they may be at the time,” Parros said on Tuesday. “It's a great opportunity to explain some things we're seeing, kind of where we're at this season in respect to previous seasons, and cover all sorts of different topics. It's a great chance for us to get together on the same page.”

The DoPS has long been a topic of discussion due to a perceived inconsistency in its rulings. Parros acknowledged the criticism on Tuesday, and said the department tries to navigate the difficult job by using a consistent process for each incident, comparing them to a database of similar plays.

"I take more beatings now than I ever did on the ice, I'll tell you that much,” said Parros. “It's tough. There's a lot of nuance involved, as you might imagine. Our goal is always consistency. We have a similar process that we follow. We have had players, former players, and people in this department that have been here for a long time that we get consistency from as well.

“We track these things all year long. We look at 1,000 clips a year. We send out clips within our department that become part of our history and get logged in our brains. So, when something happens on the ice, we can recall from either memory or the database that we've collected all along the way. That allows us to look at similar plays that allow us to act and react in a reasonable and consistent manner.”

Following Parros’ presentation on Monday, Philadelphia Flyers’ general manager Danny Briere said he learned a lot about the process of the DoPS and said that Parros and his crew do not have an easy job.

"We went through the staff of DoPS, getting a better understanding of what they are going through. How they are built, how they come to decisions. That was a lot of good information,” said Briere. “The reviews and clips, the talks they have. It was very detailed on how they come to a decision.

"Not an easy job to do, as we all know. It was great to understand their side of why and how they come to a decision."

Parros, now in his seventh year as head of the department following a nine-year NHL career, says the DoPS does everything it can to keep the NHL safe for its players.

“We see a lot; we pay attention to everything. I'd like to think we can see it all,” said Parros. “We're a dedicated group of people. Dedicated to this one specific task of keeping this game as safe as possible, maintaining as much physicality as we can within the rules, and that's what life circulates around. So, it's nice to share that with this group.”