GMs address NHL's biggest issues

GMs address NHL's biggest issues
March 20, 2013, 1:15 pm
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The NHL’s 30 general managers are meeting in Toronto today, which undoubtedly will fan the flames of trade rumors as the league’s April 3 trade deadline approaches.

But aside from the annual trade talk, there are some important topics that will be discussed in small groups today.

Among them:

Embellishment: Roughly halfway through the season [428 games] 25 embellishment or diving calls were made, more than twice the amount called last season after the same number of games.

That’s a credit to the officials but it also serves as a red flag that players are flopping to get calls. St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong told that he’d be in favor of slapping players with $10,000 fines for embellishment.

He might get an argument from Don Fehr on that one, but nothing there's no better deterrent than taking money out of players' pockets.

Olympic action: Speaking of the NHLPA it appears very little will stand in the way of the NHL returning to the Winter Olympics when they come to Sochi, Russia in 2014.

Some hockey people, like Capitals coach Adam Oates, aren’t thrilled with the idea of the NHL interrupting its season to participate in the Winter Games, but others, like Caps captain Alex Ovechkin, are all in.

A decision is expected by the end of this month but it appears to be lock that the NHL will participate.

The U.S. management team is expected to include Ray Shero of the Penguins, Paul Holmgren of the Flyers, Stan Bowman of the Blackhawks, Dean Lombardi of the Kings, along with former NHL GMs Brian Burke and Don Waddell.

The Canadian contingent will be led by Armstrong, Lightning GM Steve Yzerman, Oilers president Kevin Lowe and Red Wings GM Ken Holland.

Coach’s challenge: One topic that may get lengthy discussion is the idea of a coach’s challenge similar to the one in the NFL. It has been proposed that each team will be permitted one challenge per game, although there is no firm guideline on whether the challenge wouldonly be used on disputed goals.

General managers are concerned that coaches will challenge penalty calls simply to give their penalty killers extra time to rest.

Look for coach’s challenges to gain more traction in summer talks.

If you were to sit in on today’s meetings and was given a voice, what issue would you bring up? Join the conversation below: